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L.A.-Area Renters Planning Move Look in Metro Region, Report Finds

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By Jorge Casuso

November 22, 2021 -- A third of Los Angeles area renters planning to move are looking elsewhere, although they are choosing to stay within driving distance, according to a report released by Apartment List last week.

The rental website's quarterly Renter Migration Report found that Riverside was the most popular destination for those who currently live in Los Angeles and are looking to move.

Meanwhile, the most common source of renters looking to move to Los Angeles from elsewhere is Riverside.

Across the nation, renters are looking to relocate elsewhere, with nearly 40 percent of apartment hunters nationwide "searching for somewhere to live outside of their current metro," the report found.

The site attributes the trend to a 16 percent rise in median rent prices since January, with some cities seeing rents grow at more than double that rate, according to the report.

"Today, renters who are looking to move are not only dealing with this affordability crunch, but also navigating a tight market with historically low vacancy rates," researchers wrote.

"At the same time, migration patterns are also being impacted by one of the most significant societal shifts brought about by the COVID pandemic -- remote work."

The migration patterns, however, are affecting the Los Angeles area less than other major metropolitan areas, according to the report.

L.A. is not among the ten metros with "the highest share of residents searching to move away to a different metro."

That list is topped by Orlando, Florida, followed by San Francisco and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Nor is L.A. among the ten metros with "the highest share of inbound searches coming from users who currently live in a different metro."

Those areas are San Jose; Raleigh, North Carolina, and New Orleans, according to the report.

Both Raleigh and San Jose made both lists, indicating they "are experiencing high turnover with many renters considering moving both in and out."

"These regions stand out as technology hubs heavily disrupted by the remote work revolution," the researchers wrote.

Apartment List's quarterly report reflects a trend outlined in USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate rental forecast released this month ("Stagnant Rent Growth Forecast for Coastal Cities," November 12, 2021).

The USC report predicts rent growth for coastal communities in an area that includes Santa Monica will decline by one percent over the next year.

Meanwhile, rents in Riverside County are expected to grow by 9.4 percent -- nearly doubling from little more than $1,000 per month in 2010 to nearly $2,000 projected for 2023.

"The farther one gets away from the city of Los Angeles, the greater seems to be the potential for rent growth," the forecast found.

Apartment List's monthly rent report for October found Santa Monica rents continued growing slowly, inching up another 1 percent as the national rental market cools ("Santa Monica Rent Growth Slowing, Listings Show," November 2, 2021).

The increase comes after rents ticked up 0.8 percent in September, according to the report.

Currently, median rents in Santa Monica stand at $2,102 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,644 for a two-bedroom, based on listings on the popular rental site.

The website's quarterly renter migration report "analyzes proprietary data from millions of user searches spanning July through September to determine where Americans are looking to make their next move."

To view the full report, click here

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