Cost of Living in Laguna Beach, CA

Cost of Living in Laguna Beach, CA

What is Cost of Living?

Cost of living is the amount of money an individual needs to be able to maintain a certain standard of living in a particular location. Understanding the cost of living in Laguna Beach, California will help you determine whether you would be able to afford your preferred lifestyle when relocating here.

The perks of living along the Laguna Coast, particularly Laguna Beach, are seemingly endless. With its breathtaking coastline and pristine beaches, great schools and convenient commutes on immaculate roadways, commuter trains and air.  Nearby airports – such as John Wayne, Long Beach and LAX in Los Angeles – provide easy access to the world. Moreover, this iconic area of Orange County is emerging as something of a fashion capital with world-class shopping and boutiques galore at nearby Fashion Island, Irvine Center Marketplace and South Coast Plaza. We do, however, pay a price for living in paradise, which invites the question: Is the cost of living in Laguna Beach worth it? Read on!

This coastal city generally sustains a higher cost of living compared to the rest of the nation. Although, once you’ve experienced the unique lifestyle that has come to define Laguna Beach, it’s easy to understand the increased cost of living relative to the benefits of residing along California’s “Riviera”.

2019 Cost of Living Index in Laguna Beach, CA

The cost of living is determined by checking the prices of a representative sample of goods and services, then taking into account the importance of each of these items in relation to an individual’s budget within a span of one year. The cost of living “index” measures the relative cost of living between two or more locations over time. Our primary location, Laguna Beach, has been given a fixed value of 100 for purposes of comparison.

To help assess the affordability of this coastal utopia, we have prepared the table below to show the cost of living for Laguna Beach compared to both the state of California and the national average.

IndexLaguna BeachCaliforniaUnited States
Goods and Services108110100
Housing 591196100

Based on the table above, we can see that the overall cost of living index in Laguna Beach is 256,  compared to the rest of California’s index of 138. This means that Laguna Beach residents, in general, pay 118% more for basic living expenses compared to those living in other parts of California (and the nation).  One can infer from this table that the highest expense in this city is housing – with an index of 591. Let’s take a look at each of these expenses in detail.

A Young Couple Getting the Key to Their New Laguna Beach Home

Laguna Beach Housing Costs

To consider buying a house in Laguna Beach, on average you would typically need a budget of around $1.3 million.  The median mortgage payment here is $3,375, which is 180% above the national average of $1,202.44.  Although housing costs are higher than many areas, it’s also good to bear in mind the proven stabiity of the housing market and resale values of homes in Laguna Beach.  For example, during the last recession, Laguna Beach properties maintained their value remarkably well compared to virtually every other area of the country.  Laguna Beach also enjoys very low property taxes at approximately 1.1%.

Indeed, even Laguna Beach’s rental market consistently remains very stable, with impressively low vacancy rates and steady rental rates.  The average monthly apartment rent in this community is $2,028, which is 113% higher than the national average.  For an investor or property owner seeking investment income, this can be a lucrative advantage.

Cost of Basic Services in Laguna Beach, CA

A regular haircut in this city goes for $20 (43% higher than the national average of $16.09).  However, a treatment at a beauty salon would cost around $60, which is 63% more expensive than the national average of $37.


Utility Costs in Laguna Beach, CA


Electricity costs in Laguna Beach average $190, which is 15% higher than the average among the rest of the states, $165.

Lady Buying Groceries in Laguna Beach

Average Food and Grocery Prices in Laguna Beach, CA

Grocery prices in Laguna Beach are about 8% to 18% higher than the average prices on the national level, but you can always find less expensive items at the Laguna Beach farmer’s market (held in downtown Laguna village every Saturday).


Transportation Costs in Laguna Beach, CA

Gasoline costs are generally 34% more than the national average. The local rate for tire balancing averages $59, which is 27.7% higher than the national average.


California Taxes


Property tax rates in Laguna Beach are relatively low at 1.1%.  The California sales tax rate is 7.25%.  Income tax rates in California range from 1% to 13.3%. 

Moving to Laguna Beach, California

If you are planning to move to Laguna Beach, California, we hope that the cost of living information we have provided here has helped you evaluate your potential move to this location and how this might affect your budget.  Weighing the cost of living against the many advantages of residing in this idyllic coastal community is also something to consider.  

Laguna Beach offers a coveted lifestyle with myriad benefits that cost little or nothing for residents of this beautiful area.  Miles of golden beaches for surf sports, swimming and boating are steps away.  A median temperature of 70 degrees, low humidity and plenty of sunshine with predominately mild conditions provide for year-round enjoyment.  Residents are surrounded by vast acres of green space, hiking trails and dozens of public parks.  In fact, The National Park Service cites the town of Laguna Beach and its Greenbelt as a Historic American Landscape!  Laguna also offers a privileged cafe culture, low crime rates and a real sense of community.   Moreover, Laguna is a wonderful artistic community with festivals, creative activities and local celebrations for all to appreciate. 

Facts can be helpful but, ultimately, our attachment to a place is highly personal.  If this seaside community intrigues you (like the rest of us already living here) then the higher cost of living is well worth it.  As a Laguna Beach resident for over 22 years, I can’t imagine a better place to live in the entire world!

~ Cynthia Ayers, Broker – Laguna Coast Real Estate

If you are interested in purchasing a home in this wonderful coastal city, our team can help you learn more about your options so you can prepare for this as well. 

Please feel free to give us a call at 949.494.0490 or send me an email at 

#LagunaBeachRealEstate, #CostofLivinginLagunaBeach, #LagunaBeachLiving

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