By Jorge Casuso
November 28, 2023 -- Rents in Santa Monica dropped in November after bucking a nationwide trend by rising for three months straight, according to the latest report by Apartment List.
The -1.7 percent drop comes after local rents increased 5.1 percent between August and October defying an early seasonal cooldown nationwide, according to the data.
Santa Monica's November drop was steeper than the -0.9 percent decrease in the median rent nationwide, based on listings posted on the popular rental website.
"The rental market’s seasonal slowdown continued this month," researchers wrote in the report, "and low apartment demand during the winter holiday season will likely continue to push rents down for another month or two."
The median price for an apartment in Santa Monica was $2,148 in November, 3.2 percent higher than the $2,081 median rent for the 28 cities in LA and Orange counties tracked in the report.
Marina del Rey -- with a median rent of $4,678 -- continues to be by far the most expensive rental market in the Metro area, while Long Beach continues to have the cheapest median rent at $1,613.
Despite monthly rent increases from August to October, Santa Monica prices are down -1.6 percent this year after rising 7.8 percent over the first eleven months last year.
Local rent growth over the past year is similar to both the state (-1.8%) and national averages (-1.1%), according to the report.
Rents fell in October in 89 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, with prices down year-over-year in 68 of those cities, the data show.
The sharpest rent declines were "concentrated in California markets like Oakland, San Francisco, and Long Beach, where apartment demand remains sluggish," according to the report.
Meanwhile, the fastest rent growth has been taking place in metros across the Midwest and the Northeast, with the Providence, Hartford, Milwaukee and Indianapolis metros ranking high for rent growth over the past 6 and 12 months.
Nationwide, year-over-year rent growth "has bottomed out but remains in negative territory, researchers wrote.
"This stands in sharp contrast to the prevailing conditions of 2021 and 2022, when rent prices were surging and year-over-year growth peaked at 18 percent nationally.
"But despite this cooldown, the national median rent is still nearly $250 per month higher than it was just three years ago," the report said.
Apartment List researchers predict that monthly rent declines will "persist for the rest of the year," while "a robust construction pipeline should drive strong supply growth in the year ahead."
"If historical seasonal patterns hold, rent growth should heat up once again in early 2024, but a strong supply of new units coming online next year should moderate prices a bit," researchers predict.
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.