Rents are down and out in LA; surrounding counties see bump

Pandemic has flipped SoCal market on its head


Upending a long-standing norm, it’s now cheaper to rent an apartment in Los Angeles County, but pricier in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Recent data from Apartment List found estimated rents for vacant apartments in L.A. are down 5.3 percent from the beginning of the year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Conversely, rents are up 6.9 percent in Riverside County and 9.1 percent in San Bernardino County since January.

Agents and experts say the differing patterns are a function of how renters are dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Renters who can afford to buy home in L.A. are taking the opportunity to score a deal, which could account for the increase in home prices and the number of sales in the county. Some renters are also chasing cheaper prices and larger units in the Inland Empire now that they don’t have to worry about commuting to an office.

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“It was really when people recognized, ‘I may be working from home for more than a month or two,’” said Randall Lewis of Lewis Management Corp, which owns 6,000 units in the Inland Empire.

Apartment List research associate Rob Warnock said the pandemic and its impact on the economy is slowing migration to big cities, the Times reported. L.A. and other large metros didn’t see the summer influx of new residents this year.

“It’s not so much that people are moving from L.A. to Rancho Cucamonga, but rather the people who were planning to move to L.A. are thinking, ‘Do I really need to move to L.A.?’” Warnock said. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch