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LA Apartment Rent Averaged $1,596 Last Year, Will Keep Rising

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After a few years of sluggishness, rents are on the rise in SoCal--the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC has put out its annual Casden Multifamily Forecast and it "predicts average rents in the county will increase 7.9 percent to $2 a square foot in this year, and 9.6 percent to $2.04 a square foot by the end of next year," reports the LA Business Journal (sub. req.). The report looks at LA, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, where it found that rents rose in 39 submarkets last year, according to the LA Times (compare to 2010, when only 26 submarkets rose or even stayed flat, and 2009, when only three rose). The jump was biggest in LA County, where average rents increased 6.2% in 2011, hitting $1,596 per month.

Here's how the rest of the Southland fared:

Orange County: Rents up 3.2% to $1,523
Inland Empire: Rents up 3.4% to $1,069
San Diego County: Rents up 4.3% to $1,377

The report says that renters are moving to apartment complexes from "shadow market" rentals like single family houses and condos, which combined with a massive slowdown in new construction (and some general improvements in the economy) is contributing to the rising prices. Only 2,483 units hits the market in LA last year, down 53%. That's expected to stay flat in 2012. Pictured: Newly-renting The Frank in Venice, where rents are pretty high.
· L.A.'s Apartment Market in Recovery [LABJ, sub. req.]
· Los Angeles rents set to rise sharply in 2012 [LAT]