Located in the heart of the Los Angeles metro area, Santa Monica, California has it all. From beaches and boardwalks to cultural hotspots and outdoor recreation, this coastal town has so much to offer new residents. Being just minutes from Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim, it’s also convenient to pretty much anywhere in Los Angeles County.
Due to its highly desirable location along the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica isn’t exactly a cheap place to live. On an index where the US average is 100, the cost of living in Santa Monica, California is 304.5. While living in Santa Monica costs a lot more than average, it’s still possible to find affordable accommodation here. Let’s take a look at the average rental prices in Santa Monica and explore where to find the cheapest apartments in the area.
How much does an apartment cost in Santa Monica?
Is it expensive to live in Santa Monica? It depends on where you are moving from and what prices you are used to paying. Making a comparison of the cost of living in Santa Monica can be helpful to get a better idea of the prices in this area.
For example, the cost of living index in California is 149.9, compared to 304.5 in Santa Monica. On a related note, the California housing cost index is 239.1, compared to 734.7 in Santa Monica. So, compared to California as a whole, the cost of living in Santa Monica is high.
However, Santa Monica is much more affordable than some of its expensive neighbors. In Malibu, the cost of living index is 483.9 and the housing cost index is 1303.8. In neighboring Beverly Hills, the cost of living index is 546.2 and the housing cost index is 1517.8. This means that moving from Malibu to Santa Monica would seem like a lot.
In Santa Monica, average rental prices usually depend on the location and size of the unit. Almost 80% of rents in Santa Monica are between $ 1,500 and $ 5,000 per month, and about 10% are between $ 5,000 and $ 8,500 per month. Studios tend to be the cheapest units, with an average monthly rent of $ 1,795. One bedroom averages $ 2,395 per month, while two bedrooms cost about $ 3,395 per month. Three and four bedroom units tend to be the most expensive, averaging $ 4,907 and $ 7,450 respectively.
When you consider the cost of living, it’s also important to consider expenses other than rent. For example, the utility cost index in Santa Monica is 80.8, which makes the cost of electricity, gas and water significantly cheaper than the average in California or the United States. . Additionally, the health care cost index in Santa Monica is 89.6, which is lower than the national index of 100 or the California index of 92.4.
It’s generally safe to assume that your rent will go up over time, which means it’s a good idea to budget a little more year after year. However, in Santa Monica, average rents have declined in recent years. Prices for studios and one-bedroom apartments have dropped by around 20%, so this location may be easier on your budget than you might think.
How to find cheap apartments in Santa Monica?
Because the average cost of living in Santa Monica is high, finding affordable options requires strategy. Finding a roommate or looking for smaller accommodation can help keep your costs under control. These ideas can also help you find the cheapest apartments in town.
- Focus on the most affordable neighborhoods: Rental prices across Santa Monica cover a broad spectrum, and some areas are much cheaper than others. To keep your costs low, check out areas that reliably offer affordable housing, like northeast Santa Monica.
- Bypass the city’s most expensive neighborhoods: If you are on a tight budget, you won’t find many affordable apartments in the more expensive areas of the city. You can probably ignore neighborhoods like downtown Santa Monica and Ocean Park, which tend to have the most expensive rents in the area.
- Ask about an all-inclusive monthly rate: Finding cheap rent is only part of the process. Most owners are grappling with fees for apartment complex amenities, utilities, and other extras. This means that the amount you have to pay each month could be much higher than you expected. Look for an apartment that includes utilities and amenities in the monthly rate so it’s easier to stay on a budget.
- Think of a place in the suburbs: When it comes to the cost of living, Santa Monica is much more expensive than the rest of Los Angeles County. If you’re not having much luck finding an apartment in Santa Monica that fits your budget, consider expanding your search to the greater metropolitan area. On average, the monthly rent in the greater Los Angeles metro area is over $ 200 lower than in Santa Monica proper. Just keep in mind that you are commuting to work from your neighborhood; the greater Los Angeles area is known for its traffic.
Browse apartments for rent in Santa Monica
What’s the cheapest rent in Santa Monica?
If you want to get the relatively high cost of living in Santa Monica to fit your budget, focus on the cheapest rent in town. These neighborhoods are known to have affordable prices.
- Northeast Santa Monica and Sunset Park generally have the lowest prices for studios
- Pico and Sunset Park have some of the more affordable one-bedroom apartments
- Sunset Park and Mid-City are home to some of the cheapest two-bedroom units
- Mid-City and Pico are your destinations for affordable three-bedroom apartments
- Wilshire-Montana is your best choice for finding the cheapest four bedroom rentals
While the cost of living in Santa Monica may be higher than what you’re used to paying, this area is home to affordable options across a wide range of budgets. Start your Santa Monica apartment search today and find the perfect home.