USC Report: Big Rent Hikes on Tap Across SoCal

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
November 9, 2021 Updated: November 9, 2021

LOS ANGELES—Renting an apartment in Southern California is about to get much more expensive. A USC Casden Economics Forecast released on Nov. 9 predicted sharp increases in rent across the region, with Orange County renters seeing an average monthly jump of $410 over the next two years.

“COVID-19 caused a large-scale move from central cities to the suburbs that resulted in a sharp rise in apartment vacancies in Downtown LA, Koreatown and Beverly Hills and historically low vacancies in Rancho Cucamonga, North City San Diego, and Oxnard,” said Richard Green, co-author of the forecast and the director of USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

“While vacancies are coming back down in urban areas, the outskirts remain low [in] supply and will see rents go up at a much higher rate than the cities,” said Green.

The forecast predicts that by the end of the third quarter in 2023, rents will increase by $252 over the current level in Los Angeles County, $410 in Orange County, $348 in San Diego County, $310 in Ventura County, and $241 in the Inland Empire, including Riverside and San Bernardino.

According to the report, rental markets with vacancy rates below 5 percent can anticipate rent increases.

Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, and Beverly Hills are all currently above 5 percent, but those areas can expect moderate rent increases thanks to “high absorption rates,” the report found.

Areas with exceedingly low vacancy rates—such as Rancho Cucamonga at 1.69 percent, Oxnard at 1.86 percent, and North City in San Diego County at 1.56 percent—can expect to see triple-digit rent hikes.

The report offered predictions in rents and vacancy rates in Southern California’s major market areas up till 2023.

Los Angeles County has a current average rent of $2,073, with a 3.9 percent vacancy rate, with the average rent predicted to rise to $2,325 by 2023, with the vacancy rate holding steady.

The Orange County average rent is predicted to rise from the current $2,439 to $2,849, with the vacancy rate rising from 2.1 to 3.7 percent.

In San Diego County, the current $2,144 average rent will rise to $2,492, with the vacancy rate going from 2.5 to 3.4 percent.

The Inland Empire’s average rent will rise from $1,827 to $2,068, with the vacancy rate holding steady at 1.9 percent.