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Santa Monica Rents Continue Trending Down


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By Jorge Casuso

February 29, 2024 -- Rents in Santa Monica dropped for the fourth straight month in February and have now seen a much steeper annual decrease than rents in both the nation and State, according to the latest monthly report by Apartment List.

Over the past 12 months, Santa Monica's average rent has dropped -7.1 percent, the largest annual decrease in the LA metro area, and far larger than the decreases of -1.0 percent nationwide and -1.3 percent in California.

Santa Monica Rent Growth

After a -0.7 percent dip in February, Santa Monica's overall median rent stands at $2,555, according to data based on listings posted on the popular rental website.

Despite a four-month slide, overall median monthly rents in Santa Monica are 18.3 percent higher than the LA metro-wide median of $2,160.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica is now $2,418 and $2,899 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the report.

The city's February rent dip comes as the nation's rental market "turned a corner," with prices inching up 0.2 percent, the first increase after six months of declines.

"This turnaround is in line with the rental market’s typical seasonal pattern, as we transition into the time of year when moving activity starts to gradually pick back up after bottoming out around the holidays," the report said.

After dipping -1.0 over the past year, the nationwide median rent stands at $1,377.1, according to the data.

"Despite this cooldown, the national median rent is still more than $200 per month higher than it was just three years ago," the report noted.

"After prices skyrocketed in 2021 and 2022, the pendulum has been swinging back a bit over the past year as price growth has been kept in check by sluggish demand colliding with a robust supply of new inventory hitting the market," Apartment List researchers wrote.

Of the nation’s 100 largest cities, 57 saw rents rise in February, although only 43 have seen year-over-year increases, according to the report.

Among the 24 cities in the LA metro area included in Apartment List's database, Newport Beach is currently the most expensive, with a median rent of $3,295.

Long Beach is the metro’s most affordable city, with a median rent of $1,774. The metro's fastest annual rent growth is taking place in Orange (4.7%) while the slowest is in Santa Monica (-7.1%).

Vacancies nationwide continue to increase and stand at 6.6 percent as "multifamily occupancy has been slowly but consistently easing for over two years" after "a historic tightening in 2021," the report said.

"And with this year expected to bring the most new apartment completions in decades, we expect that there will continue to be an abundance of vacant units on the market in the year ahead," the researchers predicted.

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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