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Celebrating 75 Years Of Moving The Local Bay Area

Cost of Living in Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA Cost of Living 📊 | Is Oakland Affordable? [Data]

Last Updated on: 14th January 2024, 06:54 am

Lovingly called the “Bright Side of the Bay” by locals, the city of Oakland, CA is known for its diverse culture, busy ports, and beautiful natural landmarks. Amenities across Oakland include Jack London Square, the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, as well as many local bars and restaurants.

What is the cost of living in Oakland? Is Oakland expensive? Learning more about your expected expenditures for housing, transportation, healthcare, and other overall costs will help you know what it costs to live in Oakland.

Oakland Cost of Living Index

Determining how much it costs to live in Oakland will be a key step to see whether it will be realistic for you to relocate there. Reviewing the cost of living index is a great way to compare expenses with national and state averages.

While there are always averages and estimates, your cost of living in Oakland will ultimately depend on how you spend your money on housing, living expenses, entertainment, and beyond. The number of people living in your home will also be relevant including the number of kids you have, if any.


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Reviewing the cost of living index in Oakland is a great way to identify how the area’s prices relate to national, state, and even local averages nearby. You can also get a better idea of how Oakland compares to other parts of California such as neighboring cities like San Francisco.

The cost of living in Oakland is about 56.8% more expensive than the average across the nation. Oakland living costs are also about 25% higher than the California average with expenses costing more for the housing market, groceries, healthcare, home utilities, and transportation.

On a good note, it is about 39.8% less expensive to live in Oakland than it is to live in the nearby city of San Francisco. The biggest differences in their living expenses come in the form of housing and healthcare costs.

Consumer Expenditures in Oakland (by % of Household Income)

  • Housing 36.6%
  • Transportation 12.7%
  • Food 13.2%
  • Personal insurance 12.6%
  • Healthcare 5.6%
  • Entertainment 4.4%
  • Other 14.9%

Cost of Groceries, Food, Gas, & Household Items in Oakland

Before moving to Oakland, it’s a good idea to find out how much your typical living expenses will cost you from day to day. Going over these details is an excellent way to determine if you can afford to live in Oakland and if you’ll have a bit more spending money each month.

The food items on your grocery list will play a major role in your cost of living in Oakland as you decide what you’ll be eating at home during the week. Costs of some of the typical grocery items in Oakland include a half-gallon of milk for $2.93, a loaf of bread for $4.82, and a dozen eggs for $3.58.

Local area in Oakland, CA

If you ever want to eat out at a nice restaurant in Oakland, a meal that includes an entree such as a steak would cost about $15.19. While a quick trip to a fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s would set you back about $5.55 for a burger meal.

Although it will vary depending on the size of your home, the average utility bill in Oakland is $228.10. This generally includes basic services such as electricity, water, and natural gas.

When it comes to your transportation costs, a major consideration is the price of gasoline in Oakland, which is currently around $3.710 per gallon.

  • Steak (Ribeye, 1lb.) $15.19
  • Milk (regular 1/2 gallon) $2.93
  • Eggs (1 Dozen) $3.58
  • Potatoes (5 lb bag) $3.15
  • Bread (1 loaf) $4.82
  • Beer (Heineken’s 6 pack) $10.62
  • Average Cell Phone Bill $183.29
  • Average Cost of Gasoline (per gallon) $3.710
  • Average Cost of Utilities (per month) $228.10
  • McDonald’s Burger (1/4 Pounder) $5.55
  • Large Pizza $12.89
  • Movie Ticket (1st run) $12.37

Oakland vs. San Francisco Cost of Living

Many people moving to this part of California often wonder whether it is better to live in Oakland or San Francisco. When it comes to the cost of living, Oakland is the clear winner in just about every way you can imagine. Oakland is much more affordable than San Francisco.

Living in Oakland costs about 39.8% less than San Francisco.

The housing market in San Francisco is about 133.7% more expensive than Oakland on average, making it the largest factor in the overall price difference. Other expenses such as utilities, transportation, and healthcare are fairly close in price for the Oakland vs. San Francisco cost of living.

You can expect to pay about 1.5% more for groceries in Oakland, which is the only expense that is higher than San Francisco on average.

Oakland Real Estate Market

As mentioned in the previous section, the real estate market in San Francisco is nearly 1.5 times more expensive than in Oakland.

The homeownership rate in Oakland is 41.3%, making it slightly less common for people to own their houses in the area. Currently, the median listing price of a home in Oakland is $749,000, which is an increase of nearly 12% in the last year.

Aerial view of downtown Oakland, CA

As you look at homes for sale in Oakland, CA, you’ll need to work fast because properties sell quickly in the city, spending an average of only 13 days on the market. Average homes sell for about 10% above list price, going for a median sale price per square foot of $603 in Oakland.

Most home sellers in Oakland require an average down payment of 38.9%. About 397 homes are sold per month across the city of Oakland.

Oakland Rental Market – Average Rent in Oakland

The other 58.7% of the Oakland population rents, paving the way for plenty of leasing opportunities in the area. The average price of rent in Oakland is about $2,770, a number that has decreased by about 3.36% in the last 12 months.

You can expect to pay about $2,384 per month for a one-bedroom location and around $3,180 per month for a two-bedroom. On average, it is between $486 to $638 less expensive per month to rent an apartment in Oakland than in San Francisco

Average Salary & Household Income in Oakland

Quite possibly the most important aspect of the cost of living in Oakland is your individual budget which is determined by your salary.. Whether you’re starting a new job or looking for new employment, these numbers will give you an idea of what others are making to be able to afford living here.

The average salary in Oakland is $77,000 per year. Trends in wages for Oakland have seen an increase of 0.2% in the past year with a possible outlook to rise again over the next 12 months.

Places to Shop in Oakland

A more important factor to be aware of is the median household income in Oakland, which is $82,018. This number is slightly higher than the California state average and gives a better understanding of what people need to be making to afford the Oakland cost of living.

Some of the most common jobs for people residing in Oakland include business managers, office support workers, salespeople, teachers, finance professionals, computer technicians, and more. The largest employers in Oakland are Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Southwest Airlines, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Pandora Media, and Alameda County offices.

Income, Sales, & Property Taxes in Oakland, CA

State Income Tax

The state of California income tax rate ranges from 7.25% to 13.3%, giving it the highest tax rates across the entire United States. Your California income tax rate will change based on how much money you make every year.

Sales Tax

Oakland has no city sales tax but residents are still required to pay the California state sales tax of 7.25% and the Alameda County sales tax of 2% on their purchases. These combined numbers add up to a total Oakland sales tax rate of 9.25%.

  • California State tax rate 7.250%
  • Alameda County tax rate 2.000%
  • Oakland tax rate 0.000%
  • Total sales tax rate 9.250%

Property Tax

The cost of homes in Oakland can also be attributed to local property taxes. The average property tax rate in Oakland is slightly higher than the state average but is also lower than the national average.

  • Oakland property tax rate 0.780%
  • California property tax rate 0.730%
  • National property tax rate 1.070%

As an example, if you purchased a home for $749,000, then the Oakland property taxes would be about $5,842 per year.

Does the Cost of Living in Oakland Fit Your Budget?

Although Oakland is more expensive than the national average, it is often considered an affordable alternative to the high prices found across the bay in San Francisco. If the cost of living in Oakland fits your needs and lifestyle, it can be a great place to call home.

If you’re preparing for an upcoming relocation to this awesome city, count on the best Oakland movers to assist you with the transition! Reach out to AMS Relocation today by calling (650) 284-2931 or complete the Request a Quote form above for a free moving estimate!


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