What to Know About Living in Gilroy, CA

Living in Gilroy, CA

Gilroy, CA is an often-talked-about city in California’s Santa Clara County. The city’s roots are in agriculture, which the Garlic Festival and farmer’s markets constantly remind of. Where crops used to grow, you’ll find lovely single-family homes and peaceful communities. 

We’ve already written a summary about living in Gilroy, CA, but this page has more detailed information. 

You’re about to learn about the most important factors home buyers must consider, like the cost of living in Gilroy, the job market, and real estate trends. And because we all need ways to exercise, relax, and enjoy the nicer things in life, that’ll also be covered here.

Where is Gilroy, CA?

Gilroy is in Santa Clara County, which is in the state of California.

Gilroy, CA is to the south of Morgan Hill and San Martin, all of which are in the Santa Clara Valley. To the west of Gilroy are the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range is to the east.  

Gilroy, CA is about a 35-minute drive from Central San Jose (~30 miles) and around 1 hour and 20 minutes from San Francisco. 

U.S Highway 101

U.S. Highway 101 Northbound Between Salinas and Gilroy, California- via Ken Lund

Is Gilroy Growing?

In terms of population, Gilroy, CA doesn’t appear to be growing or shrinking by a large amount. In the years since the pandemic, Gilroy has lost about 2.6% of its population. That’s around 1,500 residents, between April 1st, 2020 and July 1st, 2022.

Gilroy’s population over the years:

  • 2010 census data: 48,821
  • 2016 estimate: 55,069
  • 2020 census data: 59,520
  • 2022 estimate: 58,005
  • 2024 population estimate: 57,785

According to census data and estimates, Gilroy, CA is experiencing a decrease in population of about -0.19% annually. 

Important Things to Know About Gilroy

Before it was named Gilroy, the land was part of the San Ysidro village. Hides and tallow were the main exports back then, mostly sent around New Spain, a territory of the Spanish Empire. 

In 1814, John Cameron jumped from an armed merchant ship onto the docks at Monterey, California (or was left ashore because of scurvy). The Scottish seaman often went by John Gilroy, to keep his identity secret. He spent time in ‌missions, ranchos, and pueblos, working as a barrel maker. 

One day, John Gilroy found himself at Rancho San Ysidro. Eventually, he married his employer’s daughter and became the first naturalized English speaker in California, 

When his employer passed away, his daughter and John began developing the land. Maria Clara Ortega de Gilroy and John Gilroy’s town was incorporated in 1868, and it was renamed. 

In 2024, Gilroy, CA the median age in Gilroy, CA is around 35.2 years old (33.5 for males and 36.6 for females). The community takes up 16.52 square miles and is expected to have 65,000 residents by 2025 (according to the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce).

Most people don’t know that Gilroy was also the Hay and Grain Capital, Tobacco Capital, Fruit and Nut Capital, Dairy Capital, and Prune Capital, before earning the Garlic Capital title in the 1980s.

Residents love the wide selection of parks, the small town feel, fantastic shopping, and convenient location. Gilroy also has seven elementary schools, three middle schools, four high schools, and Gavilan Community College. 

What is the Gilroy Cost of Living?

The ERI, or Economic Research Institute, put the Gilroy cost of living at 23% above the national average, but no higher than the California average. That data is tuned for a family of four, renting a 2-bedroom property. 

Other sources put Gilroy's cost of living much higher, at 70% above the US average. 

  • Housing is 152% above the national average.
  • Utilities are just 9% above the national average. 
  • Groceries are 43% above the national average.
  • Transportation costs are 24% above the national average. 

Although groceries and transportation are above national numbers, you can see that the brunt of the expense is in housing. 

What’s the Gilroy Job Market Like?

The residents of Gilroy have a diverse range of employers, but most appear to be in management occupations, administrative roles, sales, and construction/extraction. 

Gilroy, CA grew from ~26,700 employees in 2020 to ~27,900 employees in 2021, marking a 4.55% growth. In the future, the job market is expected to grow faster than the US average (45.8% and 33.5%).

The median household income is $107,729 in Gilroy and the average salary is $80,833. 

What’s the Gilroy Real Estate Market Like?

Our Gilroy homes had a median listing price of $989,490 in February 2024, with plenty of supply at this time of year. The median rent is around $3,450.

Gilroy home prices rose by around 11.5% between December 2022 and December 2023. Usually, homes sell for close to their asking price in Gilroy, CA.

Typical Home in Gilroy

A home in Gilroy, CA - via Omnespsx

In 2021, 2022, and 2023, the Gilroy real estate market saw the most sales between March and July (with different peak months). 

The Gilroy real estate market always slows down in January, before slowly ascending to the summer’s peak activity.

Where Are the Best Places to Live in Gilroy?

You’ll find the more affordable areas in the southeast parts of Gilroy. The northwest parts are quite desirable, so it’s harder to find budget-friendly properties there.

Gilroy City Hall

Gilroy City Hall, with Garlic City Cafe in the foreground - via Pedro Xing

There are various neighborhoods in Gilroy, CA, including:

  • Downtown Gilroy: The heart of Gilroy, CA is full of vibrant stores, great schools, plus lots of single-family homes and apartments. 
  • Carriage Hills: A quiet, family-friendly area with restaurants, shopping, and a movie theatre.
  • Crestwood: This area is known for scenic views, several parks, and a lovely selection of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
  • Harvest Park: This neighborhood is close to major Gilroy employers, but still gives a close-knit feel for families and professionals living here. 
  • Hidden Glen: This small community is west of the Downtown Gilroy area, tucked up against the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
  • Las Animas: Many small businesses operate here, including a few delicious bakeries and restaurants. Las Animas Park is to the south.
  • Maplewood Lane: Known for its slower pace and family-friendly streets, this area has a lot of single-family homes.
  • Mesa Ranch: This affluent area gives off a more rural feel than other spots around Gilroy and has beautiful views for residents.
  • Princevalle: This small neighborhood is near Hidden Glen, featuring condominiums surrounded by single-family homes, schools, and several parks.

Looking for the best Gilroy homes? Browse the updated list of single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments, or use the Map View to examine specific areas.

What is There to Do in Gilroy?

Gilroy is one of the most ideal places for families to settle down. Still, even singles and young couples will absolutely love Gilroy for its outdoor lifestyle, fantastic foods, and neighborly spirit.

There are a lot of ways to stay busy or spend the weekend smiling in Gilroy. This is a short list of the highlights, but we recommend visiting Gilroy to see the rest.

  • The Gilroy Gardens Theme Park: This is a top destination for Gilroy families, with over 40 rides and six unique gardens (including a 60-foot tall greenhouse). There’s also paddle-boating across Coyote Lake and a large waterpark with slides and fountains.
  • Tour the Road to Garlic: Following this garlicky roadmap around Gilroy will take you to garlic-focused eateries, clove-inspired art, and garlic gift shops. By the end, you and your family will have seen garlic used in ways you’d never have imagined possible.

Burning Garlic Sculpture in Gilroy Festival

The flaming garlic sculpture at the Garlic Festival - via Eric T

  • Retail shopping: Gilroy, CA has three large retail complexes and the community has taxable retail sales of over $1 billion. Whether it’s fashion, home decor, or anything else, you’ll find it in Gilroy.
  • Horseriding through redwood forests: The Bright Ranch will get you saddled up and ready to tour the foothills and vineyards around Gilroy. Rounding up Texas longhorn cattle is an optional extra for the adventurous.

Horseback riding in Gilroy CA

See Gilroy from the saddle - via Joe Nuxoll

  • Local wineries and vineyards: Gilroy sits in the Santa Clara Valley, an area that has always lent itself to agriculture and wine production. Over 30 wineries and tasting rooms dot the landscape, meaning you’ll have plenty of places to thrill your palette. 
  • A long list of restaurants: Gilroy’s residents are quite lucky their city has such a strong focus on tasty, often locally sourced, foods. There are options for every meal of the day, often with garlic somewhere on the menu.

The Garlic Festival in Gilroy

Firey displays at the Garlic Festival - via Anita Ritenour

Gilroy doesn’t top the list of nightlife spots; for that, you’re better off traveling into San Jose. Still, many residents see that as an advantage. Less establishments serving alcohol into the evening hours are likely safer for the families in the community. 

What is Near Gilroy?

When you take a look at Gilroy in Google Maps, you’ll see that it’s in the Santa Clara Valley, up against the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Morgan Hill is to the north and offers Gilroy locals different amenities, restaurants, and wineries. 

San Benito County is to the south, the home of famous parks like Kings Canyon and Pinnacles National Park. The county’s largest industry is agriculture and natural attractions are all over, making it a destination for Gilroy locals.   

Driving from Gilroy, CA with ideal road conditions:

  • It takes about 35 minutes to reach Downtown San Jose.
  • It takes about 35 minutes to reach the nearest beach in Moss Landing.
  • It takes about 50 minutes to reach Santa Cruz. 
  • It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach central San Francisco.
  • It takes about 5 and a half hours to reach Disneyland in Los Angeles.
  • It takes about 7 hours to reach Death Valley National Park.

Living in Gilroy, CA

Most cities and neighborhoods claim to be unique, but Gilroy really is. The rich history spills over to the present day - not just in garlic-flavored dishes - but also in the architecture, murals, museums, and sculptures. 

Take a look at the Gilroy listings today and see if any pique your interest. We offer our clients something very rare when they buy a Gilroy home; a satisfaction guarantee. Your happiness and contentment with the home are basically insured for eighteen months. If the love wanes for your new Gilroy property, we’ll step in and buy it or make sure it’s promptly sold. 

A garlic tye-dye flag

A garlic tye-dye flag from the festival - via Eugene Kim

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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