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Santa Monica Rents Drop for Third Straight Month

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By Jorge Casuso

August 2, 2023 -- Santa Monica rents continued decreasing in July and have now dropped by -2.1 percent this year after a 7.3 rise during the same period last year, according to Apartment List's August report.

The -0.6 percent dip marks the third monthly decrease in a row and comes at a time when moving season typically peaks in July before cooler weather sets in.

Santa Monica Rent Growth

Rental prices are now down -2.4 percent year-over-year, slightly below the state average of -2.0 percent and the national average of -0.7 percent, according to the report.

"The rental market hit a big milestone this month, as national rent growth is finally negative year-over-year," Apartment List researchers wrote. "This means that on average across the nation, apartments today are renting for less than they did one year ago.

"This marks a major deceleration from recent years, when annual rent growth neared 18 percent nationally and soared to over 40 percent in a handful of popular cities," the report said.

The median rent in Santa Monica is now $2,003 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,496 for a two-bedroom, according to data compiled from listings on the popular rental website.

Santa Monica's overall median rent of $2,120 is still 0.9% higher than the median of $2,101 across the Los Angeles metro area, which includes Orange County.

Marina del Rey -- where the $5,183 median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is more the double Santa Monica's rent -- continues to have by far the highest prices among the 27 cities and communities in the LA area in the website's database.

Eleven other cities had higher median rents for a two-bedroom apartment than Santa Monica, with all but one -- West Hollywood -- in Orange County, according to the report.

The median rent in Los Angeles for a two-bedroom was $2,171. Long Beach had the lowest rent with a median rent of $1,906 for a two-bedroom.

According to the report, "On a year-over-year basis, national rent growth is negative for the first time since the early pandemic."

"Rents increased modestly in July in 71 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, but thanks to sluggish rent growth throughout the past 12 months, prices are down year-over-year in 67 of those cities," the report said.

The Apartment List forecasts that the downward trend in rental rates will continue as the vacancy rate nationwide reached 7.3 percent last month, surpassing for the first time the pandemic peak set in July 2020.

"Seasonal trends suggest that monthly rent growth will continue to slow for the remainder of the year, so it is likely that annual rent growth will sink further into negative territory in the months ahead," the report predicts.

"This easing has shown no signs of slowing, and it’s likely that the vacancy rate will continue to trend even further upward in the months ahead."

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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