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Santa Monica Rents Dip Amid Sluggish Market


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By Jorge Casuso

April 29, 2024 -- After a one-month rise, Santa Monica rents decreased again in April, bucking a nationwide trend that saw average rents inch up for the third straight month, according to the latest monthly report by Apartment List.

The overall median rent in Santa Monica now stands at $2,472, after falling -0.6 percent over the past month, according to data based on listings posted on the popular rental website. Rents had increased 1.5 percent in March after a four-month drop.

Santa Monica Annual Rent Growth

Despite April's dip, local rents are 13.2 percent higher than the median rent of $2,184 for the LA metro region.

The slight drop in Santa Monica rents comes as the median national rent increased by only 0.5 percent in April to $1,396, "signaling ongoing sluggishness in the market," the website's researchers wrote.

"This is typically the time of year when rent growth is accelerating heading into the busy moving season, so the fact that growth stalled this month could be a sign that the market is headed for another slow summer," the report said.

Apartments are on average "slightly cheaper today" than they were a year ago after seasonal declines were steeper than usual and increases milder since the second half of 2022.

As a result, year-over-year rent growth currently stands at -0.8 percent nationally and has now been in negative territory since last summer, according to the report.

Santa Monica rents have fared worse, decreasing by a total of -4.7 percent over the past 12 months. That lags behind a -0.9 percent drop for California and the -1.3 percent drop for the LA Metro region.

Those drops are indicative of a trend in West Coast states, as well as in Sun belt states like Florida, Texas and Arizona that are seeing a significant influx of new housing, researchers wrote.

Among the 26 LA and Orange county cities included in Apartment List's database, Calabasas is currently the most expensive, with a median rent of $3,252.

Long Beach is the metro’s most affordable city, with a median rent of $1,783. The metro's fastest annual rent growth is taking place in Orange (3.2 percent) while the slowest is in West Hollywood (-6.3 percent).

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica is currently $2,340 and $2,805 for a two-bedroom, significantly higher than the $1,868 and $2,383 median rents for Los Angeles.

Apartment List Rent Report data are 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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