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Renters’ Guide to Lancaster, CA
Lancaster is a city in the northern section of Los Angeles County, in what is known as the Antelope Valley of the Mojave Desert in California. Lancaster lays 65 miles northwest of Hollywood, 90 miles southeast of Bakersfield, and 70 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles.
The city is actually what’s known as a charter city, meaning its government is defined by the city’s charter instead of by regional, state, or national laws. Lancaster is also part of a twin-city complex with Palmdale, its neighbor to the south, and is the 31st largest city in the state of California.
The city has a cold semi-arid steppe climate, making the weather in Lancaster nice and warm for most of the year. This type of climate is less hot and has more rain than a typical arid climate, giving residents hot summers and very mild winters, with average high temperatures in the mid-50s.
Lancaster, CA Demographics
- Total Population182,385
Female 91,031Male 91,353
- Median Age34.9
Cost of Living in Lancaster, CA
Public transportation in Lancaster is operated by Metrolink, which operates a train and a bus line all the way from Lancaster to Los Angeles. Transportation from Lancaster to Los Angeles costs around $11.50 for a one-way pass.
A night out here is relatively inexpensive, and is considerably cheaper than a night out in Downtown Los Angeles. A dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant in Lancaster costs between $20 and $55, with the average meal costing about $47.
Average utility costs in Lancaster are slightly higher than other areas in Los Angeles County due to its slightly warmer climate, as residents can expect to pay $141 a month for utilities in a one-bedroom apartment in Lancaster, slightly higher than the California state average.
Average Rent in Lancaster, CA
- Lancaster, CA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,336 /mo
Lancaster, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
- > $2,0001%
Lancaster, CA Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Lancaster, CA
There are many pros to living in Lancaster, including some of the lowest living expenses in Los Angeles County. Lancaster residents also get the benefit of having some of the best public transportation options, as despite the fact Lancaster is nearly 70 miles from LA, the city offers reasonably priced transportation options to get residents all the way to Downtown Los Angeles.
One of the few cons to living in Lancaster is the hot weather, as the temperatures during the summer often reach over 100˚F. Although many residents enjoy the warm weather, as the dry heat is much more bearable than the humid heat on the East Coast and the city’s mild winters are highly sought-after.
Things to do in Lancaster, CA
There are plenty of fun things to do in Lancaster, whether it’s catching a movie, heading to one of the area’s beautiful public parks, or grabbing a bite to eat at one of the best restaurants in Lancaster, either Crazy Otto’s or the Lemon Leaf Cafe. There is no shortage of places to shop either, and one of the best places to shop in Lancaster is the Lancaster Marketplace, a 20-acre open-air shopping mall filled with all kinds of different dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
There are plenty of parks in Lancaster too, as the city has over 600 acres of public parkland, playground, and picnic areas, and are great for families and those with kids. The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve is another perfect spot for those looking for something to do in Lancaster without spending money. It’s located in West Lancaster, and is dedicated to educating visitors about the environment and preserving the beauty of the High Desert. Residents can visit Forrest Hull Park as well, a popular local dog park where visitors have lots of open space to relax while their dogs exercise and play together. The city of Lancaster also hosts the California Poppy Festival every year at Lancaster City Park, where over 60,000 guests come together to celebrate California’s state flower and one of its most plentiful crops while taking part in all kinds of fun activities.
There aren’t many sports teams in Lancaster, but a train ride to Los Angeles gives residents the opportunity to see professional basketball, football, baseball, and soccer with teams including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and LA Galaxy. Lancaster is also home to the Los Angeles Slam of the American Basketball Association, which relocated to Lancaster in 2011.
Employment and Economy
There is no shortage of jobs in Lancaster, with many in the retail, banking, and professional service sectors. Major companies that are headquartered or have a large regional office in Lancaster include SYGMA, Bank of America, Michael’s, Rite Aid Pharmacy, and many others.
Lancaster, CA Households
- Total Number of Households56,215
Family 40,837Non-family 15,378
Children 22,871No Children 33,344
- Average People Per Household2.79
- Median Household Income$42,978
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,104
Education in Lancaster
Elementary schools in Lancaster, CA are operated by three different school districts, including Eastside Union School District, Westside Union School District, and Lancaster School District. Notable elementary schools in Lancaster include Sierra Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, and Columbia Elementary School. The Antelope Valley Union School District runs all high schools in Lancaster, including Eastside High School and Lancaster High School. There are also several private schools in Lancaster including Desert Christian School, Bethel Christian School, Grace Lutheran School, Paraclete High School, Pinecrest School, and Desert Vineyard Christian School.
As for higher education in Lancaster, the city is home to the University of Antelope Valley as well as a small satellite campus of California State University Bakersfield, offering residents the opportunity to receive a first-rate education without leaving the city.
Lancaster, CA Education Statistics
- No High School6%
- Some High School40%
- Some College31%
- Associate Degree9%
- Bachelor Degree9%
- Graduate Degree5%
Tips for Renting in Lancaster, CA
Renters rights here fall under California state law, although there are some tips to renting in Lancaster that can be very helpful for new residents. One is the California law on security deposits, which restricts landlords from charging tenants a security deposit that exceeds two months’ rent. And the other is that California residents must be given 30-days’ notice to leave the premises if the terms of the lease have not been broken by the tenant, and 60-days’ notice if the tenant has been living on the property for more than one year.
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