A tale of two cities: LA rents stay strong, despite dip in San Francisco

Svenja Gudell and a rendering of an apartment on La Cienaga Boulevard
Svenja Gudell and a rendering of an apartment on La Cienaga Boulevard

The grass is always greener on the other side of the state.

The contrast between how the rental market is performing in Southern California versus the Bay Area has become stark, according to Zillow’s latest report.

While rents continue to rise substantially in the metropolitan Los Angeles area, San Francisco rents are flattening. The latter saw a 0.1 percent decrease in average rents over the last 12 months, after a nearly 10 percent appreciation this time last year. In San Jose, rents fell even further, by 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, L.A. rents were up 4.4 percent year-over-year.

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Still, San Francisco is more expensive. Average rents there topped $3,352 a month in March, compared to $2,648 a month in L.A.

Nationally, rates are still the highest they’ve ever been across the board, Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement.

“The slowdown in rental appreciating is mainly due to new construction finally meeting demand, and even outpacing demand in some areas,” she said.

Nationwide, rents rose just 0.7 percent over the past year — the slowest rate of appreciation since November 2012.