The pandemic rent declines appears to be over.
After falling through much of the COVID-19 crisis as people relocated to suburbs or moved in with relatives, rents in big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York are now on the rise. And that prices are likely to keep swinging upward.
The data shows the median rent in Los Angeles is up 3.6% from the bottom. The rise will continue, taking until the end of summer for prices in the city to hit February 2020 — or pre-pandemic — levels.
In Los Angeles, the median rent for a vacant apartment hit a low of $1,717 in January and has risen ever since, according to data from Apartment List. Other data sources also show a steady increase since the beginning of the year, which analysts attributed to job growth and returning demand for city life as the pandemic ebbs and the economy reopens.
How much and how fast?
As of June, the apartment vacancy rate in Los Angeles County had declined to 5.8% after hitting a high of 6.2% in November, Rising rents, however, doesn’t mean the market has returned to its uber-competitive days before 2020.
Overall, vacancies in Los Angeles County are still up nearly a full percentage point from early March 2020. The median L.A. County rent was $1,776 a month in May, 2.7% below the February 2020 level, according to Apartment List.
The median in the city of L.A. was $1,779 in May, 5% below the February 2020 rate. A rebounding economy probably will continue to drive those increases, as California marks, with most pandemic business restrictions coming to an end.
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