Cost of living: 78.6% above U.S. average Once a working-class area across the East River from Manhattan, Brooklyn has placed No. 2 on CCER's most-expensive-cities list for four years running. "Brooklyn has become trendy, and the cost of living has skyrocketed as a result," Frutiger says. CCER found that Brooklyn housing costs 242.6% above U.S. average, with Zillow (which lists some 11,400 Brooklyn-area properties for sale) estimating the typical residence there runs $532,600. That's a 9.3% increase in just 12 months. Brooklyn groceries also cost 27.8% higher than the national average, while utilities are 24.7% more than what the typical American household pays. Health care likewise costs 11.4% above average and transportation runs 6.1% higher than usual.