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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA’s rent prices slow for first time in years, Zillow report shows

Cost is still among highest nationwide, but data suggests US resi market may also have hit peak
September 21, 2018 09:00AM

LA skyline (Credit: Wikipedia)

The median rent in Los Angeles County dipped slightly in August, suggesting prices may have finally hit a peak.

While the drop was only half a percentage point year over year, it compared to a 4.3 percent rise in 2017 and a 6.5 percent increase in 2016, according to new data from Zillow, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The information also suggests a turn throughout the country: national median rents for vacant units dipped in August year over year for the first time since 2012.

New supply of residential units may be a contributing factor, particularly at the higher end of the residential market where rent prices slowed most significantly, according to the Times. Nationwide, rents increased between 3 and 4% year over year. That compared to the peak period in 2016, when rent growth was around twice that.

In Los Angeles, prices are still high. Zillow pinned L.A.’s median rent at $2,442 a month, consistent with other estimates that put it among the most expensive markets in the country.

But steadying rents will be a relief for renters in what has been an owners market for years. Landlords may be seeing some would-be renters choose to buy instead.

On the flip side, supply may tighten in the near future, which would drive up rents. Multifamily construction slowed nationwide, with fewer units expected to enter the market this year compared with last year’s peak of 318,000. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch