Cities With the Worst HOA Fees

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When considering whether to buy a home, homeowner association (HOA) fees need to be factored into the decision. In some cities, HOA fees can cost hundreds of dollars per month, making up a significant portion of monthly housing costs. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, among homeowners with a mortgage who pay HOA fees, the median HOA fee is $290 per month and about 6% of homeowners pay them, but both the dollar amount and the proportion who pay vary widely across the country.

HOA or condominium fees usually go towards maintenance of common areas, landscaping, and upkeep of community amenities. For homeowners with a mortgage and who are part of some form of community association, these fees often exceed monthly utility payments, accounting for nearly 17% of total housing costs. In 2019, while the median monthly HOA fee was $290, the median monthly cost of utilities (including electric, gas, water, and home heating fuel) was just $250.

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HOA fees vary significantly from state to state and even from city to city within a state. Locations with more expensive housing tend to have higher HOA fees. At the state level, New York and Hawaii have the most expensive HOA fees in the country with median monthly fees of $570 and $520 respectively—meaning 50% of residents pay more. A state with relatively affordable housing, Wyoming, has the lowest median HOA fee, coming in at $100 per month.

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To find the metropolitan areas with the most expensive HOA fees, researchers at ISN analyzed the latest homeownership and home price data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow. The researchers ranked metros according to the median monthly HOA fee among households with an HOA fee. In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger share of homeowners with an HOA fee was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs and median home prices.

Only households with a mortgage were factored into the analysis. Additionally, only the top 100 most populous metros where at least 1% of homeowners pay an HOA fee were included.

Metros With the Most Expensive HOA Fees

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15. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $330
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 26.9%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 5.6%
  • Median home price: $243,499
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14. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $330
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 14.1%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 15.1%
  • Median home price: $702,933
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13. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $340
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 14.0%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 14.0%
  • Median home price: $761,635
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12. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $340
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 23.8%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 9.9%
  • Median home price: $261,314
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11. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $340
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 17.9%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 14.4%
  • Median home price: $467,478
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10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $350
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 17.5%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 12.9%
  • Median home price: $483,254
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9. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $350
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 24.9%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 2.1%
  • Median home price: $212,641
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8. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $350
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 25.9%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 13.7%
  • Median home price: $259,893
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7. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $350
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 25.1%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 8.3%
  • Median home price: $251,335
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6. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $350
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 25.7%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 11.8%
  • Median home price: $306,766
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5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $360
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 18.7%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 10.6%
  • Median home price: $601,735
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4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $370
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 10.9%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 14.5%
  • Median home price: $1,325,899
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3. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $400
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 14.1%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 14.3%
  • Median home price: $1,192,921
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2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $410
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 17.1%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 10.2%
  • Median home price: $520,587
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1. Urban Honolulu, HI

  • Median monthly HOA fee: $520
  • Median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs: 21.6%
  • Percentage of homeowners with an HOA fee: 29.9%
  • Median home price: $753,653

Detailed Findings & Methodology

The metros with the most expensive HOA fees are spread out across the country and include both metros with highly expensive housing markets and more affordable locales. The Urban Honolulu metro area has the highest median monthly HOA fee at $520 monthly, accounting for almost 22% of total monthly housing costs for households with a mortgage. Nearly all of the metros with the worst HOA fees have a higher percentage of homeowners who pay HOA fees than the national rate (6.3%), at an average of 12.5%. HOA fees are most common in the Honolulu metro area where nearly 30% of homeowners pay them.

As a share of total monthly housing costs, median HOA fees account for approximately 17% at the national level. In some metros, this share can be as low as 11%—in San Jose where the median housing price is over $1.3 million—or as high as 27%—in the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL metro area where the median housing price is a more affordable $243,500.

To find the metropolitan areas with the worst condo/HOA fees, researchers at ISN analyzed the latest homeownership data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). The researchers ranked metros according to the median monthly HOA fee among households with an HOA fee. In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger share of homeowners with an HOA fee was ranked higher. Using the PUMS data, researchers also calculated the median HOA fee as a share of total monthly housing costs. Median home prices were calculated using the most recent Zillow Home Value Index, a measure of typical home value. For all statistics, only homeowners with a mortgage were used in the analysis. Additionally, only the top 100 most populous metros where at least 1% of homeowners have HOA fees were included.