What is the Real Cost of Living in Ellicott City?

What is the Real Cost of Living in Ellicott City?

  • William Weeks
  • 02/20/24

Ellicott City, Maryland, is a picturesque town celebrated for its historic Main Street, where locally-owned businesses thrive. The suburban vibes of Ellicott City are a draw for those seeking a serene lifestyle that still benefits from the vibrancy of nearby urban centers — just 30 minutes from Baltimore and a mere two hours from the nation's capital.

Families find solace in the town's top-rated schools. Everyone enjoys the expansive Centennial Park, enveloping 337 acres around Centennial Lake. This natural haven offers trails for serene walks, boating spaces, and fishing spots, ensuring that leisure and recreation are always available. Ellicott City is also a gateway to the Patapsco Valley State Park, a 32-mile public recreation area that stretches along the Patapsco River, offering endless activities for nature lovers. These attributes make living in Ellicott City an appealing prospect for anyone considering moving to this vibrant community.

The financial landscape

Living costs are a significant factor to consider when moving. Here, they are 23% higher than the national average. However, it's important to note that this figure aligns closely with other cities within Maryland, suggesting that while Ellicott City may seem expensive, it is relatively standard for the state. This elevated cost of living is partially attributed to the state taxes, which rank as the 17th highest in the United States, a consideration for anyone budgeting for life in Maryland.

Ellicott City presents a promising economic outlook. The average salary in Ellicott City is a robust $69,155 per year, indicating that the higher cost of living is matched by higher earning potential. With an unemployment rate of just 3%, Ellicott City boasts a healthy job market, offering stability and numerous opportunities for professionals across various industries. This vibrant economic environment makes Ellicott City an attractive option for those considering a move.

Understanding housing costs

The housing market in Ellicott City, Maryland, reflects the charm and the area's quality of life. To put things into perspective, the median home price in the United States in 2023 was $412,000, marking a 2% increase from the previous year amid a significant reduction in available homes — 300,000 fewer on the market. Maryland's housing market closely mirrors this national trend, with a median home sale price of $410,000. However, Ellicott City boasts a median home sale price of $525,430, up 2.3% over the last year. This increase underscores the area's desirability and the premium placed on its housing market.

The competition among buyers in Ellicott City is evident, with 51.9% of homes selling for about 1% over the list price, which jumped 29.6% from the previous year. This competitive edge indicates a strong demand for homes in the area, partly driven by the high percentage of Ellicott City homebuyers — 82% — who are from the region, highlighting a strong local interest in staying within or moving to this sought-after community. For those looking at homes for sale in Ellicott City, MD, these figures suggest a robust market where properties are valued for the lifestyle and community they offer.

Comparing Ellicott City to other cities

Baltimore's cost of living is 16% above the national average, with an average salary identical to Ellicott City's at $69,155. However, Baltimore's median house price is significantly lower, at $167,300, making it a more affordable option for homebuyers, albeit with a different urban experience.

On the other hand, Columbia, Maryland, presents a closer comparison to Ellicott City's cost of living, which is 21% above the national average. The average salary in Columbia matches that of both Ellicott City and Baltimore, illustrating a regional consistency in earnings. Columbia's median house price is $385,900, comfortably between Baltimore's affordability and Ellicott City's premium housing market. This price point reflects Columbia's status as a planned community with a balance of residential amenities and open spaces.

These comparisons highlight Ellicott City's position within a spectrum of Maryland living options, offering a higher cost of living and housing prices corresponding to its unique appeal and quality of life. Whether drawn to the historic allure of Ellicott City, the urban vibrancy of Baltimore, or the planned serenity of Columbia, Maryland presents a range of living experiences to suit diverse preferences and budgets.

Rental market dynamics

The rental market offers an intriguing snapshot for potential renters and real estate investors. With a median rent of $2,250, a significant decrease of 24% from last year, the trend suggests a more accessible rental market than in recent times. This adjustment in rental prices could signify a favorable moment for those looking to move to Ellicott City without immediately committing to homeownership. However, it's noteworthy that only 11% of homes are renter-occupied, while 72% are owner-occupied. This ratio underscores a community heavily inclined towards homeownership, reflecting residents' value in building personal wealth through Ellicott City real estate.

For real estate investors, the current rental prices and the low percentage of renter-occupied homes present a unique opportunity. The demand for rental properties, albeit smaller relative to owner-occupied homes, might increase as more individuals and families consider Ellicott City a desirable location but prefer to rent initially. This scenario could yield positive returns for investors looking to tap into the rental market.

Decoding the utility costs

In this charming community, utilities are approximately 5% higher than the national average, with the monthly energy bill for residents averaging $184.78. This figure reflects the broader cost patterns in the Baltimore area, which encompasses Ellicott City, particularly in electricity and natural gas rates.

Electricity in Ellicott City costs an average of 17.38 cents per kilowatt-hour, positioning it 7% above the national average. This rate can impact monthly budgets, especially during peak usage times. Similarly, natural gas rates in Ellicott City stand at an average of $13.99 per thousand cubic feet, which is 5% more than the national average.

Food costs in Ellicott City

The cost of basic groceries is approximately 14% higher than the national average. This elevated cost of living extends to the kitchen pantry, with a loaf of bread priced at $4.40, a gallon of milk at $2.76, and a carton of eggs at $2.55. While these prices might seem steep compared to other areas, they reflect Ellicott City residents' quality and variety of food options.

On the move

Transit costs align closely with the national average. The price of gas, a fundamental aspect of daily transportation for many, stands at $3.43 per gallon. This figure is a critical indicator for those relying on personal vehicles for commuting to work, school, or leisure activities, suggesting that the fuel expense in Ellicott City is similar to what Americans pay elsewhere.

Ellicott City is also well connected through the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA), so residents can enjoy the tranquility of suburban living and the convenience of easy access to surrounding urban areas.

Healthy living at a lower cost

Healthcare in Ellicott City is 10% lower than the national average. The cost for a dentist visit averages at $96.89, a doctor's appointment is priced at $112.29, an optometrist visit costs around $105.78, and even pet owners can breathe easier with veterinary visits averaging $66.14. These figures highlight the town's commitment to providing accessible healthcare services to its community.

Discover your dream home

William Weeks, a native of the area with a background in commercial real estate, is your ideal partner in finding your dream home. He understands Ellicott City's unique charm and market dynamics and has a personable approach to each client. Let William Weeks transform your dream of living in Ellicott City into a reality with professional integrity.

Follow William On Instagram

Work With William

With extensive knowledge in real estate, from the historic streets of Frederick to the vibrant heart of Federal Hill and throughout the Baltimore area, I offer invaluable expertise to those looking to buy or sell homes. Real estate dynamics can vary widely even within short distances, so it's essential to have a trusted expert versed in the intricacies of local markets. I stay abreast of the latest trends, listings, and opportunities in Baltimore. Eager to serve, I'm here to not only meet but also exceed your property-related expectations. Let's embark on your real estate journey together!