What is the Real Cost of Living in Newton?

What is the Real Cost of Living in Newton?

Newton, Massachusetts, is a picturesque and affluent suburb of New England. It comprises 13 distinct villages, each with a unique personality and community spirit. This diversity is one of many factors that attract those looking for homes for sale in Newton, MA.

Let's dive into the specifics of the cost of living in Newton, examining housing costs, lifestyle expenses, and other financial considerations to provide a comprehensive picture of what it means to reside in this charming city.

Local economy

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), the cost of living in Newton is estimated at 150.3% of the national average. This figure places Newton among the most expensive cities in the country. This high cost of living is a testament to the city's affluent status and the high quality of life it offers.

Housing, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and other miscellaneous goods and services influence the total monthly expenditure for residents in Newton. Notably, the cost dynamics also change based on household composition, whether one is single or married, with or without children, and home ownership status, i.e., renting versus owning. These variables play a significant role in determining the monthly expenses for those living in Newton.

Housing costs in Newton, MA

The housing market in Newton, renowned for its luxury and exclusivity, reflects the city's high standard of living. With a median home price of $1,310,000 and a median price per square foot of $548, Newton's real estate market clearly indicates its upscale nature. The cost of living index, focusing specifically on housing, estimates Newton's housing costs to be 223.9% of the national average.

For those considering investment property, the average rent in the Boston Metro Division, which includes Newton, for a two-bedroom home is approximately $3,281. This figure is 170% more than the average rent across the United States. However, it's important to note that this average encompasses both metro and suburban areas. Depending on the specific neighborhood in Newton, rental costs can vary, potentially increasing for more sought-after locations.

Utility expenses

In Newton, the cost of utilities is approximately 19% higher than the national average, reflecting the city's upscale lifestyle and the corresponding quality of services. The average monthly energy bill in Newton is around $210.77. This figure indicates the climate in Massachusetts, which experiences a full range of seasons, necessitating heating in the cold winters and cooling during the summer months.

Another significant aspect of utility costs is the monthly phone bill, averaging $226.74. The monthly internet cost, an essential utility in today's digital age, averages $79.20.

Food costs

For everyday grocery items, prices in Newton are higher than the national average. A gallon of milk costs about $3.34, compared to the national average of $2.24. Bread is priced at around $3.60 per loaf, slightly above the national average of $3.45. A pound of hamburger in Newton is priced at $5.99, surpassing the national average of $4.78. Even a large pizza, a common take-out choice, costs $11.99 on average, higher than the national average of $10.72.

The average cost for lunch at a restaurant is around $16.90, while a dinner for two averages $64.40, showcasing the city's diverse and quality dining scene. For a more casual meal, the average cost of fast food per person is $9.19. A beer at a local pub averages $5.94, and a cappuccino is $6. A half-liter of cola comes in at $2.86, a bit above average.

Transportation expenses

In Newton, the price for a gallon of regular-grade gas is $3.315, slightly higher than the national average of $3.137. Public transportation in Newton offers a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to driving.

Newton's NewMo service, launched initially as a transportation service for seniors, has expanded to serve all community members. NewMo operates as a ridesharing service that can be booked through an app or phone. The cost for additional trips after the first five free rides is typically $2 per ride, with a reduced rate of $0.50 available for qualifying low-income residents. NewMo runs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and offers weekend services for seniors, including door-to-door service.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) includes buses and commuter rails connecting to the Greater Boston area. A one-way local bus ride costs $1.70, while a one-way subway ride costs $2.40. A Monthly LinkPass is available for $90.00 for regular commuters, offering unlimited travel on MBTA buses and subways. The commuter rail fares vary from $2.40 to $13.25, depending on the zone.

Salaries and livable income in Newton, MA

The median household income in Newton is $164,607, which is 84% higher than the state's average. For individuals, the median income is $67,131, surpassing the state average by 39%. These figures highlight the area's affluence and set a benchmark for the income levels within the community.

Ready to invest in Newton?

With 19 years of experience as a real estate broker in the Boston area, I have extensive knowledge in the field. Whether you're looking to build a portfolio, find your first home, or invest in luxury real estate, contact me, Brenda van der Merwe, for the professional guidance and personal touch needed to navigate the Newton market successfully.


Experience excellence in real estate with Brenda, a top-producing broker in Boston. Benefit from her 19 years of expertise, strong negotiation skills, and cutting-edge marketing strategies. Trust Brenda for a successful and satisfying real estate journey.

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