The Cost of Living in Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs, CA, is no doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the west coast. Situated on Coachella Valley’s western edge, Palm Springs sees over 350 days of sunshine each year! There’s very little rain and, for most of the year, the weather is simply spectacular. In short, Palm Springs is gorgeous and an incredible place to live. The question today, however, is this; what’s the cost of living in Palm Springs, CA, and is it affordable? We’ll answer that question by looking at the seven major cost indices and how they stack up to the rest of the U.S. If determining whether you can afford to live in Palm Springs is your goal, read on!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Overall, Living in Palm Springs is Expensive

There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that living in Palm Springs is expensive. Not as expensive as sister cities Los Angeles or San Diego, but still costly. With an index of 131/100, you’ll pay 30% more to live in San Diego than the average American city. One of the biggest reasons for this higher cost is housing, which is the most significant expense here by far. (More on that in just a moment.) The lowest expense? That would be healthcare which is surprisingly the only index lower than 100 in Palm Springs. Take a look at the chart below to see how the cost of living in Palm Springs stacks up to the national average.

Cost IndexCompared to the US National Average
Housing Costs80% more expensive
Utility Costs14% more expensive
Miscellaneous Expenses 5% more expensive
Transportation Expenses 30% more expensive
Grocery Expenses 1% less expensive
Healthcare Costs12% less expensive
Overall Costs31% more expensive

Housing Costs in Palm Springs are Very Expensive

If you’re looking for the number one reason Palm Springs is expensive, it’s housing. With a median home cost of almost $416,000, buying a home here is not for the faint of heart (or wallet). The median home price in Palm Springs is $415,000, almost double the national average of $231,000.

Amazingly, Palm Springs doesn’t even touch the average housing cost of California, which is 139% higher than the national average! Still, if you’re moving to Palm Springs and wish to buy a home, you’ll need a high income to do it. Many people get a Palm Springs storage unit when they arrive to take their time househunting. Also, quite a few rent a storage unit in Palm Springs to store some things and live in a smaller house. That way, they can save a lot of money on their mortgage while still living in paradise.

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The Cost of Living in Palm Springs, CA
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The Cost of Utilities is Slightly Expensive

Utilities in Palm Springs aren’t ridiculous, but they aren’t cheap either. The good news is that the weather here, most of the year, is delightful. (You’ll rarely need to turn on the heat!) Yes, the dry desert heat does make it hot here in summer, so you’ll need plenty of air-conditioning. That means higher electricity costs a good portion of the year. Compared to some of the other expenses on this analysis of the cost of living in Palm Springs, CA, though, utility costs are still palatable.

Miscellaneous Costs in Palm Springs are Average

Going out to get your hair and nails done, purchase new clothes, or see a new movie? If yes, you’ll pay about 5% more in Palm Springs than in other similar-sized cities. That’s not as bad as it could be, frankly, but still not as good as it could be, either. (Let’s be honest, nobody likes overpaying for a haircut.)

Transportation Costs in Palm Springs are Expensive

Keeping with the trend, the cost of transportation in Palm Springs is expensive at 130/100. Gas, tolls, auto taxes, and vehicle repairs are 30% higher here than the average. That’s not as high as some cities but higher than most. Surprisingly, the average one-way commute in Palm Springs is about 20 minutes. That’s 7 minutes shorter than the US average of 27 minutes, meaning you’ll spend less time in traffic here.

The Cost of Living in Palm Springs, CA

Grocery Costs Living in Palm Springs are Average

No matter where you live, you need to eat, and in Palm Springs, the good news is groceries aren’t expensive. They aren’t super cheap either but, at 99/100, they won’t completely drain your bank account. Groceries being of the most significant expenses for many families, not paying crazy prices for them is appreciated. Unfortunately, groceries are one of only two indexes lower than the national average in Palm Springs.

Healthcare Costs Living in Palm Springs are Affordable

One surprise about Palm Springs is that healthcare costs here are affordable. That’s good news for many of the folks who move here, being that they’re senior citizens. It’s also good news for young families who tend to visit the doctor and the emergency room more often. Since healthcare can be pretty expensive these days, the affordability of it in Palm Springs is welcomed.

The Cost of Living in Palm Springs, CA

Yes, Palm Springs is Expensive, But It’s Still Gorgeous

There’s no denying that Palm Springs is one of America’s more expensive places to live. The cost of living in Palm Springs, CA is high! The main reason for this is the cost of housing, but transportation and utility costs don’t help the matter. Still, Palm Springs is decidedly gorgeous with fantastic scenery, excellent weather, and a wide variety of amenities. In short, if you can afford it, Palm Springs is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family.

We should know because we live and work here too! We’re StorAmerica Storage, the self-storage experts in Palm Springs. We have Palm Springs storage units around the city that are safe, clean, and secure. Our customers store household goods, collections, sports equipment, and much more with us.

If you have questions, you can chat with a manager online anytime. Even better, come on down and say “hello” to our on-site manager. They can help you with anything you need! Until then, we wish you the very best in your new Palm Springs home!


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