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Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Cost of Living in Irvine 💲 | [2022] Average Irvine Living Cost – Average Rent, Salary, Taxes + More

Located in sunny and idyllic Southern California, Irvine is a stunning place to call home. Situated in Orange County, the city has a reputation for being an expensive place to live. Believe it or not, it is more expensive to live in Irvine than in Los Angeles, which is a notoriously expensive place to reside. Discover everything you need to know about the overall cost of living in Irvine — including how much you can expect to spend on housing, groceries, utilities, and more!

Irvine Cost of Living Index

Curious about the average cost of living in Irvine? When answering this question, there are dozens of variables that influence costs. A person’s habits, household size, neighborhood, and lifestyle all determine the cost of living in Irvine. Having a good understanding of the overall cost of living in a city is a must before relocating. This will ensure that the city is the right fit for your household budget.

Irvine Cost of Living Index

Not familiar with the Cost of Living Index (or COLI)? This index is a simplified way to compare the cost of living between two or more cities. As a baseline, the U.S. national average is set at a COLI of 100. Cities with a COLI that is less than 100 are considered to be more affordable, whereas cities with a COLI that exceed 100 are more expensive.

Using this index, it is quick and easy to determine the percentage difference in the cost of living between cities. For example, if a city has a COLI of 120, it is 20 percent more expensive to reside in that city than the national average. On top of being assigned an overall COLI figure, there are COLI ratings for subcategories (such as food and housing) so that it is easy to see what areas cost the most in each city.

The Irvine cost of living index is 181.1 (in other words, 81.1 percent higher than the national average). It is 31.2 percent higher than the California state COLI. Looking at individual categories, there are two areas in which Irvine falls below the national average. Irvine health care expenses (93.4) and utilities (98.3) are more affordable than the national average. However, all other Irvine cost of living index figures are higher than 100.

As with many cities across the nation, the highest COLI rating in Irvine is housing. Listed at a staggering COLI of 353.4, buying and renting in Irvine is extremely expensive.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Irvine has increased. An increase was shown both in the past few months as well as year-over-year. Compared to 2021, overall prices have jumped 7.5 percent. Select categories have experienced significant jumps, including energy prices (up 23.8 percent since 2021) and food items (up 7.8 percent since 2021).

Consumer Expenditures Survey

The Consumer Expenditures Survey is a program from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that releases data on expenditures, income, and much more.

According to the Consumer Expenditures Survey for Irvine, the average household spends the following on an annual basis:

  • Food: $8,772
  • Transportation: $11,219
  • Housing: $26,143

Family Budget Calculator (Economic Policy Institute)

On average, how much do you need to make to live in Irvine? According to the EPI Family Budget Calendar, a household with two adults and two kids would need to make about $114,841 per year to live comfortably. Separate expenses that factor into this estimate include housing ($2,331 per month), food ($879 per month), transportation ($1,323 per month), child care ($1,446 per month), and others.

Cost of Living in Irvine: Household Items, Food, Gas, and Groceries

Irvine is an expensive place to live. Here are some examples of consumer prices, average Irvine utilities, and more, which give you a general idea about the cost of living in Irvine.

  • Steak, Ribeye, 1lb.: $12.66
  • Milk, Whole 1/2 Gallon: $2.30
  • Cereal, 1 box: $5.33
  • Ground beef, 1 lb.: $4.41
  • Eggs, 1 Dozen, Grade A: $3.00
  • Potatoes, 5 lb bag: $2.99
  • Bread, Wheat, 1 loaf: $3.41
  • Movie Ticket, 1st Run: $14.78
  • McDonald's Burger, 1/4 Pounder: $5.29
  • Average Cell Phone Bill: $174.14
  • Average Cost of Gasoline, Per Gallon: $3.938
  • Average Cost of Utilities in Irvine, Per Month: $146.77

Public transportation

The primary public transportation system in Irvine is the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Bus pass fares vary depending on age, special eligibility factors, and the duration of your travels. Cash fare for adults is $2, while a one-day pass is $5. A prepaid one-day adult pass is $4.50, and a prepaid one-month pass is $69. Discounts apply to those who are eligible, including youth and seniors.

Average cost of utilities in Irvine

The average cost of utilities in Irvine is significantly higher than the national average. Be sure to budget for an average Irvine electricity bill of $243 per month. Across all popular providers, the average cell phone bill runs $172.04 per month.

Average Irvine car insurance premium

The city in which you choose to reside has a significant influence on how much you pay for car insurance each month. Your price is calculated by your city/county. For a full coverage policy in Irvine, yearly premiums cost $1,868. This figure is on par with the California state average and is several hundred more per year than the national average. Car insurance premiums are also calculated using your driving record, your age, how many vehicles you own, and how many people will be driving the car (as well as their age and driving record).

Irvine Real Estate Market

Irvine home prices have increased 8.7% since last year, meaning that the area’s real estate market is still relatively hot. According to Redfin, the median home price in Irvine is now $1.22 million. Approximately 17.7% of homes in Irvine sell for above their list price, with 23.5% of homes having price drops. Additionally, within the last year, the average sale price per square foot has increased to $661. Among the 124 homes that sold in Irvine within the last year, the median time spent on the market was 43 days.

Not sure whether to buy or rent? You can effortlessly determine the best value in Irvine by calculating the city's price-to-rent ratio. To calculate this figure, divide the median annual Irvine rent by the median home price. Higher ratios indicate a better market for renters. The lower the ratio, the better the market is for buyers. Using this formula, Irvine’s price-to-rent ratio is 32.3. This figure reveals that it is better to rent than buy in Irvine.

Irvine Rental Market – Average Rent in Irvine

The average apartment rent in Irvine is $3,142 per month for a 921-square-foot apartment. This amount is nearly double the U.S. average of $1,628 per month for the same size residence. Monthly rent costs in Irvine are also higher than in nearby Los Angeles, where the average rent price is $2,734 per month for a similar size apartment.

Curious about the most expensive neighborhoods in Irvine? On average, you’ll pay the highest amounts in Quail Hill ($3,239 per month), San Joaquin Marsh ($3,239 per month), University Park ($3,239 per month), and University Town Center ($3,239 per month). The least expensive neighborhoods in Irvine are El Camino Real ($2,861 per month), Northpark ($2,962 per month), and UC Irvine ($2,971 per month).

According to the 2022 Rental Affordability Report by ATTOM, it is more affordable to rent than buy in Irvine.

Average Salary & Household Income in Irvine

According to the latest data, the median household income in Irvine is $105,774. As reported by Payscale, the average annual salary (per person) is $87,000, and the average hourly income is $23.47.

Income, Sales & Property Taxes in Irvine

An essential consideration when moving to any new city are the taxes you’ll be expected to pay. Here is a complete breakdown of income tax, sales tax, and property tax in Irvine, CA.

Income tax

The California income tax rate ranges between 1% and 12.3%.

Sales tax

People making purchases in the city can expect to pay the Irvine sales tax rate of 7.75%.

Sales Tax Breakdown

District

California State

Orange County

Orange County District Tax Sp

Orange Co Local Tax Sl

—--------------------

Total

Rate

6%

0.25%

0.50%

1%

7.75%

 

Property tax

Determining what you’ll owe each year in property taxes can be a confusing process. However, by looking at the city’s breakdown of assessed property tax rates, it is easier to plan for this expense in your budget.

Irvine residents pay an average effective property tax rate of 0.82%. Property tax assessments are collected by Orange County.

Irvine Cost of Living Versus Los Angeles

Located only 40 miles apart, deciding whether to live in Irvine or Los Angeles can be a challenging decision. Both exemplify the best qualities of Southern California living, including close proximity to the beach, sunny weather year-round, and a myriad of attractions.

An easy way to decide whether to live in Irvine or Los Angeles is to compare the cost of living in each city. To the surprise of many, living in Los Angeles is less expensive than the cost of living in Irvine. This is true across every measurable category — especially housing. The COLI for housing in Irvine is 353.4, and in Los Angeles, it is 302.8 (a 50.6% difference).

Even though Irvine is an expensive place to reside, there are numerous benefits to living in such a prime location. Between the excellent dining, top attractions, and a near-perfect climate, residents consider the added expense a worthwhile investment. If your plans include moving to Irvine, be sure to  contact our experienced Irvine movers today at Daly Movers! You can also call us today at 714-538-2831 for a free estimate.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold,  worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.
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