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Santa Monica Rents Rise After 3-Month Drop

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By Jorge Casuso

August 29, 2023 -- Santa Monica rents rose 1.8 percent in August, bucking a nationwide trend that saw rents dip for the first time since February, according to Apartment List's monthly report.

The local rise in rents comes after three monthly decreases in a row and as "this year's peak rental season has come to an end," according to the report.

Santa Monica Rent Growth

The typical rent growth that peaks in late spring and summer "ended relatively early" and "we are now experiencing a return to the stagnant rent growth that characterized the market earlier in the year," researchers wrote.

That was not the case in Santa Monica, where the overall median rent increased from $2,120 in July to $2,161 in August, according to data compiled from listings on the popular rental website.

The median rent of a one-bedroom apartment rose to $2,042, while the median rent for a two-bedroom rose to $2,545, according to the report.

Despite the increase, prices in Santa Monica have fallen 0.4 percent this year and remain down 1.5 percent year-to-year. By comparison, in 2022 rents had risen 8.4 percent by August.

Santa Monica's overall median rent is 2.9 percent higher than the price across the Los Angeles metro region as a whole, which includes Orange County.

Marina del Rey -- where the $4,448 median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is more the double Santa Monica's rent -- continues to have by far the highest prices among the 27 LA-area cities and communities in the website's database.

A dozen cities had median rents for a one-bedroom that were higher than Santa Monica's, according to the report.

All of them are in Orange County except for Marina del Rey and Callabassas, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,722, the second-highest rent in LA County.

The median rent for a one-bedroom in Los Angeles was $1,646, while Long Beach had the lowest rent at $1,495, according to the report.

Nationwide, the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6 percent is "slightly trailing the overall rate of inflation, which stands at 1.8 percent as of the latest data release," researchers wrote.

"Rent growth lags even further behind the growth in average hourly earnings, which have increased by 3.2 percent over the past twelve months.

"The fact that rent growth is still trailing income growth is a welcome bit of relief as millions of our nation's renters continue to struggle with housing affordability," the report concluded.

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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