Housing costs account for almost one-third of the consumer price index…soaring rents and home prices are behind much of the inflation across the South and Southwest.

Sticker Shock in Major Cities across US

Cities in the Sunbelt region of the country have dominated the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for months now.

The primary reason?  An uptick in housing demand from more people migrating into a metro area leads to an uptick in both for-sale and rental housing prices…and housing prices represent nearly one-third of the consumer price index.

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For example, the BLS’s broad housing category jumped by +14.1% in Phoenix, more than double the 6.5% national average.  The cause and effect of that bump in housing prices regarding inflation?  The annual inflation rate in Phoenix hit +11% in April…well over the national inflation rate of 8.3% in April. (Phoenix is among the top ten preferred migration destinations.)

You’ll note in another article posted this week entitled “Migration Hotspots = Hotspots for Inflation” that inflation is highly sensitive to in-migration.  The greater the influx of people into a particular metro area, the greater the inflation rate in that particular metro area.

Inflationary Sticker Shock in Major Cities across the US, according to the BLS, in April 2022:

  1. Phoenix – 11.0%
  2. Atlanta – 10.8%
  3. Miami – 9.6%
  4. Baltimore – 9.1%
  5. Seattle – 9.1%
  6. Houston – 8.5%
  7. Philadelphia – 8.4%
  8. Louis – 8.4%
  9. Detroit – 8.3%
  10. National – 8.3%
  11. Los Angeles – 7.9%
  12. Urban Alaska -7.5%
  13. Chicago – 7.2%
  14. New York – 6.3%
  15. San Francisco – 5.0%

The BLS tracks prices in 23 metros with larger metros such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco having to report their respective inflation every month.  Other metros report their respective inflation every other month on an alternating basis.  In March, Tampa FL and Riverside CA led the way with each city reporting price increases of over 10% for the first time.

Midland TX, according to Moody’s Analytics, has had the longest bout of inflation over the past six months with its standing inflation rate of 10%.  Why?  Midland is farther away and harder to get to from other places…that geographic isolation makes everything in Midland more expensive.

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Thanks to Bloomberg and Moody’s Analytics.

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