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Santa Monica Rents Continue Rising After Big Drop, Report Finds

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
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Santa Monica, CA 90405
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By Jorge Casuso

April 27, 2021 -- After a big drop during the coronavirus shutdown, Santa Monica rents increased for the fourth straight month in April, rising by 3 percent over the past month and outpacing rent growth nationwide, according to the latest report by Apartment List.

Despite the increase -- which saw median rents for a one bedroom reach $1,942 and $2,443 for a two-bedroom -- rents in Santa Monica still remain 8.4 percent below what they were at the same time last year.

Santa Monica's rising rents reflect a nationwide trend that saw prices continuing to rebound, with Apartment List's national index up by 1.9 percent month-over-month.

"We are now seeing that the markets where rents had been falling sharply have turned a corner, and in some cases, prices in these cities have started to rebound rapidly," the online listing service found.

"But although some may be moving back to superstar cities, affordable mid-sized markets are continuing to boom."

Santa Monica's rebound reflects a turnaround in expensive coastal cities that saw sharp rent decreases during the height of the coronavirus shutdown.

"The days of plummeting rents in pricey coastal markets have come to an end," according to the monthly report.

"The cities with the sharpest year-over-year rent declines are now experiencing positive rent growth again, and in some cases, prices are rapidly rebounding," the report said.

San Francisco -- which saw rents plummet during the COVID-19 lockdown -- has seen prices increase by 7 percent over the past two months, although rents are still down 19.5 percent from this time last year.

According to the report, "9 of the 10 cities with the sharpest year-over-year declines have now had three consecutive months of rising rents."

Santa Monica's 3 percent rent growth outpaced price increases in other LA County cities, according to the report. Los Angeles saw rents rise by 1.3 percent, Long Beach by 1.2 percent and Pasadena by 1.6 percent.

While the $1,942 median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica was far above the national average of $1,137, it was below a few regional cities.

Irvine now has the most expensive rents among the largest cities in the Los Angeles metro area, the report found.

The Orange County city saw the median rent for a one bedroom apartment rise to $2,340, and to $2,895 for a two-bedroom, a 4.2 percent increase over the past year.

Last month's 1.9 percent rise in rents nationwide -- which broke a record set the previous month -- "reversed the disruption experienced in the early stages of the pandemic," researchers wrote.

It also marks "the biggest monthly jump" since Apartment List launched its national index in 2017.

"Rent growth has now been outpacing prior-year averages for several months, indicating that this year’s moving season is set to be a historically busy one," the report concluded.

Apartment List Rent Report data is drawn monthly from the millions of listings on the site, according to the website.

The report calculates 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rents and aims to identify transacted rent prices, as opposed to the listed rent prices. To view the full report click here.

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