Reap the rewards of living in Redwood City! With beautiful outdoor attractions, luxurious homes for sale, and friendly neighbors, Redwood City is one of the best places to live in Southern California. But before you call a moving company, you must examine the cost of living in Redwood City.
You can find various estimates of the Redwood City cost of living online, usually giving you a percentage of the national average. This estimate is okay, but it doesn’t give a complete sense of the cost of living. You should look at many different statistics, including ones related to Redwood City real estate, and compare the city to its neighbors. Here’s what you should know about the Redwood City CA cost of living.
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Redwood City Cost of Living Index
You should use a few different metrics to determine the cost of living Redwood City. Some metrics provide averages for the cost of all items in Redwood City, while other metrics break down different categories of items.
While these statistics can be helpful with figuring out the Redwood City cost of living, they are not perfect. Many factors affect your cost of living in Redwood City CA, such as the size of your household and where you are living. Keep these factors in mind as you examine cost of living Redwood City CA indexes.
Cost of Living Index
The Cost of Living Index compares the cost of living in a particular city or metropolitan area to the national average. The national index is 100, so a city with an index of 90 is 10% cheaper than the national average, while a city with an index of 110 is 10% more expensive.
Redwood City is in the San Francisco metropolitan area. The San Francisco metropolitan area cost of living index is 194.1. Common items in San Francisco cost 94.1% more than the national average. Housing is the most expensive thing in San Francisco; the area’s housing index is 341.0, meaning a home costs 241% more than the national average. All other indexes are higher than the national average but not substantially so; the healthcare index for San Francisco is 123.1, meaning healthcare costs are only 23.1% more than the national average. If you rent your home, you will keep the cost of living in Redwood City California down.
Consumer Price Index
The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures how prices paid for a basket of common items change every time. The higher the CPI, the higher the prices.
The CPI for the San Francisco area was 340.056 in June 2023. The CPI has risen steadily in 2023; it was at 337.173 in February and 338.496 in April, and it has risen by 2.9% year-over-year. This suggests that the Redwood City cost of living is rising and will continue to rise in the near future.
Consumer Expenditure Survey
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Consumer Expenditure Survey. The survey helps with the calculation of the CPI, but it provides useful statistics in its own right. The Census Bureau contacts Americans and asks them questions about how much they spend on items. The bureau also collects diaries from Americans about their weekly purchases. The survey provides figures in terms of consumer units; one unit can be a household or someone living by themselves.
The 2020-2021 survey for San Francisco found that the average consumer unit made a before-taxes income of $154,091 and spent $91,290 a year. Housing costs $38,212 (41.9% of household income), transportation costs $11,077 (12.1% of household income), and food costs $10,819 (11.9% of household income).
The average consumer unit was 2.6 people; this means that the average consumer spent $35,111.54 a year. Housing per person is about $14,696.92, while transportation is $4,260.38 and food costs $4,161.15.
The survey found that 92.9% of transportation expenditures were spent on buying and maintaining private vehicles. If you take public transportation, you can save almost $4,000 a year. Households also spend 30% of their food dollars on food away from home, so if you avoid eating take-out, you can save another $1,250 a year.
Family Budget Calculator
The Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator lets you see how much money you need to make to live in any city. A family of four (two parents and two children) would need to earn $172,888 a year to live in San Mateo County.
Cost of Household Items, Utilities, Gas, and Groceries in Redwood City
You can also look at the cost of specific items, including City of Redwood City utilities and gas prices Redwood City. Here are some common items in Redwood City CA:
- 1 pound of ribeye steak: $16.71
- 1 dozen Grade A eggs: $2.94
- 1 pound of apples: $2.00
- 1 head of lettuce: $1.29
- 1 monthly local fare pass for SamTrans: $65.60
- Average Redwood City utilities per month: $186.00
- Average car insurance in Redwood City, CA premium per month: $148.00
- 1 gallon of gasoline (September 2023): $4.74
Redwood City Real Estate
The Redwood City housing market is expensive and competitive, but you have many different options for Redwood City homes for sale. 55% of housing units in Redwood City are owner-occupied, while 45% are renter-occupied. 57% are single-unit structures, 42% are multi-unit buildings, and 1% are mobile homes.
According to Redfin, the Redwood City median home price is $1,900,000. The median sale price per square foot is $1,120. Single-family homes for sale Redwood City sell for $2,160,000, townhouses sell for $1,635,000, and condos sell for $1,287,500.
62 homes for sale in Redwood City CA sold in June 2023 alone; 41 of these properties were single-family homes, while nine were townhomes and six were condos. Redwood City homes for sale sell after 11 days on the market at an average sale-to-list price of 102.7%.
According to RentCafe, the average rent for Redwood City apartments is $3,337 a month ($40,044 a year). This means the Redwood City price-to-rent ratio is 47.45; it is a lot cheaper to rent apartments in Redwood City than buy a house.
Redwood City CA has several different neighborhoods, some more expensive than others. Staumbaugh-Heller is the least expensive neighborhood for the Redwood City real estate market, with a median sale price of $1,200,000 in May 2023. Edgewood Park is the most expensive neighborhood, with a median sale price of $2,700,000 in June 2023.
Redwood City Rental Market – Average Redwood City Rent
Redwood City CA apartments cost $3,337 a month, nearly twice the national average of $1,702 a month. Centennial and Downtown Redwood City are two of the most expensive neighborhoods for apartments for rent Redwood City, costing $3,420 a month. The area around Sequoia Hospital is the least expensive area for Redwood City rent prices, costing $2,858 a month.
The 2022 Rental Affordability Report by ATTOM provides information on how affordable rent is in counties. ATTOM concluded it is better to rent than buy in San Mateo County. The average worker earned a weekly wage of $3,120 in 2021. The average cost of a three-bedroom apartment in 2022 was $4,365, but the cost of a home was $1,650,000. A worker can cover the average rent in Redwood City, but a house is out of reach for many people.
The Out of Reach Report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition provides estimates on how much an employee must earn to afford a two-bedroom rental home. The report found that an employee must earn $42.25 an hour to cover the cost in California. California is the most expensive state for housing, so you should expect high prices for apartments Redwood City.
Average Salary and Household Income in Redwood City
The median household income in Redwood City is $145,128. According to Payscale, the average base salary of Redwood City jobs is $112,000 and the average hourly rate is $30.33.
47,000 people have jobs in Redwood City. The most popular sectors by employment are professional services, health care, and educational services. Professional services jobs Redwood City have median earnings of $247,217 a year, while health care jobs earn $125,656 and educational jobs earn $114,119.
Income, Sales, and Property Taxes in Redwood City
California has a progressive income tax structure with nine tax rates. The more you earn, the higher your California income tax rate is. Your household status also affects how much you must pay. You can use California state income tax rate schedules to determine how much you need to pay.
According to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDFTA), Redwood City has a combined sale tax rate of 9.875%. The state charges 6.00%, the county charges 0.25%, and the city charges 0.50%. Local and county tax districts like the Redwood City School District charge 3.125%. California has the highest state-level sales tax rate of any state in the country, though some cities charge higher rates than Redwood City CA.
San Mateo County residents must pay unsecured and secured property taxes. Unsecured property taxes for cities in San Mateo County apply to relocatable non-real estate items like business equipment, while secured San Mateo County property taxes apply to real estate. The San Mateo County Tax Assessor determines the value of your property on January 1. They multiply the value of your property by the voter-approved San Mateo County property tax rate and add charges. You can view the Property Tax Rate Book and figure out what San Mateo property tax rate you must pay. Keep in mind that tax rates are prone to change; in November 2022, San Mateo County voters approved 13 revenue measures to increase taxes in the county, increasing taxes for some Redwood City homeowners by $750.
Redwood City vs San Francisco Cost of Living
In general, the cost of living in Redwood City is more affordable than the cost of living in San Francisco. Here are some common expenses between the two cities.
|Item||Cost of Item in Redwood City||Cost of Item in San Francisco|
|1 gallon of regular milk||$4.39||$6.01|
|1 pound of local cheese||$7.00||$8.87|
|1 pound of beef||$8.99||$8.61|
|1 pound of onions||$1.89||$1.81|
|1 gallon of gasoline||$4.74||$5.36|
|Average utilities per month||$186.00||$250.47|
|Median sales price of homes for sale||$1,900,000||$1,405,000|
|Median sales price per square foot||$1,120||$937|
|Average rent per month for apartments||$3,337||$3,313|
|1 pair of jeans||$80.00||$66.91|
So is Redwood City expensive? The Redwood City, CA cost of living can be high, especially if you’re looking to buy a home. But food and transportation are relatively affordable, and you can save money by taking basic steps to cut your expenses, like cooking at home.
Another way to reduce the Redwood City CA cost of living is to hire experienced Redwood City movers. AMS Relocation has served over 250,000 customers with an insurance claims rate of less than 1%. Get a free moving estimate by calling 650-284-2931.