Home prices are soaring in SoCal, but they still haven't quite hit pre-recession levels. Rents, though, have hit those levels and kept on climbing, according to the latest rental report from brokerage Marcus & Millichap. LA County rents averaged $1,688 a month in the third quarter of 2013, up 2.6 percent from the third quarter of 2012. That means they're now 5.9 percent higher than their pre-recession peak. An M&M broker tells the LA Times "Rent growth has probably got out front of the general economy and general inflation." Greeeeeeeat. The recession forced a lot of homeowners back into the rental market, but rental units are also just incredibly scarce in Los Angeles in general--vacancies were only at 3.6 percent in the third quarter--which means landlords have a lot of power right now. But developers have gotten the message and there's definitely an apartment-building boom underway, particularly from Miracle Mile through Koreatown and into Downtown. There should be 6,100 new units by the end of the year and 9,000 more added next year.
The most affordable place to rent is the Antelope Valley (where rents averaged $816 in the third quarter), but if you're looking for somewhere actually livable, East LA rents averaged $1,195. And, as always, expensive markets and expensive: Santa Monica/Marina del Rey had the highest average ($2,690), followed by Brentwood/Westwood/Beverly Hills ($2,587).
· Apartment Research Market Report Los Angeles County Fourth Quarter 2013 [M&M]
· Average Rent in Los Angeles County Has Jumped to $1,435 [Curbed LA]