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Santa Monica Sees Biggest Annual Rent Drop in Region


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By Jorge Casuso

January 31, 2024 -- Santa Monica had the largest annual rent decrease in the LA region, dropping by -5.4 percent after prices fell in January for the third straight month, according to the latest monthly report by Apartment List.

Rents in Santa Monica decreased -1.4 percent in January, following a -3.5 percent drop in December and a -1.7 percent decrease in November, according to data based on listings posted on the popular rental website.

Santa Monica Annual Rent Growth

The median rent in Santa Monica dropped to $2,427 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,909 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the data.

Santa Monica's -1.4 percent decrease in January was steeper than the nationwide decrease of -0.3 percent that capped off "a slow winter season," the website's researchers wrote.

"The recent declines are in line with the rental market’s typical seasonal pattern, as fewer renters are looking to move in the fall and winter," the report said.

Still, "this year’s dip has been a bit sharper and more prolonged than what we normally see," with the market "in negative territory at -1 percent."

Despite Santa Monica's monthly and annual decreases, the median rent for an apartment is $2,564 a month, or 18.8 percent higher than the $2,159 median for the 22 cities in LA and Orange counties included in the report, according to the data.

Newport Beach is currently the most expensive, with a median rent of $3,230, after Marina del Rey was dropped from the list when it failed to "meet our minimum sample size threshold," according to Christopher Salvati of Apartment List.

Long Beach is the metro’s most affordable city, with a median rent of $1,751. The metro's fastest annual rent growth is occurring in Santa Clarita, where rents have increased 3.9 percent.

January saw rents fall in 73 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, with prices down year-over-year in 53 of the cities. The sharpest annual drop was -9.1 percent in Oakland.

According to the report, the rental market has bottomed out, with January's dip being "relatively modest" compared to recent months.

"We’re nearing the end of the rental market’s winter slow season, and it’s possible that rent growth could turn positive again as soon as next month," according to the report.

"But even when positive rent growth returns, it should be moderated by a robust construction pipeline delivering strong supply growth throughout 2024."

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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