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LA rental prices flat in 2018

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Most renters haven’t seen monthly payments rise or fall in 2018

View of new apartment building
The cost of rent in LA is up 3.1 percent over last year, but hasn’t budged in the first months of 2018.
Michael Moloney | Shutterstock

Renters in Los Angeles, by and large, aren’t seeing much change in their monthly payments lately; according to a new report from Apartment List, median rents in the city were flat in March.

The price of a two-bedroom did rise to $1,740 (up $10 over February), but one-bedroom rates remained at $1,350. For the third month since the beginning of the year, prices have held steady month to month in at least one of those categories.

The cost of renting is still 3.1 percent higher than it was this time last year. That’s not a huge uptick, but it does lead average increases for both California (2.9 percent) and the nation (2 percent).

At the start of 2018, experts predicted that the skyrocketing cost of rent in LA could start to level off—or even drop a bit—as the year went on. In part, that’s because prices had already risen to the point that many residents simply couldn’t afford to pay them. A separate report from Apartment List, released at the end of 2017, found that roughly one-third of LA renters spend more than half their income on housing.

Apartment List uses U.S. census data to calculate its median prices, meaning those figures give a good sense of what typical renters are paying—but may not represent what newcomers to LA or residents looking for a new place see when combing through listings.

When calculating median prices, other listing sites, like Zillow, rely more on databases of what’s on the market right now. The site’s most recent calculations for one-bedroom apartments indicate the median price to be $2,098 in Los Angeles. For a two-bedroom, the typical price is $2,805. Zillow finds that prices for both one- and two-bedroom apartments are roughly the same as they were in November 2017.