Last Updated on: 12th June 2023, 04:46 am

Are you thinking about calling Fresno, California home? Fresno is a city in California’s San Joaquin Valley and is the county seat of Fresno County. There are 542,107 people living in Fresno, making it the fifth-most populous city in California and the first-most populous inland city in California. Fresno is famous for its agriculture, food, and close proximity to other major California cities.

If you are planning a move to Fresno, California, then you may be wondering whether or not the city is in your budget. Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of living in Fresno as well as what your day to day expenses may look like.

Fresno Cost of Living Index

What is the cost of living in Fresno, California? There are many ways to measure the cost of living in Fresno. One of the easiest ways is to check out the Fresno Cost of Living Index. The Cost of Living Index, otherwise known as COLI, compares the cost of goods and services in a city to the national average.

The Fresno CA Cost of Living Index is 103.3. This means that Fresno is 3.3% more expensive than the national average of 100. You will be happy to know that Fresno is 38.9% more affordable than the California COLI, which is 142.2. Both groceries and healthcare costs are below the national average, while utilities, housing, and transportation are 12.4%, 8.5%, and 1.7% higher than the national average, respectively.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The Consumer Price Index, also known as CPI, is a report that is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and shows the average changes in prices consumers pay for goods and services in an area. Fresno is part of the West region.

The West Consumer Price Index has stayed the same over the past few months but is up by 4.9% over the past year. Since this time last year, food prices have risen 7.4%, housing prices have risen 7.2%, and medical care has risen 2.5%. On the other hand, gasoline prices have decreased by 13.3%, and transportation costs have decreased by 1.7%.

Consumer Expenditure Survey

The Fresno, California cost of living can also be understood by taking a look at the Consumer Expenditure Survey. This survey is conducted by the Census Bureau and is used to calculate the CPI. According to the latest survey, households in Fresno spent an average of $70,521 during the 2020/2021 calendar year. This is higher than the national average of $64,187. This is what a typical Fresno, CA household budget looks like:

  • Housing: 36% ($25,358), compared to the U.S. average of 34.3%
  • Transportation: 15.8% ($11,125), compared to the U.S. average of 16.2%
  • Food: 12.3% ($8,689), compared to the U.S. average of 12.2%
  • Health care: 7.4% ($5,185), compared to the U.S. average of 8.3%
  • Entertainment: 5.4% ($3,806), compared to the U.S. average of 5.1%
  • Education: 1.6% ($1,117), compared to the U.S. average of 1.9%
  • Personal care products and services: 1.2% ($813), compared to the U.S. average of 1.1%

The cost of living in Fresno, CA is right around the national average. The housing costs are higher due to the California real estate market being more competitive than other states. Transportation, education, and healthcare costs are all slightly below the national average.

Family Budget in Fresno

Is Fresno affordable for your family? According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, the average household with two adults and two kids would have an average Fresno cost of living of $76,842 per year ($6,404 per month). Here’s how this budget breaks down:

  • Transportation: $1,265
  • Health care: $1,095
  • Housing: $1,064
  • Child care: $1,025
  • Food: $767
  • Taxes: $524
  • Other necessities: $663

These numbers can largely vary based on your lifestyle and family size. If you have no children, then your cost of living in Fresno, California drops to $49,693 per year.

Cost of Household Items, Utilities, Gas & Groceries in Fresno CA

How much does it cost to live in Fresno? Before you plant roots in Fresno, it is important to make sure you can afford day-to-day expenses. Here is a list of common expenses in Fresno according to Numbeo:

  • Beef (1 pound): $8.06
  • Gallon of milk: $4.28
  • Potatoes (1 pound): $0.82
  • Loaf of bread: $2.91
  • Bottle of beer: $7.50
  • Movie ticket: $15.00
  • McDonald’s meal: $9.79
  • Gallon of gas: $4.79
  • Average internet bill: $72.41

The average cost of utilities in Fresno is $270.72 per month. The average car insurance payment in Fresno is $50 per month. Most people choose to drive a personal vehicle in Fresno, but if you need to access public transportation, you can buy a monthly bus pass from the Fresno Area Express for $36.

Fresno Real Estate Market

Looking for Fresno homes for sale? The Fresno real estate market is somewhat competitive but is cooling down. Homes in Fresno are sitting on the market for an average of 24 days compared to 8 days last year. In March of 2023, there were 334 homes sold compared to 471 the previous year. The average home price in Fresno, CA is $380,000, which is up 2.7% from last year. Although there is an increase, the Fresno housing market remains stable. Fresno, CA real estate is very affordable when compared to the national average. The national average home price is currently $400,378.

Graph of the median sale price in Fresno, CA

A few of the most popular neighborhoods in Fresno include:

  • Woodward Park: $462,500
  • Lowell: Average home price of $275,000
  • Tower District: Average home price of $293,000
  • Little Italy: Average home price of $225,000
  • Sun Garden Acres: $420,000

There are 183,951 housing units in Fresno. 47.59% of the units are owner occupied and 52.41 are renter occupied.

Fresno Rental Market – Average Rent in Fresno CA

Thinking about renting an apartment in Fresno? The average rent in Fresno is $1,507 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. This is much more affordable than other California cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, where the average rent is $2,781, $3,313, $2,917, respectively.

The most affordable neighborhoods to rent in Fresno are Yosemite (average rent of $1,233), Cecile (average rent of $1,262), and Easton (average rent of $1,262). The most expensive neighborhoods are The Dominion, Woodward Park, and Woodward Park Estates, where the average rent is $1,834.

According to the 2022 Affordability Report, it is more affordable to rent than to buy in Fresno. You can compare renting vs. buying in Fresno by determining the price-to-rent ratio. The higher the price-to-rent ratio, the better the market is for renters in the area. When the ratio is lower, it is a better market for buyers. To calculate the price-to-rent ratio, you will divide the median home price by the median annual rent.

The median home price in Fresno is $380,000. The average rent in Fresno, CA is $18,084 per year. When you add these numbers into the equation, you end up with a price-to-rent ratio of 21. This is considered high and shows that Fresno is a better place for renters.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach Report, an average worker in Fresno would have to earn $21.87 per hour ($45,480 per year) to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the city without spending over 30% of their income. This is much lower than the California average of $39.01 per hour ($81,133 per year).

Average Salary & Household Income in Fresno

Curious about the average income in Fresno? The average household income in Fresno is $57,211, which is lower than the California average household income of $84,097. The average salary in Fresno CA is $70,000 per year ($19.53 per hour). California has one of the highest minimum wages in the United States. The minimum wage in California is currently $15.50.

If you are looking for jobs in Fresno, then there are many wonderful options for you to consider. Some of the top industries in Fresno include healthcare, education, and finance. The top employers in the area are currently the Fresno Unified School District, Community Medical Centers, and the County of Fresno.

Here are some of the most common jobs in Fresno as well as their average salaries.

  • Dishwasher: $32,370
  • Cashier: $32,600
  • Customer service representative: $46,070
  • Graphic designer: $58,070
  • Carpenter: $63,830
  • Special education teacher: $85,470
  • Physical therapist: $108,560
  • Lawyer: $160,840

Income, Sales & Property Taxes in Fresno

California income tax

Income tax is the tax that is levied on your individual or business-related income. The California income tax rate differs based on your income amount. It can range anywhere from 1% to 12.3%. If you make over $1 million per year, you will be subject to an additional 1% tax surcharge.

Sales tax in Fresno

Sales tax is a consumption tax on the sale of goods and services. The Fresno sales tax rate is 8.350%. This is how that number breaks down:

  • California State: 7.250%
  • Fresno County: 0.725%
  • Fresno: 0.375%
  • Total: 8.350%

California has the 7th highest sales tax rate in the United States.

Fresno property tax

The Fresno property tax rate is determined by the Fresno County Property Tax Assessor. These rates are set on a property-by-property basis. Fresno County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States and is ranked 658th of the 3143 counties in order of average property taxes.

The average yearly property tax in Fresno County is about 2.5% of the resident’s yearly income and 0.65% of the home’s value. For example, if your home is worth $250,000, you would pay $1,625 in property taxes each year.

Fresno vs. San Jose Cost of Living

If you are interested in moving to California, then you may also be considering San Jose as a potential place to call home. Although the two cities are close, they greatly differ when it comes to the cost of living. The San Jose Cost of Living Index (COLI) is 215. This means that it is 215% more expensive than the national average and 111.7% more expensive than Fresno.

Here’s what you need to know about the cost of living in Fresno vs. San Jose.

  • Average home price: $380,000 in Fresno vs. $1,299,990 in San Jose
  • Average utilities: $270.72 in Fresno vs. $260.00 in San Jose
  • Average monthly expenses: $6,404 in Fresno vs. $11,559 in San Jose
  • Average salary: $70,000 in Fresno vs. $109,000 in San Jose
  • Average cost of health care (monthly): $1,095 in Fresno vs. $1,125 in San Jose
  • Average cost of transportation (monthly): $1,265 in Fresno vs. $1,362 in San Jose

As you can see, the cost of living in Fresno is much less than the cost of living in San Jose. The home prices are incredibly high in San Jose due to a booming real estate market. Average monthly expenses are also much higher in San Jose. It is important to note; however, that the average salary is higher in San Jose, making it easier for residents to afford a more luxurious lifestyle.

All in all, Fresno is a very affordable place to live, especially when it comes to living in California. The Fresno real estate market is booming, and day-to-day expenses are easily manageable. If you are ready to make the move to Fresno, then let Southbay Moving Systems help you! Our experienced Fresno movers have all of the proper tools and knowledge to complete your move as quickly and easily as possible. Give us a call today at 831-786-5537 to get a free quote.