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Santa Monica Rents Drop Again in June

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By Jorge Casuso

June 30, 2023 -- Santa Monica rents fell for the second month in a row, dropping to the lowest level in more than a year, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report released Thursday.

June's 1.5 percent decrease comes at a time of year when rents are typically picking up and reflects a national trend that saw rent growth finally fall flat year-over-year, the report said.

NMS Lincoln Apartments

Santa Monica's overall median rent stands at $2,135, marking a -0.4 percent decrease over the past 12 months. Still, local rents continue to outpace California's -1.4 percent annual decrease and the nation's 0 percent growth.

The median rent in Santa Monica is now $2,017 for a on-bedroom apartment and $2,514 for a two-bedroom, according to data compiled from listings on the popular rental website.

"On a year-over-year basis, rent growth is continuing to decelerate and for the first time since early in the pandemic, has fallen to zero," Apartment List researchers wrote.

"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 negative in the months ahead."

Annual change in median rent

Despite dropping by -2.3 percent this year, Santa Monica rents remain slightly higher than the median rent of $2,100 for the wider Los Angeles metro area, according to Apartment List's data.

Of the 27 regional communities analyzed in the report, Marina del Rey remains by far the most expensive, with a median rent of $4,690, up from $4,608 in May.

Long Beach remains the metro’s most affordable city, with a median rent of $1,690, slightly up from $1,686 last month.

The median rent in Los Angeles was $1,654 for a one-bedroom and $2,184 for a two-bedroom apartment.

West Covina had the metro area's fastest annual rent growth at 3.7 percent, while the slowest was in Mission Viejo, where rents dropped -4.3 percent.

Santa Monica rent growth chart

While Santa Monica had the third highest rents in Los Angeles County -- after Marina del Rey and Calabasas -- its rents were lower than those in 10 Orange County Cities.

Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Brea all had higher rents than Santa Monica.

Rents rose this month in 73 of the nation's 100 largest cities, but the increases have largely "fallen well below seasonal expectations," according to the report.

"Given the recent rental market cooldown, even the metros currently topping this list are experiencing relatively modest growth compared to what we were seeing at this time last year," researchers wrote.

Year-over-year, 57 of the 100 largest cities saw a decline in rents after all of them posted positive year-over-year rent increases in early 2021.

"Even if the end of this summer brings a resurgence in demand, a strong construction pipeline should temper rent growth for the remainder of the year," the report said.

That's good news for renters who can wait until after the moving season peaks next month before the weather starts cooling.

"Renters are better off aiming for the winter months if they’re looking for the cheapest time to get an apartment," the rental site advises. "Strategic thinking like this can help them save big bucks in the long run."

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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