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Santa Monica Rental Market Remains Sluggish


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By Jorge Casuso

June 28, 2024 -- Santa Monica rents remained flat in June, dipping for the fifth month this year as the national rental market remains sluggish, according to the monthly rent report by Apartment List.

The report released Wednesday found that the median rent in the city decreased by -0.3 percent during the month, and has now fallen by a total of -4.0 percent over the past 12 months.

Santa Monnica Rent Growth Over Past 12 Months

Santa Monica’s year-over-year rent growth now lags behind both the state and LA Metro area's rent growth of -0.8 percent and the national average of -0.7 percent.

The overall median rent in the city stands at $2,462, with the median rent for a one-bedroom unit at $2,221 and $2,794 for a two-bedroom, according to data based on the site's listings.

While Santa Monica' monthly rates dropped for the fifth time this year, rent prices nationwide ticked up for the fifth straight month.

Still, the market remains sluggish with an increase of only 0.4 percent in June bringing the median national rent to $1,411 a month.

The relatively flat rents during a season when rents typically accelerate "indicates that the market is headed for another slow summer," Apartment List researchers wrote.

"Since the second half of 2022, seasonal declines in rent prices have been steeper than usual and seasonal increases have been more mild. As a result, apartments are on average slightly cheaper today than they were one year ago."

But despite the "cooldown," the national median rent is more than $200 per month higher than it was a few years ago, according to the report.

So far this year, Santa Monica's rents have decreased -0.6 percent, compared to a -3.3 percent drop in the first six months of last year.

Still, Santa Monica rents are $263, or 12 percent higher, than the metro-wide median for the 25 LA and Orange county cities included in Apartment List's database.

Calabasas remains the most expensive city, with a median rent of $3,400, while Long Beach is still the metro’s most affordable city, with a median rent of $1,783.

The metro's fastest annual rent growth is taking place in Fullerton (3.3 percent) while the slowest is in West Hollywood (-6.7 percent).

On a national level, rent increases are being tempered by "a robust construction pipeline expected to deliver a decades-high number of new apartment units in 2024," researchers wrote.

"Improving consumer sentiment about broader macroeconomic conditions may be driving a modest rebound in rental demand, but that bounceback has so far been outweighed by the impact of incoming supply," the report concluded.

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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