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Santa Monica Rent Growth Remains Sluggish

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By Jorge Casuso

June 28, 2022 -- For the third straight month median rents in Santa Monica rose by less than 1 percent in June, mirroring a slowing growth trend across the LA region.

Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday found that rents in Santa Monica rose by 0.7 percent in June, after seeing a 0.8 percent increase in May and a 0.1 percent increase in April.

Currently, median rents in Santa Monica stand at $2,047 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,551 for a two-bedroom, according to the report.

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Santa Monica's 9.1 percent rent growth over the past year has failed to make up for the steep price drop during the coronavirus shutdown, leaving rents 2 percent below pre-pandemic levels, the report found.

It also is a slower rate of growth than the State average of 13.5 percent over the past year and the 14.1 percent average increase nationwide.

The nation's average 1.3 percent increase in June "is continuing to pace ahead of pre-pandemic trends, even as it cools substantially from last summer’s peak," Apartment List researchers wrote.

Still there are signs the rental market will pick up some steam during the busy summer rental season, researchers said.

"While the apartment market has shown some signs of easing, our 5 percent vacancy index remains well below the pre-pandemic norm, and increased pressure in the for-sale market could translate to the rental market as well.

"Despite a recent cool-down, many American renters are likely to remain burdened throughout 2022 by historically high housing costs," the report predicts.

In larger communities across the Metro LA region rents remained relatively flat, ranging from an 0.4 percent drop in West Hollywood to an increase of 1.7 percent in Marina del Rey.

Rents in Marina del Rey are now by far the highest in the region, with a one-bedroom apartment going for a median rent of $4,240 and $4,920 for a two bedroom.

Year-over-year rent growth in Marina del Rey stands at 18.1 percent, double the 9.1 percent for Santa Monica.

Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and West Hollywood all had higher monthly rents than Santa Monica.

In June, 97 of the nation’s 100 largest cities saw rents increase, according to the report, which is based on listings posted on the popular rental site.

"New York City has seen the nation’s fastest city-level rent growth over the past year, while some of the hottest Sun Belt markets are finally showing signs of plateauing growth," the report found.

Rents in once red-hot Seattle and San Jose have seen only modest growth during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, pricey coastal metros, including San Francisco; Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, have "consistently been sluggish compared to the national average."

The San Francisco metro area is now the only region where the median rent is still below its pre-pandemic level, although by only 1 percent.

Apartment List Rent Report data is 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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