Torrance, nestled in Los Angeles County’s South Bay, is a premier California coastal city. Located about 30 minutes south of downtown Los Angeles and directly north of the prestigious Palos Verdes Peninsula, Torrance is where diverse, close-knit, and safe suburban neighborhoods meet So Cal’s sandy beaches. No surprise, it’s a top 20 US city for retirees, and one of the best places to live in SoCal for families and young professionals.
If you’re looking for less congestion and noise, better public schools, significantly lower crime rates, and a more laid back lifestyle than LA, you’ll find it in Torrance. Plus, you’ll love the 1.5 mile stretch of Torrance’s beautiful sandy beach. Whether you come for the award-winning education, topnotch amenities, proximity to the Pacific Ocean, connected community, centralized location, or the pristine SoCal weather, you’ll love calling Torrance home.
Living in Torrance, CA: What to Know Before Moving to Torrance
Torrance, located in the Los Angeles metro area, is an attractive coastal city that offers a great quality of life. The huge LA metro area has over 13,280,000 residents, but the Torrance population is a more intimate 150,000. Known for its laidback beachy vibe, low crime, connected community, and centralized location, Torrance is the 8th largest city in LA County. Part of Torrance’s western border is on the Pacific Ocean, and living here puts you conveniently near other beautiful beach communities, the City of Angels, and convenience to I-405 for access to all of Southern California.
Pros and Cons of Living in Torrance
- Fantastic weather: Year-round mild sunny weather.
- Prime location: Close to shopping, LAX, Los Angeles, and 40 acres of soft sand beach on the Pacific Ocean – living here offers convenience and quality amenities.
- Connected community: Family-friendly, close-knit, and diverse, the city is great for growing families, retirees, and even young singles looking for love and beach vibes.
- Excellent schools: High-quality public education with many schools rated well above average.
- Stellar police department: Having one of the top police departments not only in the state but the nation, residents feel secure in one of Los Angeles County’s safest cities.
- Low crime rates: Torrancase has an amazingly low violent crime rate. At 9.3, it’s nearly three times lower than the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area’s rate.
- A high cost of living: With a cost of living index of nearly 190 – almost 90 points above the US average of 100 and LA average of 173 – living in Torrance comes with a hefty price tag.
- Pricey housing: Be prepared for sticker shock. The January 2020 median selling price was $847,800, while a 3BR apartment rents for $3,400+ per month.
- High sales tax: The city sales tax of 9.5% is almost 2% higher than the US average.
- Lack of nightlife: Though it offers lots of great restaurants, you’ll need to venture outside of Torrance if you want to enjoy a lively night out on the town.
- One season: Like most of Southern California, you’ll enjoy mild year-round weather, so if seasons are your thing, you’ll be disappointed in Torrance weather.
- Property tax: According to the Overview of Property Taxes by smartasset.com, the average county property tax rate is 0.755%. The average annual property tax is $6,418 on a home with an assessed value of $850,000.
- Sales tax: The state of California has a base sales tax rate of 7.25%. When added with the Los Angeles County district tax, the 2020 minimum combined sales tax rate in Torrance is 9.5%.
- State income tax: The state currently uses a ten-bracket income tax system. Rates range from 1% to 13.3%. Your tax rate will depend on income and filing status (single or married).
According to Zillow, the median home value in Torrance is $852,500. This value is quite a bit higher than the median home value in Los Angeles County, which is currently $644,151. As for rentals, the median rent price, as of January 2020, was $1,621 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,082 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. The year-over-year rent change is stable at only 0.1%.
The cheapest neighborhoods to live in Torrance include the areas of Coast Hwy/Hillworth Ave, Sepulveda Blvd/Maple Ave, West Carson, S Vermont Ave/W Carson St, and New Hampshire Ave/Torrance Blvd.
Cost of Living
According to the Cost of Living in Torrance by bestplaces.net, the city’s cost of living index is 189.3. This index is almost twice the national average of 100.
Based on the US average of 100, in Torrance, the Grocery index is 105.4, Health 89.4, Housing 357.6, Utilities 92, and Transportation 153.9. The median household income is $78,286 per year, quite a bit higher than the US median of approximately $53,500.
Average monthly expenses in the Torrance metro area for a family of four include Housing $1,663, Food $830, Childcare $1,223, Transportation $1,159, Health Care $795, Other necessities $1,006, and Taxes $1,016. A family of four would need to earn $7,691 per month or $92,295 per year to live a moderately comfortable lifestyle in Torrance.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Simply put, Torrance weather is fantastic! Offering year-round moderate temperatures, nearly 280 sunny days, and refreshing sea breezes, the climate is one of the main selling points for living in Torrance.
You’ll find the warmest temperatures are between July and September. August sees an average high of 78°F and a low of 62°F. The coolest months are between December and February, with an average high of 65°F and low of 46°F in December. If you’re moving from an area with frigid winters or sweltering summers, this might sound like paradise to you, and you wouldn’t be wrong!
The one drawback is that Torrance doesn’t experience major seasonal variations. There’s zero snowfall, and the city sees an average of only about 14 inches of rain annually.
As for natural disasters, earthquake activity tops the list of risks, but tsunami and flooding are also possible threats. For more info, visit the City of Torrance’s Emergency Preparedness page.
Economy & Job Market
According to Economy in Torrance, California by bestplaces.net, Torrance has an unemployment rate of 3.8%, a fraction under the US average of 3.9%. The local job market increased by 0.7% in 2019, and over the next decade, job growth is projected to increase by nearly 39%.
Torrance welcomes new business and offers several business-friendly incentives that include no gross receipts tax, expedited permitting, next-day inspections, superior coordination services, full-service city, Class 1 fire department, a municipal airport, business watch program (TPD), and site selection & financial assistance.
Top industries are management, office, and administrative support; business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; education instruction and library; health diagnosing/treating practitioners; and food preparation and serving.
The top ten major employers in Torrance are Toyota Motor Company USA, Inc; Torrance Memorial Medical Center; Providence Little Company of Mary; Honeywell Aerospace/Equipment American; Honda Motor Co, Inc; Robinson Helicopter Company; Hi-Shear Corporation; Alcoa Fastening Systems; Exxon MobilOil Corporation; and Pelican Products.
Looking for work in Torrance, CA? Check out these helpful online resources: CareerBuilder, CollegeRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Jobs – City of Torrance. Before you apply, make sure your resume is updated, your social media presents well, and you practice interviewing skills.
Traffic and Transportation
Torrance public transportation includes bus service via Torrance Transit and Harbor Gateway Transit Center (MTA). Zamperini Field, the municipal airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just fifteen minutes north, provide super-convenient air transport. Ridesharing is popular, and you’ll find Uber, Lyft, and other companies readily available.
You’ll most likely need a car when you live in Torrance, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with common routes to navigate the area. California State Route 1, AKA, Pacific Coast Highway or PCH, runs north-south along Torrance’s western border. Interstate 107, also known as Torrance Highway/Torrance Blvd, runs north-south through the center of Torrance and connects with Interstate 405 in the northern area of the city. To get to Downtown Los Angeles, I-405 gets you there in about 30 minutes. Traffic can be especially bad during school hours and rush hour. But many neighborhoods remain quiet with low key traffic.
According to Living in Torrance by walkscore.com, Torrance has a 67 walk score, 39 transit score, and 55 bike score.
What to Do
As a premier coastal city, Torrance is a beautiful place to call home. Only fifteen or so minutes south of LAX, many people are ironically unaware of this hidden jewel. Whether you’re looking for an escape to soft sand beaches, enjoy fine cuisine and live music, or explore iconic PCH, you’ll find plenty to do in Torrance.
Known as the “Central Park of the South Bay,” Wilson Park has six softball fields, a roller hockey rink, basketball gym, outdoor amphitheater, picnic areas, and much more. Madrona Marsh is one of the last surviving sections of the marshland habitat that used to cover the coastal plain. And each neighborhood has at least one park anchoring the sense of community that residents love.
Torrance is home to the Del Amo Fashion Center, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. The Torrance Cultural Arts Center houses the James R Armstrong Theatre, performing and visual arts studios, and much more. Of course, don’t forget the sandy beaches! Torrance has its own 1.5 miles of beach, along with proximity to many happening beach communities.
Unfortunately, you won’t find professional sports teams in Torrance, but with Los Angeles only half an hour north, you’ll find a ton of pro sports teams to support – the Lakers (NBA), Dodgers (MLB), Chargers (NFL), and the list goes on.
As for other popular activities, historic Downtown Torrance offers retro charm among shopping and dining experiences. Aircraft buffs will love visiting the Western Museum of Flight. And the Torrance Certified Farmers’ Market, open on Tuesdays and Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm, offers a year-round selection of amazing California produce.
Schools and Universities
Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) serves approximately 23,700 students among 17 elementary schools, eight middle schools, and four high schools, as well as one alternative high school and one continuation school, along with three adult school campuses.
K–12 schools rank well in Torrance, and according to greatschools.org, the top public schools include Anza Elementary School, ranked 10/10; Seaside Elementary School, 10/10; Walteria Elementary School, 10/10; and West High School, 10/10. Top private schools include Ambassador High School, Bishop Montgomery High School, St Catherine Laboure School, First Lutheran School, and Pacific Lutheran Jr/Sr High School.
Torrance is home to two higher education institutions: El Camino College is a community college with over 7,800 enrolled students, and Homestead Schools is a private school with majors in Licensed Practical Nurse Training (LPN), Medical Assisting, and Nursing.
According to Crime in Torrance by bestplaces.net, the city’s property crime rate is 30.5. This rate is lower than the nationwide average of 35.4 and California’s average of 37.1. The violent crime rate is an astonishingly low 9.3 – significantly lower than the US average of 22.7 and the California average of 25.2.
- Electric service: The major electricity provider in Torrance, CA, is Southern California Edison. To get power, visit the electric company’s Turn Your Service On and Off page.
- Gas service: Southern California Gas Company provides natural gas service to the city. To begin gas service, check out the Schedule Service page.
- Water service: Torrance Municipal Water (TMW), a community-owned utility, provides high-quality water to the community. For more info, visit the Water Services page.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service: The Sanitation Division provides these services. To find out more, check out the City of Torrance’s Trash and Recycling page.
- Internet/Cable service: The major providers include AT&T, DirecTV, Frontier Communications, Spectrum, and Verizon.
Best Neighborhoods in Torrance, CA
Set on moving to Torrance, but don’t know where to set up residence? These are the best neighborhoods in and around Torrance:
Country Hills, nestled in the southern tip of the city, is a well-established neighborhood bordered by Hawthorne Blvd on the west and Crenshaw Blvd on the southeast. Homes range in size from three to five bedrooms and are of high value. Rentals are scarce.
Dog-friendly and highly walkable, Country Hills is home to DePortola Park, which sits on 12.5 acres of green space. The park offers an assortment of amenities, including a one-third mile fitness path, picnic area, and softball diamond. As for drawbacks, traffic can get pretty congested, especially on weekends.
Locals love stopping in for a pastry at 85ºC Bakery Café or a tasty meal at Country Touch Café. If you’re seeking the perfect single-family home in a safe, friendly neighborhood, you’ll love living in Country Hills.
- Population – Under 2,400 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $1.09 million
- Household Income – Median yearly income $129,100
- Rent Prices – $3,900 for a 3BR and $4,300 for a 4BR apartment
- Schools – South High School, Edward J Richardson Middle School, Walteria Elementary School, Riviera Elementary School, Kurt T Sherry High School
Pacific Colony borders Torrance Blvd on the south and S Prospect Ave on the west. About 71% of residents in this small, mostly residential neighborhood own their homes. A few apartment complexes exist, but as of February 2020, there was no rental availability.
As the least populated neighborhood on our list, Pacific Colony packs a punch. It’s the second wealthiest neighborhood in the city, just behind Riviera, and residents tend to be retirees with liberal political views. Pacific Inn, an assisted-living community, is located on the eastern border of the neighborhood.
A few popular restaurants are Hoka Hoka Sushi and Taishi Hainan Chicken. Want a smaller, more affluent community close to Redondo Beach? Look no further than Pacific Colony.
- Population – Under 1,300 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $1.29 million
- Household Income – Median yearly income $91,300
- Rent Prices – $1,848 for a studio and $2,900 for a 2BR apartment, if available
- Schools – Redondo Union High School, Alta Vista Elementary School, West High School, Nick G Parras Middle School, Anza Elementary School
Pacific South Bay
Pacific South Bay, found in the northwestern corner of the city, is bordered by Beryl St on the north, Ronald Ave on the east, Del Amo Blvd on the south, and N Prospect Ave on the west. This neighborhood has more of a dense urban vibe, with super proximity to Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. 56% of residents are homeowners.
Offering convenient access to sunny beaches and three parks that include Sunnyglen Park, Entradero Park, and Redondo Beach’s Dominguez Park, the neighborhood is chock-full of amenities for retired folks and families alike.
Top Wok and Miyoda are favorites with locals. Though this is a popular neighborhood with retirees, Pacific South Bay is also a great place to raise kids.
- Population – Under 8,800 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $1.22 million
- Household Income – Median yearly income $99,400
- Rent Prices – $1,848 for a studio and $2,900 for a 2BR apartment
- Schools – Redondo Union High School, West High School, Nick G Parras Middle School, Beryl Heights Elementary School, Bert M Lynn Middle School
Along with being the most affluent neighborhood in Torrance, Riviera is also considered the #2 best place to live in the city. Situated in the southwestern corner of Torrance and bordered by the Pacific Coast Highway to the north, it has a wide range of single-family homes in many styles and periods.
Friendly, with a small-town vibe, Riviera has very little crime, and it’s a real plus that everyone looks out for each other here. The neighborhood is home to Los Arboles Rocketship Park, Torrance County Beach, and El Retiro Park. On the downside, you’ll need your car to commute and run errands – walkability and bikeability are somewhat limited.
Mexican Riviera Restaurant and Bettolino Kitchen are a few top spots with locals. If you’re looking for a home with amazing views in the most prestigious neighborhood, then Riviera is a top choice.
- Population – Under 16,500 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $1.35 million
- Household Income – Median yearly income $119,400
- Rent Prices – $2,000 for a 1BR and $2,600 for a 2BR apartment
- Schools – Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Palos Verdes High School, Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary School, Riviera Elementary School, Tulita Elementary School, Riviera Hall Lutheran School
Seaside, located between the neighborhoods of Southwood on the north and Southwood Riviera on the southeast, offers a dense suburban feel. 67% of residents are homeowners.
Less than two miles east of Redondo Beach State Park, Seaside is a safe neighborhood with access to stellar schools. Though it’s super dog-friendly and walkable to restaurants, you’ll probably need a car to run most errands and commute. Popular spots include Sea-Arie Golf Course, Hey 19 Public House, and Dream Dinners.
Whether you’re a single working professional or have a family, Seaside offers just the right blend of proximity to the ocean and pleasant suburban living.
- Population – Under 6,700 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $1 million
- Household Income – Median yearly income $129,300
- Rent Prices – $3,495 for a 3BR and $3,538 for a 4BR apartment
- Schools – Redondo Union High School, South High School, Nick G Parras Middle School, Tulita Elementary School, Seaside Elementary School, Alta Vista Elementary School
Ranked #1 best neighborhoods to live in Torrance by niche.com, we land in Southwood. It borders Torrance Blvd on the north, Hawthorne Blvd on the east, W Sepulveda Blvd on the south, and S Prospect Ave on the west.
Offering ocean breezes and topnotch amenities, Southwood is hard to beat. Homes are older and on the smaller side, but typically are found on larger lots. The neighborhood is home to Paradise Park, and you’ll find plenty of convenient shopping.
Locals enjoy Tender Greens, Curry House, and Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. Family-friendly and exuding a sense of community, Southwood is the top neighborhood to live in Torrance.
- Population – Under 2,800 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $937,000
- Household Income – Median yearly income $116,600
- Rent Prices – $3,350 for a 3BR apartment
- Schools – Redondo Union High School, Jefferson Middle School, Anza Elementary School
Walteria, just north of Country Hills, is bordered by Pacific Coast Highway on the northeast, Crenshaw Blvd on the southeast, and Hawthorne Blvd on the northwest. It’s one of the top five wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, and 63% of residents own their homes. You’ll find mostly midsize single-family houses and a few apartment complexes.
Arguably the safest and quietest neighborhood in South Torrance, Walteria is filled with friendly and active residents who enjoy getting out on their bikes, jogging, and walking their dogs. It’s home to DePortola Park, and Pacific Endo-Surgical Center is also just north of the neighborhood.
Gaetano’s Restaurant, Torrance Black Bear Diner, and Islands Restaurant Torrance are a few popular spots with Walteria residents, but you’ll also find many other cafes, coffee places, and shopping along Hwy 1. Offering attractive streets and friendly neighbors, Walteria is a top place to live in southern Torrance.
- Population – Under 7,600 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $887,500
- Household Income – Median yearly income $103,100
- Rent Prices – $1,795 for a 1BR and $2,268 for a 2BR apartment
- Schools – South High School, Edward J Richardson Middle School, Walteria Elementary School, Riviera Elementary School, Kurt T Shery High School
Located in the northwestern region of the city, just east of Pacific South Bay, West Torrance is bordered by W 190th St on the north, Hawthorne Blvd on the east, Del Amo Blvd on the south, and Ronald Ave on the west. In West Torrance, 55% of residents own their homes. In this neighborhood, you’ll find single-family homes, apartments, and condos to fit all kinds of lifestyles.
West Torrance is conveniently just east of Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, as well as La Romeria Park and Entradero Park. Lots of convenient shopping and eating spots are in West Torrance, especially around Anza Ave and Del Amo Blvd. Some of the most popular spots that locals enjoy are HopSaint Brewery and JONS International Marketplace.
If you’re looking for a highly walkable neighborhood close to the beach that’s a bit more affordable than other neighborhoods, West Torrance should be on your radar.
- Population – Under 12,800 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $909,700
- Household Income – Median yearly income $98,100
- Rent Prices – $1,375 for a 1BR and $1,575 for a 2BR apartment
- Schools – West High School, Bert M Lynn Middle School, Towers Elementary School, Victor Elementary School, Kurt T Shery High School
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