By Jorge Casuso
October 31, 2023 -- For the third straight month Santa Monica rents rose in October, defying a nationwide downswing that began in August, according to the latest monthly report by Apartment List.
The median rent for a one bedroom apartment in the city stands at $2,088 and $2,601 for a two-bedroom apartment, based on listings posted on the popular rental website.
Santa Monica's 1.2 percent increase comes during a seasonal slowdown that resulted in a -0.7 percent decrease nationwide, the third monthly drop in a row.
"A relatively weak rental market has now persisted for well over a year, characterized by increasing vacancy rates that are keeping rent growth in check," Apartment List researchers noted.
They added that the "declines are likely to persist in the coming months as we head into the winter."
The year-over-year rent change nationwide has stabilized at -1.2 percent and is negative in 66 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, including Los Angeles, according to the report.
By comparison, rent growth in Santa Monica over the past year remains in positive territory and now stands at 0.4 percent, down from 1.3 percent a year ago.
The median price of an apartment in Santa Monica is now $2,209, or 5.3 percent higher than the price across the LA metro area as a whole, based on the 27 cities in LA and Orange counties tracked in the report.
The Metrowide annual rent growth stands at -1.2 percent, with 11 of the cities seeing rents decrease over the past 12 months.
The highest rents in the region continue to be in Marina del Rey, where the median rent is $4,694 (more than double Santa Monica's) despite a year-to-year dip of -0.5 percent.
The metro’s most affordable city remains Long Beach, which has seen the median rent drop -5.9 percent over the past year to $1,640.
The second-largest year-to-year drop took place in West Hollywood, where the median rent fell -4.0 percent, followed by an -2.8 percent drop in the City of LA.
Despite the cooldown over the past year, the national median rent is still nearly $250 per month more expensive than it was just three years following a surge in 2021 and 2022, according to the report.
"Looking further ahead, a robust construction pipeline should drive strong supply growth in the year ahead," researchers wrote.
"On the other hand, the extent to which demand rebounds or remains sluggish will likely depend on broader macroeconomic conditions."
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.