Lynn Washington, 59, can't find a Marina del Rey rental for his budget of $1,000/month and is paranoid and freaked out. "I can't afford to live in Los Angeles," he tells the Times. "I almost feel like I'm being forced out." While Mr. Washington has caught wind of the secret, citywide "X Files"-like conspiracy to push him out of state, there's no denying this bit of news: As housing prices fall, the economy worsens, and rental occupancy rates rise, rents in the Southland are on the upswing. Via the LA Times: "Apartment rents are indeed climbing, hitting an average of $1,494 a month in Southern California for the last three months of 2007, an increase of 4.5% over the same period a year earlier, according to a survey of larger apartment complexes by RealFacts, a property research firm." The RealFacts firm doesn't study smaller apartment buildings, so it's a slightly skewed number, but the story does quote the owner of Westside Rentals talking about how the phones are ringing day and night with renters looking for places.
· Southland rents rise despite falling home prices [LA Times]