You may not be surprised to hear it costs a lot to live in the D.C. area. But the region is more expensive than even New York or San Francisco, according to a new government report.
On average, Americans spent about 33 percent (or $16,887) of their annual expenditures on housing in 2012, said the report.
That year, residents of D.C., New York and San Francisco all spent more than the average -- but it was D.C. that came out as the costliest, the report said.
Entitled "Housing: Before, During, And After The Great Recession," the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at data from 2012.
According to the report, D.C.-area households spent almost twice as much on shelter in 2012 than households did in Cleveland, Ohio: $17,603 for housing in the D.C. area; just $9,061 in the Cleveland area.
The report considers "housing" to be not just the cost of rent or mortgage payments, but also repairs, insurance, furnishings, utilities and more.
Wondering whether renters or owners come out on top? If you're not taking equity into account, the report says that it was a little cheaper to rent than own in the U.S. in 2012.
While homeowners spent less on mortgage payments and interest than renters did on rent payments, homeowners spent more on all other housing-related costs, such as maintenance, repairs and insurance.