Cost of Living in Salem, Oregon


Salem, Oregon is nestled in the Willamette Valley and conveniently located about 45 miles south of Portland on Interstate 5. As the capital of Oregon, Salem is home to the State Capital Park and several state parks, historic sites and cultural events. The city’s biggest employers are the State of Oregon and Salem Health, and major hot spots include Willamette University and the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Although it is the center of political events in Oregon, Salem remains a medium-sized city with a population of approximately 175,000. While many Salemites live within the city limits, some residents live in neighboring counties like Marion and Polk.

In total, the population of the metropolis amounts to about 400,000 people. This capital is naturally a place in high demand, but the cost of living is only slightly above average. Compared to a national average of 100, the cost of living in Salem is 101.8. This paltry disparity indicates that some accommodation in Salem can be expensive. That said, you can find plenty of affordable apartments throughout the metro area. Let’s take a closer look at how much it costs to live in Salem and where to find the cheapest rental rates.

How much does an apartment cost in Salem?

Many apartments in the capital of Oregon rent between $ 1,000 and $ 1,500 per month, according to our Salem Rent Research. Almost half of the city’s rental stock falls within this range, while about 30% costs between $ 500 and $ 1,000 per month. Only about 20% of rental prices in the Salem area exceed $ 1,500 per month.

Because the city continues to grow and the demand for housing increases, the cost of living in Salem is on the rise. In recent years, the average cost of rent has increased by around 14%. So if you are planning to live in the area for an extended period, you may need to budget a bit more for living expenses for the next year.

Despite these gradually increasing costs, Salem still has a relatively low cost of living for the region. For example, the cost of living index for neighboring Portland is 121.2, almost 20 points higher than Salem’s. Statewide, the cost of living index is 113.1, making Salem less expensive than most cities in Oregon.

While the cost of living in Salem is lower than state averages, it’s helpful to break down the various expenses that go into the calculation. In Salem, the housing cost index is 122.2, higher than the national average (100) but lower than the state average (148.9). Other major costs of living in Salem, such as utilities (79.3) and transportation (96.1), are lower than state and national averages. Ultimately, these clues suggest that living in Salem is relatively affordable.

How to find cheap apartments in Salem?

Because the cost of housing in Salem is relatively low, it is not difficult to find affordable housing. One of the easiest ways to save money on rent is to factor in the size of your preferred apartment. In some cases, downsizing to a smaller apartment can help you save hundreds of dollars per month. On average, in Salem:

  • Studios cost $ 950 per month
  • One bedroom units cost $ 995 per month
  • Two-bedroom apartments cost $ 1,250 per month
  • Three-bedroom units cost $ 1,650 per month
  • Four-bedroom apartments cost $ 1,995 per month

If the apartment size is not negotiable, you still have plenty of options for finding cheap accommodation in the Salem area. Use these ideas to lower your monthly rent:

  • Look beyond the city limits: If you don’t need to live in the heart of the city, you could take advantage of lower prices in the suburbs. On average, rent in Salem costs about $ 100 less per month than rent in the greater metropolitan area. For example, Keizer, Oregon has a lower cost of living than Salem, and the town is only a short drive north of downtown.
  • Look for apartments without the bells and whistles: Many apartment complexes in Salem include amenities such as community spaces or training areas. If you can do without these extras, you can save money by finding an apartment that won’t charge you for these potentially expensive niceties.
  • Know your costs: Before signing a lease, find out how much utilities typically cost each month. Although utility prices in Salem are lower than the national or national average, they can vary depending on apartment size and energy use.

Apartments for rent in Salem

What’s the cheapest rent in Salem?

Finding the lowest rent in Salem requires knowing where to look, as some areas tend to be cheaper than others. On average, these neighborhoods have the most affordable apartments in the city:

  • South Salem and Highland, where one-bedroom apartments cost around $ 850 per month
  • South Central and Northgate, where you can find two-bedroom units for around $ 1,050 per month
  • Northeast Salem and Southeast Mill Creek, where three-bedroom apartments cost around $ 1,400 per month
  • West Salem, which has four-bedroom units for under $ 1,900 per month

If you want to keep your costs low, try eliminating some of the more expensive areas from your search. After all, they can skew your results if you’re looking for cheap rent. No matter what size or type of apartment you’re looking for, areas like Central Area, Sunnyslope, and South Gateway tend to be pricey.

Now that you know the cost of living in Salem, Oregon, you can easily plan your move and find an apartment that suits your budget. Are you ready to begin your Salem apartment search? Start browsing and find the perfect Salem apartment today.

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