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Downtown Santa Monica Among Nation's Most Expensive Zip Codes for Renters

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By Jorge Casuso

October 7, 2019 -- Downtown Santa Monica ranked among the nation's 50 most expensive Zip codes to rent an apartment, but was topped by four other areas around Los Angeles, according to an annual ranking by an online rental website.

The list, released last week by RENTCafe, ranked 90401 as the 43rd most expensie Zip code for renters in 2019, with an average rent of $3,787.

The Downtown Santa Monica Zip code has seen a housing boom over the past two decades, with the new units exempt from the city's strict rent control law that covers buildings constructed before 1979 ("Santa Monica Among Nation's Costliest Cities to Rent a Newer Apartment," May 31, 2019).

The 90024 Zip code in Westwood, and 90048, which includes West Hollywood and Beverly Grove, were the most expensive zip codes in California.

The two Zip codes ranked 4th and 5th respectively, with average rents of $4,944 and $4,896.

Other LA area Zip codes where average rents topped those in Santa Monica were 90232 in Culver City, which ranked 26th with an average rent of $4,118, and Marina del Rey, which ranked 41st with $3,804.

Manhattan claimed the three most expensive Zip codes for renters in the country, with 10282 in Battery Park easily topping the list with an average rent of $6,211.

That was nearly $1,000 more than the average rent of $5,327 in zip code 10013, which covers the Tribeca and SoHo neighborhoods.

"The most-coveted locations for high-paying jobs and endless opportunities, New York City and California grab the most spots in the top 50 as priciest places to live in the U.S.," RENTCafe wrote.

Of the 50 most expensive Zip codes, 28 were in New York City and 18 were in California, according to the site. The other four were in Boston.

"California apartments aren’t too far behind those in New York. In fact, among the top 10 most expensive ZIP codes 3 alone are in California, split between two in LA and one in SF," Rent Cafe said.

Those searching for the best rental deals will have to look in Wichita, Kansas, which had four of the five Zip codes with the nation's cheapest rents.

Zip code 67213, a mid-sized city in South-central Kansas along the Arkansas River, had the cheapest rent, with an average of $423 per month.

Memphis Zip codes grabbed three other ten-top spots.

No California city was listed among the to 50 cheapest places to rent.

The RENTCafe study used the actual rent charged in apartment buildings with 50 or more rental units, located in over 130 U.S. markets, totaling approximately 15 million apartment units, according to the site.

Zip codes with fewer than 200 rental units and fewer than 3 rental properties were not included in the study. The average rent prices are as of July 2019.

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