Santa Cruz, California Cost of Living

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Cost of Living in Santa Cruz, CA

Cost of Living Index

Cost of living is the day to day expenses a household has to spend at a given time in order to maintain a good quality of life in a particular area. There are several factors affecting the total amount including housing price, utilities, transportation, food, services, healthcare, and more. If you plan to move into a new city knowing how much you're likely to pay to live there is an excellent way to see if the move would be financially good for you.

The table below showcases the different factors of the cost of living in Santa Cruz compared to the national and state average. These are scored based on a point system method with 100 points being the national average. These costs can go up or down depending on various studies that identify these indicators.

Index Santa Cruz California United States
Food and Grocery 98.1 107.2 100
Healthcare 93 92.8 100
Housing 490.4 293.1 100
Utilities 93.5 102.4 100
Transportation 117.7 146.5 100
Miscellaneous 104.5 103.7 100
Overall 221.1 168.6 100

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Basic Goods and Services

The typical expenses in Santa Cruz are similar to other parts of the country including going to the movies, renting a tennis court, and other recreational activities. There are also few services that are expensive in the area including a gym membership that is an average of $60.44 a month which is higher than the national average of $35.85.

A Woman Paying at the Counter

Real Estate Price

California has always had an expensive real estate market especially when compared to other states in the country. This is in part due to the high population densities of many cities on the west coast inflating property and rental prices in the region. Families who plan to move here from other parts of America will have to consider housing as the number one most expensive factor affecting residents of the city.

The median home sale price in Santa Cruz is $548,600 compared to the national average of $219,700. Rental prices are also high at $2,386.67 per month for a typical one-bedroom apartment which is almost $1,000 higher than the regular rental price in the country. The price does go down if you decide to live outside the city center but is still quite expensive at $1,925.

A Couple Getting the Key to Their New Santa Cruz, CA Home

Utility Bills

Basic utility bills for an 85-square meter apartment in Santa Cruz in a month is $131.30. This bill includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. Internet costs $62.88 for an average speed of 60 Mbps.

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Food and Groceries

Basic grocery items cost a bit higher in the city including staple items such as bread, eggs, chicken, fruits, and more. The good news is that restaurant prices are relatively similar to most parts of the country. A typical restaurant meal is around $15 while a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant is about $60.

A Woman Eating Pizza at a Restaurant

Transportation Costs

Besides housing, transportation is another expensive cost for families living in Santa Cruz. A one-way ticket in most public transportation rides in the city costs $2.00 and a monthly pass is $47.50. Taxi prices are also quite high at $3.50 for a flag down rate and $2.42 for each additional kilometer. A liter of gas on average costs $0.91.

California Taxes

California has some of the highest tax rates in the country ranging from 1% to 13.3% for income tax with a 1% surcharge for millionaires. The minimum combined state, county, and local sales and use tax rate is 7.5%. The effective property tax rate is 0.76% as of 2018.

Infographic Showing the Cost of Living in Santa Cruz, California

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Amber Melenudo
Santa Cruz Real Estate
1041 41st Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 661-559

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