The average rent in Los Angeles County fell almost 4% in 2008 as apartment occupancy rates dropped and new units came online. According to the annual USC Casden Forecast, the decline should continue this year as more renters lose their jobs.
“In L.A. County alone, 41,000 people moved out of apartments last year compared to the 29,000 people who moved in during the last five years,” said forecast director Delores Conway.
To keep their units occupied, some landlords are lowering rents or offering concessions for signing a lease, such as a month of free rent or a reduced deposit, she said.
Rents should level out in 2010 as the economy recovers, the report said. The average one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles rented for $1,397 a month at the end of last year.
The Westside remains the priciest, while Pasadena and Burbank are stable with little change in occupancy or rents. Rents in Hollywood and central neighborhoods such as downtown Los Angeles are being weakened by new condominiums that are being leased rather than occupied by owners.
(*Source: LA Times)