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Santa Monica Among Nation's Costliest Cities to Rent a Newer Apartment
By Jorge Casuso
May 30, 2019 -- Santa Monica is among the top six costliest cities in the nation to rent a newer apartment, although when it comes to studios, two neighboring areas rank higher, according to a report by ApartmentGuide released Thursday.
The report provides a different window into the Santa Monica rental market than the numbers compiled by the Rent Control Board, although the sample size is much smaller than the 2,340 properties on the agency's rolls.
While the Board only lists apartment buildings constructed before 1979 -- most of them in smaller properties -- ApartmentGuide's list focuses on newer, much larger buildings (For the full report click here).
"Ours are those big apartment complexes with retail on the bottom floor you see in Downtown areas," said Brian Carberry who authored the report.
They offer "the appeal of urban living, everything walkable and close to public transit," Carberry said.
They are the kind of buildings that Santa Monica developers have been constructing in the Downtown and near public transit for the past two decades and are being encouraged by the City's zoning code.
The ApartmentGuide report found that studios listed in the 28 Santa Monica properties that list studios on the service averaged $2,958 a month, making it the sixth most expensive studio market in the country.
That compares with the median rent of $1,850 paid last year by tenants moving into a rent-controlled studio fetching market rents under vacancy decontrol ("Santa Monica's Newest Rent Control Tenants Leaving More Quickly, Report Finds," March 20, 2019).
Marina del Rey -- which ranked third with an average of $3,316-- and Culver City -- fifth with an average of $3,099 -- were higher.
The two most expensive places in the country to rent a studio were in the Bay Area -- Redwood City topped the list with an average rental rate of $3,362, followed by San Francisco, where the average listing price was $3,356.
The only other city that fetched higher prices than Santa Monica was New York, where the average studio price was $3,235.
Santa Monica was also near the top of the list for one- and two-bedroom units in the 54 properties listing those units in ApartmentGuide.
The beach city was the fifth costliest place in the nation to rent a one-bedroom apartment and the sixth for a two-bedroom.
The average price for a one-bedroom listed on AprtmentGuide was $3,786. That compares with a median rent of $2,395 paid by a market-rate tenant for a one-bedroom unit under vacancy decontrol.
Topping ApartmentGuide's list was New York, where the average price was $4,147, and San Francisco at $3,854.
They were followed by Mountain View in Silicon Valley, where one-bedroom units averaged $3,828, and Redwood City, where they averaged $3,794.
Four of Santa Monica's Westside neighbors also made the top 20 – West Hollywood was seventh, Playa Vista 12th, Marina del Rey 14th and Culver City 16th. Los Angeles ranked 36th.
Two bedroom units in Santa Monica listed in ApartmentGuide averaged $4,716, compared to a median rent of $3,200 for rent-controlled units, which are at least 40 years old.
New York easily topped ApartmentGuide's list with an average listing price of $6,105.
Westwood ranked 2nd, with an average price of $5,260, followed by Boston, San Francisco and Redwood City.
Four of Santa Monica's neighboring cities were among the 14 costliest markets to rent a two-bedroom apartment -- Playa Vista was 10th, West Hollywood was 12th, Marina del Rey was 13th and Los Angeles 14th.
Santa Monica was not ranked among the costliest cities to rent a three-bedroom apartment because it had fewer than five properties listing the larger units.
Hollywood topped that list with an average rent of $8,850, followed by Los Angeles at $8,563.
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