2015 'Cost of Loving Index' Shows Sharp Thorns With Three Percent Price Hike

Clubs and Organizations

February 6, 2015


Cost to deliver long-stemmed roses skyrockets, other popular Valentine Day gifts stable

Houston, TX - Valentines may not be enjoying the sweet smell of roses this year with a 14 percent price increase in the cost of a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered, according the "Cost of Loving Index."

Compiled by Houston Asset Management, a Houston-based investment advisory firm, the "Cost of Loving Index" has been tracking prices of the same nine popular love-expressing gifts since 1990.

Overall, the cost to spoil your Valentine sweetie this year reflects the second highest increase in the last five years of the survey at a three percent price hike dominated by three of the most popular items dinner, wine and roses. While there were no price decreases this year, the six remaining gift items stayed the same price as 2014.

"It is interesting that two-thirds of the gifts tracked remain the same price as last year, yet three items with escalated prices accounted for the second highest increase in the "Cost of Loving Index" in five years," said Bob Frater, CFP®, CEO of Houston Asset Management. "Budget-conscious gift-givers may want to consider the other six items tracked by the Index, like a first-run movie for two, which never goes down in price, remains at $22."

This Valentine's Day, a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered costs $147.22, up more than $18 from 2014 after remaining steady at $129.07 since 2011. The cost of a candlelight dinner for two at a four-star restaurant is $280, an increase of 5.3 percent, while a bottle of California chardonnay from the Simi region increased 9 percent and costs $25.40.

According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating Feb. 14th expects to spend $142.31 on gifts, about $8 more than last year, and flowers and candy are the most popular gifts.

For the Valentine with a sweet tooth, the price of a heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates remained stable since 2013 at $100. The pricing of personal items tracked in the "Cost of Loving Index" also remained stable including prices for a designer silk tie for him and a nightie for her.

Highlights of the "Cost of Loving Index" for 2015 by Houston Asset Management

- The good news: Prices of six of the nine gifts tracked in the "Cost of Loving Index" remained flat.

- Sweet sniff: One ounce of Chanel No. 5 perfume remains priced at $325 after a huge increase in 2013.

- Oscar time: A rarity, the cost of two tickets to a first-run movie stayed the same.

- Romance: The price of a silk designer nightie has stayed the same for the past five years at $68.

- Chocoholics rejoice: A beautiful heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates is $100.

- Candlelight dinner: Fork over $280 for a romantic dinner for two at a fancy restaurant a five percent price hike.

Cost of Loving 2015*

Item

1990

2014

2015

Change

1-Year

Inception**

California Chardonnay Simi

$26.00

$23.12

$25.40

9.86%

-0.09%

Dozen long-stemmed roses delivered

$65.00

$129.07

$147.22

14.06%

3.32%

Godiva chocolates in heart box

$70.00

$100.00

$100.00

0.00%

1.44%

Candlelight dinner

$140.00

$266.00

$280.00

5.26%

2.81%

First run movie for two

$12.00

$22.00

$22.00

0.00%

2.45%

One oz. Chanel No. 5 perfume

$195.00

$325.00

$325.00

0.00%

2.06%

Valentine greeting card

$1.75

$4.75

$4.75

0.00%

4.07%

Designer silk tie

$60.00

$160.00

$160.00

0.00%

4.00%

Lingerie silk nightie

$30.00

$68.00

$68.00

0.00%

3.33%

Total

$599.75

$1,097.94

$1,132.37

3.14%

2.57%

*The "Cost of Loving Index" is prepared annually by Houston Asset Management, Inc., a registered investment advisory based in Houston.
**Annualized