Cost of Living in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, NY Cost of Living GUIDE (2020) | Is Buffalo Affordable?

Commonly recognized as the “City of Good Neighbors”, the great area of Buffalo is one that catches the attention of people who want to live in New York without the hefty price tag. And thanks to an affordable cost of living in Buffalo, that dream is an achievable reality for many who are interested.

Learn more about what it costs to live in Buffalo and whether it is a good fit for you and your needs by checking out this ultimate guide!

Buffalo Cost of Living Index

Any time you relocate to a new city, there will always be things to consider in regards to pricing and expenses. As you determine how much it costs to live in Buffalo, you’ll be able to see if it will be a fit for your needs and budget. This will encompass everything from your daily spending on bare essentials to your monthly bill expenses.

While you could look at every single factor individually, one of the most effective ways to start is by checking the Buffalo cost of living index. These details will provide you with a comparison to both state averages and total numbers in the United States when compared to the cost of living in Buffalo.

Paper pad for budget with a coffee

Wondering if living in Buffalo is expensive? On the contrary, the cost of living index for Buffalo shows it is much more affordable than the New York average and is also 5% less expensive than the average across the nation. While the only expense slightly higher than U.S. numbers is local transportation, other expenses like groceries, housing, home utilities, and healthcare are all lower.

A look at the percentages of consumer expenditures in Buffalo shows that the area is about the same as other parts of the state. As you match the Buffalo living cost with your income, these number will give you an idea of how much of it will be spent on certain expenses:

  • Housing 39%
  • Transportation 12%
  • Food 12.3%
  • Personal insurance 11.4%
  • Healthcare 6.8%
  • Entertainment 4.5%
  • Other 14%

Cost of Groceries, Food, Gas, & Household Items in Buffalo

Everyday expenses are often forgotten when people are trying to determine the cost of living in Buffalo. But if you take the time to review the average prices for your most common purchases, you’ll be able to recognize whether it will fit your budgetary needs and what standard of living you can maintain.

Consider the average cost of groceries in Buffalo to see what you can expect to pay monthly for food and other necessities. Your average weekly grocery bill in Buffalo will of course depend on how many people live in the home and your eating habits.

When looking at your home utilities, it’s important to think about each factor involved. Not only will you want to know the average cost of electricity in Buffalo, but also the average water bill and other utilities. Below you can see that the combined average cost of utilities is $142 per month.  The average price of a gallon of gas in Buffalo is $2.68 which is worth knowing if you plan on commuting to work or need to drop kids off at school.

One look at this list will prove that Buffalo is an affordable place to live when it comes to select items people frequently purchase such as:

Average Expenditures in Buffalo

  • Steak (Ribeye, 1lb.) $12.20
  • Milk (regular 1/2 gallon) $1.74
  • Eggs (1 Dozen) $1.29
  • Potatoes (5 lb bag) $3.13
  • Bread (1 loaf) $3.18
  • Beer (Heineken’s 6 pack) $9.43
  • Average Cell Phone Bill $184.99
  • Average Cost of Gasoline (per gallon) $2.68
  • Average Cost of Utilities (per month) $142.64
  • McDonald’s Burger (1/4 Pounder) $5.46
  • Large Pizza $10.32
  • Movie Ticket (1st run) $10.79

Buffalo Real Estate Market

For years, the housing market in Buffalo has been among the most affordable in the country. While the Buffalo homeownership rate is only 41.6%, that number has been rising steadily over the past few years as the city sees new developments and other improvements.

On average, homes on the Buffalo real estate market are on the market for only about 23 days and selling for around 1.5% under their list price. But in the most popular Buffalo neighborhoods around town, homes often sell for 3% more than the list price and reach pending status in 9 days or less.

A local neighborhood in Buffalo, NY

The average price of a home in Buffalo is $136,000, which is about 4.6% higher than this time last year. As you’re calculating the housing costs in Buffalo, you can expect to pay about $92 per square foot with around a 10% down payment.

Also, remember to consider your travel time to work or school when deciding where to live in the area. The average commute time in Buffalo is about 19 minutes to and from your destination.

Buffalo Rental Market – Average Rent in Buffalo

Planning to be part of the 58% of the local population who pay rent in Buffalo? Residents enjoy affordable Buffalo rent prices all over the city thanks to the low housing costs mentioned above.

As of now, the average price of Buffalo rent is about $950, which is an 11.79% increase from last year when the average rent was $838.

When looking at the cost of apartments in Buffalo, you can plan on paying about $931 per month for a one-bedroom and around $983 per month for a two-bedroom. The average rent in Buffalo is anywhere from $50 to $270 less than the national average.

Average Salary & Household Income in Buffalo

Curious how much money you need to make to live in Buffalo? Knowing the cost of living in Buffalo is important, but you also need to ensure your income fulfills the standard necessary to live comfortably.

Rising about 2.1% year after year, the current average salary in Buffalo is approximately $59,000 annually. On the other hand, the median household income in Buffalo is $37,359, which means half of the population is making less than this amount per year. This median number is about 56% less than the national average ($85,800) but is still a sufficient salary to live in Buffalo.

Person pulling money out of their wallet

This trend in wages across Buffalo includes a multitude of jobs across numerous industries including healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, and financial services. Some of the top employers in Buffalo are Kaleida Health, Catholic Health, M&T Bank, Wegmans Food Markets, and Tops Markets.

Within these and other fields, some of the highest paying careers in Buffalo include law enforcement, diagnosticians, as well as doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Income, Sales, & Property Taxes in Buffalo, NY

State Income Tax

Depending on how much you make per year, your New York income tax rate will vary. Generally, the higher your annual income, the higher percentage you can expect to pay in taxes. The state of New York income tax rate ranges from 4% to 8.82%.

Sales Tax

New York’s sales tax rate is ranked 10th highest in the country. But luckily, Buffalo has no additional city sales tax that is added on top of it. With a combined amount that includes New York sales tax and Erie County sales tax, residents in Buffalo have a total sales tax rate of 8.75%.

  • New York state sales tax rate 4.000%
  • Erie County sales tax rate 4.750%
  • Buffalo sales tax rate 0.000
  • Total sales tax rate 8.750%

Property Tax

If you are planning to buy a home in Buffalo, you’ll need to consider your annual property taxes as part of the amount you’ll be paying. While the housing market in Buffalo offers low prices, homeowners pay about 1.5 times the national average in property taxes.


  • Buffalo property tax rate 2.635%
  • New York property tax rate 1.677%
  • National property tax rate 1.080%


As an example, if you decided to purchase a $150,000 home, plan on paying a Buffalo property tax of about $3,952 per year.

Does the Cost of Living in Buffalo Fit Your Budget?

Now that you know the standard of living you could expect when comparing the cost of living in Buffalo with how much you make, it’s time to decide whether it’s right for you. Thanks to an affordable housing market and reasonable expenditures, Buffalo can be a great place to live.

The team at Wayfinder Moving would love to assist with your upcoming relocation. Call our team today at (716) 832-6683 to learn more about our professional Buffalo movers or complete the Request a Quote form above for a free moving estimate!


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