Santa Cruz ranked second most expensive college town

Santa Cruz ranked second most...

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The University of California, Santa Cruz ,makes lots of lists--everything from top in game design to one of the best public universities in the U.S.

But it costs a lot to live in the city. In fact, is ranks Santa Cruz as the second most expensive college town in the country, just after Berkeley.
This ranking comes as no surprise to most residents. For students who choose to live off campus, summer vacation means more work.

'I'm still trying to find affordable housing, even if it's across the bridge in Seabright,” said UCSC student Valeria Esqueda.

Esqueda gave up a $750 room close to campus to live with friends, and she isn't the only UCSC student willing to move farther from the university in search of cheaper rent.  

"I pay $900 right now and that is on the higher end of my budget,” said UCSC senior Angela Julio. “Before, I mean, I was paying $1,000 for a double."

For some, $900 would be considered a deal. Santa Cruz realtors said the average room in a house costs $1,100 and a one-bedroom unit can goes for hundreds more. Realtors said the hot market prices show no sign of cooling down.

"I'd say, the rental market, we are actually probably, price per square foot, higher than even Silicon Valley,” said Lance Halsey, of Keller Williams Realty.

Approximately $3,600 can get you a a two bedroom, two-bathroom unit right next door to UCSC that houses up to five, and there is already a waitlist of 80-people for the community.

Competition like this makes the hunt all the more difficult for Esqueda and her friends.

"We wouldn't have any luck (because) it was super competitive. We were showing up to places where adults were looking for housing,” Esqueda said. 

Some of those adults, including older millennial, are looking to take advantage of the crazy rental market.

“What we are seeing is they are getting smart and starting to buy homes that either have extra bedrooms right off the bat and/or accessory dwelling units so they can rent those out,” Halsey said.

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