“Rent Check” gives a snapshot of the financial challenges tenants face in Southern California’s tight market for rentals — and how it varies across the region.
Buzz: Southern California big-city apartment rents rose for the sixth consecutive month in June, according to one index that tracks what landlords are charging.
Source: My trusty spreadsheet reviewed ApartmentList’s monthly rent estimates for 21 large cities tracked in the four-county region. ApartmentList’s estimates include what’s happening with asking rents in its own online listings as well as other price sourcing, including government stats tracking what existing tenants say they are paying.
The big picture
Local big-city rent: $2,083 — up $11 in one month and $259 higher in a year. That’s a population-weighted average of rents indexes for the 21 cities.
One-month change: 0.55% gain vs. average 0.54% increases previous six months. Rents rose in 17 of the 21 cities in the month.
12-month change: 14.2% jump vs. an average increase of 17% in the previous six months. Rents rose in all 21 cities in the year.
Let’s look at the extremes of the market at the city level, starting with rents …
Highest: Irvine at $3,064, Thousand Oaks at $2,877, Santa Clara at $2,676
Lowest: Long Beach at $1,680, Los Angeles at $1,899, Pomona at $1,963
Next, take a peek at differences in how local rents moved between May and June …
Largest: Santa Clara at 1.8%, Riverside at 1.4%, Thousand Oaks at 1.3%
Dips: Fullerton, down 0.4%, Costa Mesa, down 0.2%, Irvine, down 0.1%
Also, consider how rent estimates changed in the past 12 months …
Largest: Irvine at 18.9%, Costa Mesa at 17.3%, Pasadena at 17.1%
Smallest: Rancho Cucamonga at 8%, Santa Monica at 9.1%, Long Beach at 12.3%
And with a longer-term lens, a look at five-year annual rent inflation …
Largest gains: Moreno Valley, up 8% annually, Riverside at 6.5%, Rancho Cucamonga at 6.4%
Least pain: Santa Monica, down 0.4% annually, Santa Clara, up 0.6%, Los Angeles, up 1.6%
The bottom line
These stats show 11 consecutive months of double-digit percentage increases for rents in these 21 Southern California cities. June’s 14.2% jump in a year, however, was the smallest since August — the first month of this streak of large hikes.
How long can rents rise far faster than the 4% yearly increases averaged since 2017?
Rent data varies widely depending on who is counting what, where and when.
Is the math based on surveys of management companies or tenants? Does it look at large apartment projects, smaller complexes or individual condos or homes? Does the tracking include “asking rates” (for new customers), “renewal rates” (for existing tenants) or simply what’s monthly rent expenses? And how are “incentives” (discounts) accounted for?
Note what the Consumer Price Index found in its June survey of what renters pay in various living arrangements: Inland Empire rents were up 8% in a year while Los Angeles and Orange counties was up 4.3%.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com