The city of Carpinteria has released the 2019 Carpinteria Valley Economic Profile. The report, prepared by Mark Schniepp of the California Economic Forecast, sets out a broad-reaching overview of the status of the city when it comes to quality of life and economic health bench markers. CVN has compiled a summary of several key indicators. To read the full report visit carpinteria.ca.us.
Last year, over 300 jobs were created in Carpinteria Valley, two-thirds in the information sector. Leading the growth, Procore has gone from 161 employees in 2005 to 850 in 2019, making it the largest employer in the valley, followed by Agilent (400), Carpinteria Unified School District (365), LinkedIn (312), Nusil Technology (284) and Gigavac (232).
Expanded cannabis cultivation has driven growth in the agricultural sector outside the city limits. Thirty-seven companies in Carpinteria Valley hold temporary cannabis cultivation licenses, dedicating over 100 acres to cannabis crops, many repurposing greenhouses formerly used for flowers. Since 2017, the ag sector created 112 jobs. Other notable job boosts in 2018 include the hotel and restaurant industry (86), and the wholesale sector (53).
The retail sector, however, lost 32 jobs in 2018, and saw shrinking sales by 13 percent over the last five years, with some stores going out of business.
In 2018, Carpinteria State Beach attracted an estimated 891,000 visitors who spent $30 million in Carpinteria. The six local hotels with more than 600 total rooms had an average occupancy rate of 69.8 percent and garnered an all time high of $21 million. Additionally, 200 short-term rental properties recorded $3.5 million in revenue and $415,000 in transient occupancy taxes for the city.
Crime rates in Carpinteria have been very low since the late 1990s, according to the report, and are among the lowest in the county. As of 2017, a total of 232 crimes were reported for every 10,000 residents in Carpinteria compared to Santa Barbara at 305 and Lompoc at 277. There have been no homicides or cases of willful manslaughter in Carpinteria for more than a decade, and the city has very low rates of rape, robbery and assault.
Residential real estate
Carpinteria continues to experience growth in its housing demand. Within city limits, the report estimates there are 2,136 apartment units with a vacancy rate in March 2019 of 0.9 percent and an average monthly rent at $1,825. Home prices rose 11.7 percent in 2018 with a median selling value of $1.16 million.
The report confirmed that the construction of new housing has been virtually non-existent in recent years, noting, “The relative lack of new housing units has helped to ensure that the region remains small, though traffic congestion is intensified by limited worker housing. Furthermore, retail stores and services must rely more on visitor spending than resident spending.” Currently, there are 54 residential units approved in Carpinteria and 66 additional proposed units. The 31-unit Seahouse residential project broke ground in April 2019.
According to the report, traffic volumes are rising in Carpinteria, approaching the highest levels in a decade. In 2017, an average of 72,500 vehicles traversed the intersection of Linden Avenue and Highway 101 each day. Exacerbated by the Highway 101 construction project, commute times are increasing. In 2018, workers who lived in the city of Carpinteria had an average commute time of 25 minutes.
Carpinteria’s population exhibits steady growth, having gained more than 75 new residents in 2018 and rounding out a total city population of 13,704 and a total Carpinteria Valley (zip codes 93013 and 93067) population of 20,618.
Not surprisingly the report noted the high cost of homes in Carpinteria which have reached the heights of home prices at the top of the 2006 “bubble.” A typical mortgage payment for a median-priced single-family home is now above $5,700 while the median household income is $6,900 per month, “meaning that the mortgage payment on a typical home would exceed 80 percent of median income.”
Carpinteria offers a large share of mobile homes though—”no other jurisdiction in California (aside from rural zones) has a higher share of mobile homes than the city of Carpinteria,” the report stated. At close to 74 percent lower than the cost of a single-family home, the median price for mobile homes was $298,250 in 2018.
In 2018, the median household income in the city of Carpinteria was $76,651. However, the report noted that almost 30 percent of households earned $125,000 or more and only 21 percent earned less than $35,000; stating, moreover, that “across Santa Barbara County and the broader state, household incomes are lower, indicating that Carpinteria is a relatively affluent region of California.”