Living in the Salad Bowl of the World doesn’t come without paying a pretty penny. Salinas was just named the seventh most expensive place to live in the country according to a new list out by US News and World Report for the years 2023-2024. Salinas even beating out New York City which took the 11th spot.
One of the factors that put Salinas on this list includes the disparity between income and home prices. The average annual salary in Salinas is about $56,000, while the median home price is more than $925,000.
“It’s tough, the wages need to go up in order to live here without that, it’s impossible to buy a house here,” says David Navarro, Salinas resident.
“We have a lot of general labor workers who work in the field, whose incomes are a lot lower than the medium income average, so when you’re looking at their income versus the prices, you’re getting that ratio and we’re falling hire in the list of affordability,” says Jorge Edeza, Real Estate Broker and President of the Monterey County Realtor’s Association.
Edeza says it’s a difficult market right now because the supply isn’t meeting the demand.
“12 months back we had 20% more inventory now we have 20% less inventory, but based on that we also had a 3% increase in prices so even though inventory is really low, rates are high because of supply and demand prices are staying very stable,” says Edeza.
There are currently 71 active listings on the market in the city, this is extremely low compared to its size. And being surrounded by protected agriculture land, there is also a lack of development worsening the issue. But, while home prices are considered more affordable by california standards, they’re twice the national average.
“You definitely need dual income, good paying wages, so if you’re making the median household income, it’s definitely too difficult to qualify,” says Edeza.