What is the Real Cost of Living in West Palm Beach?

What is the Real Cost of Living in West Palm Beach?

  • 04/5/23

West Palm Beach is a vibrant coastal community nestled on Florida’s east coast. With miles of white sand beaches, stunning natural beauty, and abundant entertainment venues, West Palm Beach is a sought-after travel destination for many. Each year, nearly 10 million visitors flock to West Palm Beach’s exquisite shores for premier recreation and leisure. After seeing the city’s bustling downtown and pristine parks, many people decide to settle in West Palm Beach.
The area boasts a unique charm and welcoming atmosphere not found anywhere else in South Florida. West Palm Beach has an array of one-of-a-kind neighborhoods ranging from historic to ultra-luxury. Those looking for an upscale abode can find their pick in West Palm Beach. With its high-end feel and abundant tourism, many wonder how much the cost of living is in West Palm Beach.

Housing: Rental Prices

West Palm Beach has a stunning selection of rental properties for those looking to move to the area. The city’s many neighborhoods give prospective renters various housing options, from upscale condominiums to sprawling mansions. The area also has lower-end options for those looking to relocate on a budget. The average renter can expect to pay about $2,163 each month for a 935-square-foot apartment. About half of all rentals in West Palm Beach will cost more than $2,000 a month, with less than 10% costing less than $1,500. While that is substantially higher than the national average of $1,457, West Palm Beach has abundant luxury rental options that drive the price up.

Housing: Purchase Price

Many prospective home buyers flock to West Palm Beach each year for its vibrant downtown and pristine beaches. Homebuyers are drawn to West Palm Beach real estate and the city's many luxurious residential areas. Buyers can choose from properties ranging from beachfront estates to quaint single-family bungalows. The average listing price in West Palm Beach sits at $404,900, with prices expected to keep rising. Those looking to purchase a home in West Palm Beach can expect numerous upscale homes with luxury price tags. The city is home to an array of multi-million dollar mansions, with some valued at nearly $100 million. However, those looking for other options can also find more reasonably priced single-family homes in the area as well.

Utility Cost

Homeowners are responsible for electricity, gas, water, sewage disposal, internet, home security, and even garbage disposal, depending on where they live. With scorching temperatures over the summer, electricity to run air conditioning can rack up quite the expense for those living in South Florida. The average electric bill in West Palm Beach comes in at $193 monthly, 1% lower than the national average. Other basic utilities can cost residents with smaller apartments $180 monthly, but those living in larger homes can expect to pay more.

Food Cost

West Palm Beach is known for having a high cost of living, and groceries are not any different. At the supermarket, residents can expect to pay around $3 for a loaf of bread, $0.30 more than the national average. Groceries tend to cost between 4.8% to 6% more in West Palm Beach. Locals can expect to pay even more for staples like bottled water, eggs, and milk. Higher grocery costs in Florida can be attributed to the cost of shipping across the country. However, living in West Palm Beach does not mean you will have to settle for overpriced groceries, as the city is home to a range of grocery store options. Everything from affordable chains like Walmart and Publix to high-end shops like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s can be found in West Palm Beach.

Transit Cost

West Palm Beach is ideally located outside bigger cities while still close enough to allow access to work or recreational opportunities. Located under an hour from Fort Lauderdale and an hour and 40 minutes from Miami, residents have ample opportunity to commute to the major metropolitan area in South Florida to work. Although most residents own cars, locals can access numerous public and private transit options. Car owners will have to factor in the cost of vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance into their cost of living. Owning a car tends to be more expensive in Florida than in other states, with higher-than-average gas prices and insurance rates.
Those looking to travel between West Palm Beach and Palm Beach can use the Palm Tram. With 30 routes around nearby cities and a ticket costing only two dollars, it is a cheap local travel option. Downtown West Palm Beach also has a free trolley system for those looking to quickly access the area’s numerous shops and restaurants.

Average Salary

West Palm Beach is a bustling small city with a vibrant local economy. Residents looking to live in town have access to a wide selection of employment opportunities, ranging from the area’s one-of-a-kind shopping boutiques to large corporations. The most common occupations in West Palm Beach are retail workers, lawyers, and project managers. The average salary for those working in West Palm Beach is $67,000 annually. With West Palm Beach’s ideal location, those looking for work can easily commute outside of the city. For those that commute to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the average annual salary is $70,000, and nearby Boca Raton offers a $71,000 average yearly salary.

Ready to find your next home?

Each year, many prospective buyers fall in love with West Palm Beach. If you want to take the plunge and call the gorgeous community of West Palm Beach home, you should have a local realtor on your side. For years, real estate professional Elizabeth DeWoody at Palm Beach Advisory has helped match buyers with their perfect South Florida home. She’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about West Palm Beach’s neighborhoods or the cost of living. Give Elizabeth a call today to get started on your home-buying journey!


Elizabeth is able to provide quick, easy access to on and off-market properties.

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