Department of Numbers

Santa Barbara County California Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Santa Barbara County CA was $1,587 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Santa Barbara County was $1,634 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Santa Barbara County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for Santa Barbara County rental vacancy rates, Santa Barbara County rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Santa Barbara County.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Santa Barbara County California (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
California Median Gross Rent $1,447 +3.65% +11.48%
Santa Barbara County CA Median Gross Rent $1,587 +1.34% +11.13%

Santa Barbara County CA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,587, real median gross rent in Santa Barbara County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,634, real average gross rent in Santa Barbara County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: Santa Barbara County CA Median, Santa Barbara County CA Average, California Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Santa Barbara County

Date US
Median
California
Median
Santa Barbara County CA
Median
Santa Barbara County CA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,447 $1,587 $1,634
2016 $996 $1,396 $1,566 $1,593
2015 $987 $1,349 $1,460 $1,505
2014 $956 $1,298 $1,428 $1,467
2013 $924 $1,250 $1,364 $1,432
2012 $912 $1,238 $1,366 $1,421
2011 $912 $1,230 $1,325 $1,398
2010 $927 $1,260 $1,373 $1,410
2009 $931 $1,277 $1,405 $1,431
2008 $947 $1,304 $1,436 $1,520
2007 $899 $1,228 $1,373 $1,406
2006 $909 $1,225 $1,371 $1,421

Santa Barbara County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Santa Barbara County California was 1.90% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Santa Barbara County California

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
California 3.49% +0.18% -0.41%
Santa Barbara County CA 1.90% -0.84% -2.28%

Trends in Santa Barbara County CA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Santa Barbara County peaked in 2005 at 5.48%. Since then it has fallen by 3.58% to 1.90%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Santa Barbara County CA, California, US

Rental vacancy rate in California

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Santa Barbara County

Date US California Santa Barbara County CA
2017 6.18% 3.49% 1.90%
2016 5.89% 3.31% 2.74%
2015 5.85% 3.33% 2.61%
2014 6.32% 3.90% 4.18%
2013 6.49% 4.22% 3.45%
2012 6.77% 4.51% 2.91%
2011 7.40% 4.94% 3.01%
2010 8.17% 5.86% 4.30%
2009 8.43% 5.76% 3.55%
2008 7.86% 4.71% 5.02%
2007 7.87% 4.72% 2.45%
2006 7.70% 4.67% 3.19%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Santa Barbara County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Santa Barbara County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 26.78% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Santa Barbara County California Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
California 24.18% -0.18% -0.39%
Santa Barbara County CA 26.78% -0.66% +0.56%

Trends in Santa Barbara County CA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Santa Barbara County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2016 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 27.44%. Since then it has fallen by 0.66% to 26.78%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Santa Barbara County CA, California, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Santa Barbara County California

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Santa Barbara County California

Date US California Santa Barbara County CA
2017 20.13% 24.18% 26.78%
2016 20.43% 24.36% 27.44%
2015 20.63% 24.39% 26.76%
2014 20.89% 24.57% 26.22%
2013 20.78% 24.40% 25.68%
2012 20.65% 24.69% 25.67%
2011 20.70% 24.59% 25.09%
2010 20.50% 24.18% 26.78%
2009 20.12% 23.52% 25.83%
2008 19.00% 22.32% 24.37%
2007 18.66% 21.58% 24.76%
2006 18.90% 21.80% 25.83%

Renter Fraction in Santa Barbara County California

You can calculate the renter fraction in Santa Barbara County in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Santa Barbara County as a fraction of total Santa Barbara County households. In 2017 48.86% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Santa Barbara County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
California 45.21% -1.15% -1.06%
Santa Barbara County CA 48.86% -0.15% +1.10%

Trends in the Santa Barbara County CA Renter Fraction

The Santa Barbara County household renter fraction peaked in in 2011 at 49.33% and is now 0.47% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Santa Barbara County CA, California, US

Fraction of renters in Santa Barbara County

History of Santa Barbara County Renter Fraction

Date US California Santa Barbara County CA
2017 36.13% 45.21% 48.86%
2016 36.88% 46.36% 49.01%
2015 36.97% 46.41% 48.74%
2014 36.90% 46.27% 47.76%
2013 36.50% 46.21% 48.04%
2012 36.09% 45.97% 48.34%
2011 35.42% 45.12% 49.33%
2010 34.65% 44.36% 46.65%
2009 34.13% 43.43% 46.99%
2008 33.36% 42.95% 46.03%
2007 32.80% 42.00% 46.36%
2006 32.73% 41.55% 46.71%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.