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Rents Dip in Santa Monica After Slowly Inching Up

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By Jorge Casuso

August 30, 2022 -- After slowly rising over the past five months, rents in Santa Monica dipped in August by less than 1 percent, according to Apartment List's monthly rent report released Tuesday.

The 0.5 percent decrease came as rent growth nationwide began slowing for the season, with the median rent increasing 0.5 percent, after a 1.1 percent increase in July.

So far this year, rents nationwide are up 7.2 percent, compared to 14.8 percent at this point in 2021, according to the report.

"This year rents have risen slightly faster than they did before the pandemic, but significantly slower than they did in 2021 when rent inflation was at its peak," researchers wrote.

Median rents in Santa Monica currently stand at $2,077 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,588 for a two-bedroom, according to data compiled from listings on the popular website.

The August rent dip comes after a series of monthly increases that started in March and brings the year-over-year rent growth to 4 percent, down from 8 percent at this time last year, according to the report.

Santa Monica's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 9.4 percent, as well as the national average of 10.0 percent, the report found.

Santa Monica wasn't the only city in the Metro Los Angeles area to see rents drop in August.

Rents in West Hollywood fell 3.8 percent, in Laguna Niguel 1 percent, in Santa Clarita 0.6 percent, and in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa 0.5 percent.

Santa Ana had the biggest year-over-year increase with 15.3 percent, while Marina del Rey remains by far the most expensive area, with the median rent for a one-bedroom at $4,650 and a two-bedroom at $5,400.

Other cities with higher median rents than Santa Monica were Newport Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and Costa Mesa, all of them in Orange County.

In Los Angeles, where rents inched up 0.2 percent, the median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,690 and for a two-bedroom $2,230, according to the listing data.

Long Beach had the least expensive rents in the LA Metro area, with a two-bedroom median of $1,973.

While rents in August increased in 79 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, 68 saw rent growth slow down, and in nearly all of the cities rents grew slower than last year.

This a "a welcome sign for apartment hunters who have battled rapid price increases throughout the pandemic," researchers said.

"As we enter the fall and winter months, we expect rental activity will continue to slow and we will likely see modest price decreases in the coming months."

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

The report calculates one-bedroom and two-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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