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LA rents have surged 4.5 percent since last year

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Rents nationwide rose 2.6 percent over the same time period

View of apartment building Tony Hoffarth | creative commons

The cost of rent in Los Angeles is up 4.5 percent since last year, according to a new report from Apartment List. The analysis indicates that the median price for a one-bedroom is $1,330, while a two-bedroom rents for $1,710.

If you’re wondering if those numbers are typos, we don’t blame you. When we reported on a similar report just last month, the rental website listed the median price for a one-bedroom at $1,930; two-bedrooms, according to that analysis, fetched a whopping $2,750.

No, rental prices didn’t fall by hundreds of dollars per month over the course of a single month. So what happened? Well, Apartment List changed its methodology.

As explained in this blog post, the website’s previous price estimates (based on apartments listed with the service) tended to skew toward the luxury end of the market. To correct for this, the new analysis starts with U.S. Census data, estimating market changes by tracking the prices of similar units as they become available over time.

In the city of Los Angeles, Census data will be affected by rent control regulations, but Apartment List analyst Chris Salviati tells Curbed that the report accounts for this by using only data from residents who have recently moved (meaning they haven’t benefitted from stabilized rent for very long).

The new estimates may be lower than they were before, but they still show that rents in Los Angeles are pretty darn high. By comparison, the national median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,150.

Prices are also increasing more rapidly in LA than in the rest of the country. Nationally, rental prices rose 2.6 percent last year. The 4.5 percent bump in Los Angeles is also higher than the 3.9 percent average increase across California.