In the San Diego metropolitan area, homeowner association fees have risen more than 40 percent from 2005 to 2015. The average monthly fee is now $327. And those who are paying the fees locally — normally condominiums owners — might just consider themselves lucky.
These fees are rising faster in some other cities.
In Virginia Beach, homeowner fees jumped the most in that 2005-2015 timeframe — up 75 percent. In Baltimore, they rose nearly 70 percent. In Tampa Bay, homeowner association fees account for nearly half of the housing costs.
The real estate website, Trulia, tracked these fees and noticed one big thing: They aren’t tracking like home prices. They’re rising faster.
From the report:
“In 2005, the average monthly HOA fee among all households in the country stood at $250. By 2015, the average fee was $331, a pace that’s not only outpaced the nation’s housing prices, but exceeded the inflation rate by 5.9 percent.”
Even the nation’s housing crisis didn’t slow the decline, Trulia notes.
In a word, age.
HOA fees pay for a host of things, such as trash removal and water and sewer fees. But they also pay for maintenance and repairs to the overall buildings, such as common areas.
According to Trulia: “A big part of the answer is simple: homes are getting older. The average age of buildings occupied by homeowner households (36-years-old in 2005 and 41-years-old in 2015) was estimated using the same census data. Older buildings tend to require higher HOA fees, and the aging of the HOA housing stock may explain the steady increase in HOA fees even throughout the crisis.”
New York is where you’ll find the nation’s highest HMO fees — at $571 per month. In California, San Francisco led the way at $463 per month.
Nashville was the cheapest, at $194 month.
Trulia warns that in some areas of the nation, where HOAs are rising fastest, it may make renting a better option.
A few tips from Trulia:
“The fewer units in the building, the smaller the HOA fee. Compared to single family detached homes within a development that requires HOA fees units in buildings with 20 to 49 units had HOA fees that were $160 a month higher. Units in buildings with 50+ units had HOA fees that were $330 a month higher.”
Also, a smaller unit helps, too: “The fewer bedrooms in the unit, the smaller the HOA fees. An additional bedroom increases the HOA fee by roughly $30 a month.