HOUSTON – Households are grappling with soaring prices on gas, groceries, rent and other essentials.
The latest inflation data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that consumer prices rose 9.1% during the 12-month period that ended in June -- the biggest yearly increase since December 1981 and a new pandemic-era peak.
Here is how inflation is affecting the Houston area.
SOUND OFF: How is inflation affecting your spending?
The increase in gas prices has become one of the most noticeable ways people are feeling the effects of inflation.
As of this writing, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $4.33, which is 17 cents less when compared to this day last week and $1.17 more than the price per gallon at the same time last year.
This month, the statewide gas price average slipped below $4 for the first time since May. Currently, the average price for a gallon of gas in Texas is $3.83, 15 cents less than it was a week ago and about $1 more than it was last year, according to the AAA.
In Harris County, the gas price average is $3.90, six cents less than on this day last week and over $1 more per gallon compared to this day last year.
Shoppers are also facing higher prices at the grocery store. Inflation has pushed up prices on fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy and baked goods. During the 12-month period that ended in June, the price of eggs rose 64.9%. Chicken breast is up 36.2%, flour nearly 40%, and milk 22.2%, according to the latest inflation data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Housing and rent prices
In June, Houston home sales experienced their first significant decline of 2022, a result of diminished inventory, record-high prices, rising interest rates and a climate of growing inflation. According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ June 2022 Market Update, single-family home sales fell 8.6% last month, with 9,728 units sold compared to 10,649 in June of 2021. On a year-to-date basis, however, the Houston housing market is 1.7% ahead of last year’s record-setting volume.
The average price of a single-family home rose 11% in June to $436,425, slightly lower than May’s record high, according to the HAR report. The median home price increased 13.2% to $355,000, the highest median of all time. The average price for a single-family home in Houston first broke the $400,000 earlier this year in March. The median price has been above $300,000 since May of 2021.
HAR said a continued lack of homes priced below $250,000 has left consumers no choice but to weigh more expensive property options, shift their focus to rental homes or postpone plans to buy or rent.
Rental prices across Houston have been rising for months, forcing some residents to reassess their living situations. Average rent prices in Houston rose 7.8% during the 12-month period that ended in May, and on average, renters are paying $1,600 a month, according to data released by RentHub.
💰 Are you feeling the squeeze? We want to know how you’re coping with rising prices. Share your experiences with us here or in the comment section.