Cost of Living

Affordable, easy living

Winston-Salem residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to the national average and compared to similar cities of its size. According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index Winston-Salem’s composite COLI in 4Q 2013 was 86, or roughly 14% lower than national average. A full breakdown of the Cost of Living Index can be found in our annual demographics brochure.


Combined Winston-Salem/Forsyth County property tax rates for 2014-2015 are $1.2568 per $100 of valuation (lower rates in smaller communities outside Winston-Salem limits). Sales tax in Forsyth County is currently 6.75%.

Real Estate Transfer Tax

The statewide real estate transfer tax is assessed at the rate of $1.00 per $500 of the value of each deed, instrument, or writing by which any interest in real property is conveyed to another person.

Fuel Taxes

There is a statewide tax of 1% on manufacturing fuels, 3% on electricity or natural gas and 1% on manufacturing equipment.


Housing Costs: The Forsyth County single family housing market is characterized by a well- balanced supply of homes relative to demand, reasonable prices relative to comparably sized communities, and a wide range of styles, sizes and settings. A three-bedroom 2,500 sf home currently averages around $235,000 in the Winston-Salem area, with prices ranging from below $100,000 to well over $1 million. Apartments and condominiums are also in ample supply.