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National Apartment Survey Finds Santa Monica Rents Increased Moderately in 2017

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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

February 2, 2018 -- Rents in Santa Monica stayed flat last month, following a year of increases which were “moderate” for the location, but still 84 percent higher than the national average, analysts said Thursday.

Year over year, the city’s rents rose 3.7 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the report by Apartment List, which tracks rents nationwide.

The seaside city’s increase in rents actually lagged behind the statewide increase of 4.1 percent.

They were no bargain, at least for tenants from outside of California.

Santa Monica's median two-bedroom rent now is $2,140, compared to the U.S. median of $1,160 The median rent for a one-bedroom in Santa Monica was almost $1,660.

And, like other communities in California, soaring rent hikes of the recent past and a housing shortage spelled huge rents before the current period of modest increases.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to the median for a two-bedroom rental Santa Monica.

Included was Boston ($2,050), San Diego ($1,990), Seattle ($1,630), Washington D.C. ($1,510), Austin ($1,380), Phoenix ($1,020) and Houston (also $1,020).

Rents increased significantly in other cities across the state, with California as a whole logging rent growth of 4.1 percent over the past year.

For example, rents have grown by 3.0 percent in San Diego, 2.6 percent in San Jose, and 0.3 percent in San Francisco.

Santa Monica's median two-bedroom rent of $2,140 is above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.6 percent over the past year compared to the 3.7 percent increase in Santa Monica.

Nationally, rents rose 2.6 percent on average.

But Santa Monica’s rent total rent hikes last year put it in 39th on a list of 56 Southern California cities listed, far below other popular coastal communities like San Clemente (about 8.5 percent) and Long Beach and Newport Beach (each about seven percent).

The flattest cities last year in terms of rent hikes were Los Angeles proper, Pasadena and Beverly Hills. Rents rose two percent in each of them.

But Beverly Hills was the third most expensive place for a two-bedroom rental in any case last year, at $4,050 a month.

The most expensive location for a two-bedroom unit was Marina del Rey, at $4,540 a month, followed by Rancho Palos Verdes, at $4,410 monthly.


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