What Is The Cost Of Living In Syracuse, NY? (Taxes, Housing & More)

Ashley Sutphin
by Ashley Sutphin

Syracuse, New York, is located near the Finger Lakes and Adirondack regions. It’s a city that loves NCAA basketball, and New York City and Toronto are within driving distance. So how much does it cost to live in Syracuse?

In Syracuse, New York, the median listing home price is around $119,900. The median sold home price is $135,000, so you might expect to pay around $78 a square foot to buy a house here. The average rent in Syracuse for an apartment is $1,218. The overall cost of living index for Syracuse is 79, which is well below the national average index of 100. Overall, with all major factors included, the cost of living in Syracuse is estimated to be 12% lower than the national average and 25% lower than the New York state average.

So, what does all of this mean?

Syracuse is a very affordable place to call home, and below we will dive into some other factors that make the city a good option if you’re looking for a low cost of living.

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Housing Costs in Syracuse, New York

As was touched on, if you were going to buy a home in Syracuse, right now, the median listing price is just slightly under $120,000. You could anticipate paying somewhere around $78 a square foot. The sale-to-list price ratio in Syracuse right now is just slightly above 100%, meaning that homes in the city do sell for around their asking price.

There are 25 different neighborhoods or main areas to buy a home in the city, with Westcott being the most expensive. Westcott has a median listing price of $240,000. Near West Side is currently the least expensive neighborhood to buy a home in Syracuse, with a median listing price of $35,200.

Popular neighborhoods include Eastwood, with a median listing price of $135,900, and Northside, with a median listing price of less than $100,000. In Onondaga County, where Syracuse is located, the homeownership rate is around 68.29%. For New York State, it’s 52%. For the United States, it’s 65.1%.

Comparing Home Prices Across New York

LocationMedian House PriceHome Ownership Rates
New York City$690,00033%

For renters, the average rent for an apartment in Syracuse is $1,218, which represents a 4% year-over-year increase. The average apartment is 821 square feet. An estimated 39% of apartments in Syracuse rent for between $701 and $1000 a month. Thirty-two percent rent for between $1001 and $1500 a month.

Average Syracuse Rent By Neighborhood

NeighborhoodAverage Rent
Near Eastside$1709
South Campus$1709
University Hill$1709
Outer Comstock$1498
Near Westside Syracuse$1352

For renters, the most affordable neighborhood is Eastwood, while Elmwood and Meadowbrook are other cost-friendly options. The most expensive Syracuse neighborhoods are University, University Hill, and Westcott.

Average Rent Compared to Other Cities

CityAverage Rent
Hudson Valley$1950

Relative to other places in New York as well as the country, the price index for housing in Syracuse is very low. The cost of living index for housing specifically is 38.1, compare to the national average of 100.

Taxes in Syracuse, New York

New York is known as one of the most expensive states in the country in terms of taxes. The State of New York imposes an income tax, a property tax, and a sales tax. There’s also an estate tax and a gas tax of 33.78 cents a gallon. When paired with federal gas taxes, you pay 52.18 cents a gallon.

Sales Taxes in Syracuse, New York

The statewide sales tax rate in New York is 4%. However, local counties and governments can impose additional taxes upon this. This means that, depending on where you are in New York, you may have end up paying as much as 8.875% in sales tax.

The minimum combined sales tax rate for Syracuse is 8%. This represents a 4% county sales tax rate added to the New York sales tax rate. The rate is double the state minimum and quite a bit higher than the national average, which sits at 7.12% for sales tax.

Property Taxes in Syracuse, New York

In Onondaga County, where Syracuse is located, the average effective property tax rate is 2.8%, compared to the national average of 1.070%. That means if you had a home with an assessed value of $250,000, you might expect to pay $7,000 a year in property taxes.

Income Taxes in Syracuse, New York

New York State has a progressive, bracket-based income tax system, which models most other states and the federal income tax system. The lowest-earning residents in Syracuse pay 4% income tax, and the highest-earning residents pay 8.82%. These are generally higher than the national average.

However, you only pay the top rate if you are making over at least $1,077,550 per year as a single filer, $1,616,450 as a head of household, or $2,115,350 if you are married and filing jointly.

Comparing Syracuse Taxes

CityCombined Sales TaxProperty Tax
New York City8.875%1.925%

Utility Costs in Syracuse, New York

The cost of utilities is slightly above the national average in Syracuse. For example, the index for utilities is 107.7, while the national average is 100. For basic utilities for a small apartment, including electricity, heating, cooling, garbage, and water, the average price is estimated at $106. The range is anywhere from $78 to $125 a month.

The rate for residential natural gas in Syracuse averaged $12.17 per thousand cubic feet in December 2020. This was 25% more than the U.S. average rate. The rate of residential natural gas went up more than 13% year-over-year in Syracuse.

The average price of electricity is around 18.23 cents per kWh. The average household in Syracuse in December 2020 used 608 kWh, so their average electric bill was $111.

The Cost of Groceries and Food in Syracuse, New York

The cost of living index for food and groceries in Syracuse is 96.8, which again is another metric below the national average. For the rest of New York, the cost of groceries is above the national average. With that being said, there are also some food items that you might pay above the national average for.

Cost of Groceries in Syracuse

ItemAverage Price in Syracuse
Ground Beef$4.21/pound
Bottle of wine$12

If you were going out for a single meal at an inexpensive restaurant, you might pay $15. For a mid-range restaurant and a meal for two, the average price is around $55. Grabbing a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant could cost around $8 in Syracuse.

Transportation Costs in Syracuse, New York

The cost of living index for transportation in Syracuse is 85.3, which is lower than the national average. Transportation costs are another important factor that you must consider in order to determine the overall cost of living in a particular location. These include expenses such as gas prices, public transportation costs, and car insurance premiums.

Gas Prices in Syracuse, New York

The cost of gas in Syracuse is around $2.69 a gallon, which is slightly above the national average of $2.62.

New York$3.54
United States$2.62

Public Transportation in Syracuse, New York

Centro is the bus system that serves as public transportation in Syracuse. The adult fare is $2 per ride, and a day pass for adults is $5. For a 30-day ride pass, the fee is $54. There are reduced fares for seniors and people with disabilities, and children under six ride free with an adult.

Car Insurance Premiums in Syracuse, New York

The average annual cost of car insurance in Syracuse is $1,735, which is slightly more expensive than the statewide average of $1,704. It is also less expensive than the national average, which is $1,548.

Though, your rate can vary based on your age, driving record, the insurance company that you choose, and whether you opt for full or minimum coverage. To help illustrate how car insurance premiums vary based on where you live in New York, the following table outlines average car insurance rates in five places in New York:

CityAverage Annual Premium for Full CoveragePercent Increase in Average Annual Premium
New York (Manhattan)$4,959114%

Education Costs in Syracuse, New York

The city is home to Syracuse University, as well as Onondaga Community College. Syracuse University has tuition and fees of $52,255 a year. The cost to attend Onondaga Community College, including tuition and fees, is $10,654 a year.

The cost of full-day preschool or kindergarten for one child is on average $833. The cost for private elementary school is on average $15,000 a year in Syracuse, per child.

As far as preparing students for college, Syracuse seems to do better than the national average. Twenty-nine high schools in Syracuse are recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best High School Rankings.

Entertainment Costs in Syracuse, NY

There are plenty of things to do in and around Syracuse, some of which you can do for free. For example, you can visit the Central New York Regional Market. The market has hundreds of vendors that sell fresh eggs, honey, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and more.

You can visit the Landmark Theater for a show or concert. Niagara Falls is also less than three hours away by car.

The cost to go to a movie in Syracuse is on average $11.78, compared to the national average, which is $10.72. To go bowling you could pay $14.88 a person, compared to the national average of $13.86. A gym membership for one adult could be around $31 in Syracuse per month.

Entertainment & Miscellaneous Costs in Syracuse, New York

Cost FactorAverage Price
Beauty salon visit$36.00
Doctor visit$101.00
Pair of running shoes$76.43
Movie ticket$12.00
Pack of cigarettes$12.00
Monthly local gym membership$31.75
Cappuccino (mid-range area)$2.60
Fast food combo meal$8.00

Is Syracuse, New York Safe?

Overall, the violent crime rate in Syracuse is lower than the national rate. The property crime rate is also lower than the national rate. It has a crime index score of 7 out of 10, meaning that compared to similarly-sized cities and metropolitan areas, it has a lower crime rate.

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Should You Move to Syracuse?

Syracuse has an average annual salary of $51,400, which compares closely to the United States average of $51,960. Some of the major employers in the area include St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Upstate University Health System.

Homeowners in Syracuse have a median income of around $60,559 a year. The average mortgage payment is around $919, well below the national average of $1273 a month.

For the most part, Syracuse is less expensive than the national average in many areas, especially in housing. It’s possible to find an inexpensive house in the city, particularly compared to some other parts of New York. If you’re a renter, it’s also relatively affordable in Syracuse.

With that being said, New York does have relatively high taxes, including income and property taxes, as well as sales tax, so that’s something to consider when you’re deciding whether or not to settle in Syracuse.

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Ashley Sutphin
Ashley Sutphin

Ashley Sutphin Watkins studied journalism at the University of North Carolina. She now works as a full-time writer with an interest in all things real estate and interior design. She lives in East Tennessee and enjoys the nearby Smoky Mountains with her family.

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