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Santa Monica Rents Increase for First Time Since October, Report Finds
 

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By Jorge Casuso

March 29, 2022 -- Rents in Santa Monica rose 2.8 percent in March, marking the first time since October that the median price for an apartment has increased, according to Apartment List's monthly report released Tuesday.

The increase comes after rents in Santa Monica dipped 0.4 percent in February, 0.5 percent in January, 2.8 percent in December and 1.8 percent in November.

The March increase was the largest since rents rose 3.3 percent in Santa Monica last July, according to a review by The Lookout of the monthly reports, which are based on listings posted on the popular rental site.

The 2.8 percent rise in March was higher than the 0.8 percent increase nationwide, according to the report.

Median rents in Santa Monica currently stand at $2,087 for a 1-bedroom apartment, up from $2,014 in February, and $2,625 for a two-bedroom, up from $2,533.

"Rent growth is continuing to pick up steam again, after a brief winter cooldown," Apartment List researchers wrote.

"So far this year, rents are growing more slowly than they did in 2021, but faster than the growth we observed in the years immediately preceding the pandemic."

Rent growth over the past year currently stands at a "staggering" 17.1 percent nationwide, with most of the growth taking place last spring and summer, according to the report.

Santa Monica's year-over-year rent growth was 13.7 percent, compared to a drop of 16.3 percent at this time last year. That lagged behind the 16.4 percent rent growth in California over the past year and the 16 percent growth in Los Angeles.

Prices are expected to continue rising as the rental market enters its busy season, "when the bulk of annual rent growth typically occurs," the report said.

Meanwhile, the nationwide vacancy rate hit 4.6 percent in March, marking the seventh monthly increase, according to the report.

Santa Monica's increasing rent prices reflected a nationwide trend that saw rents rise in 93 of the 100 largest cities.

Rents in Los Angeles ticked up 1 percent in March, marking the 14th straight monthly increase, according to the report.

Currently, median rents in Los Angeles stand at $1,756 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,304 for a two-bedroom.

Irvine continued to log in the highest rents in the Los Angeles region, with the median price for a two-bedroom currently at $3,520, followed by Santa Clarita at $2,750.

Santa Monica's $2,625 median rent for a two bedroom was the third highest in the region, followed by Pasadena with $2,610, according to the report.

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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