Cost of Living in Los Angeles, CA | What You Need to Know

The City of Angels. L.A. The Big Orange. La La Land.

With its large assortment of nicknames, Los Angeles is arguably one of the most recognized cities in the United States. While the cost of living in Los Angeles can be steep, many people move to this choice area for everything from the food and architecture to the weather and the beaches.

If not for any of those reasons, perhaps to claim a star of their own on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Los Angeles has a fairly strong job market in many industries including manufacturing, transportation, professional services, and of course, the fiercely competitive entertainment industry. Professionals both young and old are finding their place in this city of opportunity.

Whether you want to be a star or you have a new job offer, if you’re considering moving to Los Angeles, there are some important things you need to know. The first is that living in Los Angeles is not cheap. You’ll find just about everything has a higher price tag than most other areas within the US, so you’ll need to prepare yourself and your wallet.

Just how expensive is it to live in Los Angeles? Let’s take a look.

Housing Market in Los Angeles

The L.A. area isn’t known for being the most inexpensive place to live. On the contrary, the average price of a home in Los Angeles is more than 250% higher than the US average. Although it’s considered a neutral market, home prices are constantly rising in this big city.

Housing Market in Los Angeles

Currently, the Los Angeles average home price is around $679,200, a 6.4% increase from last year. The next 12 months project an additional rise of the same percentage. While some Los Angeles neighborhoods have homes in the low $100,000s, most of the nicer areas get closer to the city’s average and well into the millions.

Los Angeles has long been one of the most expensive cities to buy a home in the US. Most of the area caters to the upper-middle class and above, due to the high demand for housing, its close access to the beach, the city’s easy going lifestyle.

Los Angeles Rent Prices

Average rent prices in Los Angeles continue the trend of high cost housing. At nearly $2,900 per month, rent in L.A. is twice as much as the US average cost. You’ll find a range of places you can rent from small apartments and townhomes all the way up to extravagant 7-bedroom mansions.

If you’re looking for a one bedroom apartment in downtown Los Angeles, expect to pay around $2,100 per month, while a place on the outskirts of the city will be closer to $1,600. For something a bit bigger, you can find a three bedroom downtown for $3,900 per month or the same size out of town for $2,800.

Cost of Food in Los Angeles

One thing that won’t break the bank for those living in Los Angeles is the average cost of groceries. Hovering right around the same average pricing as the US, you’ll be able to find basic needs like milk, eggs, bread, and cheese at an affordable rate.

Most fast food places in the area keep their pricing reasonable, based on franchise suggestions. But for a nicer meal for two in a more formal restaurant, the average cost is about $15 higher than the average you’ll find in the US. Many restaurants in the area focus on the upper class crowd, meaning higher prices, but also quality food.

Food in Los Angeles

A few classy restaurants like Republique and Perch require reservations and are only open for dinner, but offer a truly enjoyable Los Angeles dining experience. You can also try some other options like a local Venice deli called Gjusta, some Korean barbecue from Park’s BBQ, and some mouthwatering sushi from Sushi Note.

Los Angeles Utility Costs

If you can believe it, this is one cost of living in Los Angeles that is less than the US average. Utilities including an average electric bill in Los Angeles, heating, sewer, and trash are about $10 less than the national standard. A small apartment will have a total utility bill around $142 per month, with that price going up depending on the size of your home.

Even local internet and television services are a few dollars less each month averaging about $58 per month.

Los Angeles Transportation Costs

Back to the more expensive side of things, transportation costs in Los Angeles are on the higher end of the spectrum. The local transportation is run by Metro, with a range of one-time, one day, weekly, or monthly passes to choose from. Their regular boarding fare is $1.75 per ride for a single trip, but you can also get a day pass for $7 if necessary. A weekly pass will cost each rider $25, while a monthly pass currently costs $100.

Los Angeles is notorious for its traffic, ranking at or near the worst in the country year after year. Commuters have few alternative options to get around the congestion, leaving them to simply sit and wait as they creep toward their exit. Although California gas prices are highest in the continental US, you’ll always want to ensure your gas tank is full to make it to your next destination.

Average Income in Los Angeles

The cost of living in Los Angeles sets a high standard for the income you’ll need to bring in every year. Unless you want to find a nice, cozy bench to sleep on at night, you’ll need to make a decent salary to live in Los Angeles. As a bare minimum for a single person to safely provide for their own needs, they would want to make at least $3,500 per month or $42,000 per year. This would be for a basic lifestyle in a small apartment, with little to no amenities.

With the average household income in Los Angeles being around $63,000 per year, getting yourself closer to this number will give you a more comfortable lifestyle. This would be highly recommended to ensure you are able to save and be prepared for emergencies or other unexpected expenses.

Other Living Expenses in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles cost of living index currently sits around 79. It is widely known as one of the most expensive cities in the country, but offers its residents a wealth of local activities and unique places to see. Apart from housing expenses, the average cost of living in Los Angeles for a single person is right at $1,000 per month. A family of four will likely be looking at closer to $3,600 per month.

Los Angeles theme parks

If you’re ever looking for things to do in Los Angeles, you won’t have to look far. With numerous theme parks in the area from Disneyland and California Adventure to Universal Studios and LEGOLand, neither adults nor children with ever be bored. And while these amusement parks don’t come cheap, there are plenty of affordable activities like going to the beach, visiting Hollywood, or checking out local piers, like the one in Santa Monica.

Moving to Los Angeles?

Now that you know the cost of living in Los Angeles, it’s time to decide if you’re ready to move in to the City of Angels. Take into consideration the differences between renting and purchasing a home and then determine your expected transportation and utility costs before you take the leap. But if you’re fully prepared for moving to Los Angeles, Rainbow Movers is here to help.

We have put together a great team of Los Angeles professional movers to assist you with everything from residential to commercial moves, while also providing storage and packing services.

If you’d like help with your upcoming move, please give us a call at (800) 675-7174 for a free Los Angeles moving quote. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and get your move scheduled.