Department of Numbers

Santa Cruz County California Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Santa Cruz County CA was $1,680 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Santa Cruz County was $1,566 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 Cruz County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County CA Median Gross Rent $1,680 +3.77% +11.11%

Santa Cruz County CA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,680, real median gross rent in Santa Cruz County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. Average gross rent for Santa Cruz County peaked in real terms in 2016 at $1,619 and is now $53 (3.27%) lower.

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

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Santa Cruz County

Date US
Median
California
Median
Santa Cruz County CA
Median
Santa Cruz County CA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,447 $1,680 $1,566
2016 $996 $1,396 $1,619 $1,619
2015 $987 $1,349 $1,484 $1,514
2014 $956 $1,298 $1,512 $1,505
2013 $924 $1,250 $1,379 $1,386
2012 $912 $1,238 $1,521 $1,515
2011 $912 $1,230 $1,423 $1,428
2010 $927 $1,260 $1,392 $1,360
2009 $931 $1,277 $1,394 $1,373
2008 $947 $1,304 $1,523 $1,504
2007 $899 $1,228 $1,321 $1,378
2006 $909 $1,225 $1,391 $1,390

Santa Cruz County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Santa Cruz County California was 1.59% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Santa Cruz County California

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
California 3.49% +0.18% -0.41%
Santa Cruz County CA

Trends in Santa Cruz County CA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Santa Cruz County peaked in 2010 at 6.75%. Since then it has fallen by 5.16% to 1.59%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

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

Rental vacancy rate in California

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Santa Cruz County

Date US California Santa Cruz County CA
2017 6.18% 3.49%
2016 5.89% 3.31% 1.59%
2015 5.85% 3.33%
2014 6.32% 3.90% 1.64%
2013 6.49% 4.22% 2.04%
2012 6.77% 4.51% 2.74%
2011 7.40% 4.94% 2.31%
2010 8.17% 5.86% 6.75%
2009 8.43% 5.76% 5.64%
2008 7.86% 4.71% 3.61%
2007 7.87% 4.72% 3.84%
2006 7.70% 4.67% 3.81%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 25.29% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County CA 25.29% +0.65% -1.82%

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

The fraction of median Santa Cruz County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 27.11%. Since then it has fallen by 1.82% to 25.29%.

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

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

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

Date US California Santa Cruz County CA
2017 20.13% 24.18% 25.29%
2016 20.43% 24.36% 24.65%
2015 20.63% 24.39% 26.56%
2014 20.89% 24.57% 27.11%
2013 20.78% 24.40% 23.67%
2012 20.65% 24.69% 26.10%
2011 20.70% 24.59% 26.07%
2010 20.50% 24.18% 25.23%
2009 20.12% 23.52% 24.61%
2008 19.00% 22.32% 23.59%
2007 18.66% 21.58% 21.81%
2006 18.90% 21.80% 22.54%

Renter Fraction in Santa Cruz County California

You can calculate the renter fraction in Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County as a fraction of total Santa Cruz County households. In 2017 37.79% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County CA 37.79% -3.79% -5.63%

Trends in the Santa Cruz County CA Renter Fraction

The Santa Cruz County household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 44.59% and is now 6.80% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

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

Fraction of renters in Santa Cruz County

History of Santa Cruz County Renter Fraction

Date US California Santa Cruz County CA
2017 36.13% 45.21% 37.79%
2016 36.88% 46.36% 41.58%
2015 36.97% 46.41% 44.59%
2014 36.90% 46.27% 43.42%
2013 36.50% 46.21% 39.96%
2012 36.09% 45.97% 43.27%
2011 35.42% 45.12% 42.69%
2010 34.65% 44.36% 40.60%
2009 34.13% 43.43% 39.26%
2008 33.36% 42.95% 40.27%
2007 32.80% 42.00% 40.50%
2006 32.73% 41.55% 40.14%

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.