Los Angeles, Riverside Among Least-Affordable Rental Markets

Los Angeles, Riverside Among Least-Affordable Rental Markets

An apartment complex at 8th Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 6, 2020. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

3/12/2024

Updated: 3/12/2024

Los Angeles and Riverside are among the top four least-affordable cities to rent in the nation, according to a new report by the real estate company Zillow.
Angelenos spend nearly 37 percent of their income on rent on average, while Riverside residents spend about 33 percent, Zillow reported March 8.
According to Zillow, the average rent in Los Angeles is $2,750 and $2,280 in Riverside.
Other cities that made the top-five least affordable list were Miami, where residents spend on average about 42 percent of their income on rent; New York, 39 percent; and Tampa, 33 percent.
The median U.S. household would have to spend 29 percent of their income to cover the cost of a new rental, according to listed prices from last month, Zillow said. Such has risen 0.1 percent compared to the same time last year.
As rents continue to rise—up nearly 30-percent since the beginning of the pandemic—rental inventory across the U.S. is slowing.
“Demand for rentals is still strong, and a rising number of buildings are under construction, but rent growth is slowing,” Zillow’s Skylar Olsen wrote in the market report. “While apartment construction and delivery of new buildings remains elevated, the increasing population is absorbing these units enough to keep vacancy rates close to pre-pandemic norms.”
Rents have increased in 47 of the nation’s 50 largest cities, the company reported. The highest increases were in Providence, Rhode Island, up 8.1 percent; Cleveland, Ohio, up 6.9 percent; Louisville, Kentucky, up 6.7 percent; Hartford, Connecticut, up 6.4 percent; and Cincinnati, Ohio, up 6.4 percent.
They fell in three major cities: Milwaukee, 0.4 down percent; Austin, Texas, down 0.2 percent; and Dallas, Texas, also down 0.2 percent.
In California, the average rent has continued to drop since last year. The state reached a median price of $2,791 this month, $175 less than March 2023 but was still 36 percent more than the U.S. average of $2,050, according to Zillow.
The state’s market was labeled “cool” by Zillow for rentals on all bedroom and property types.
Nationally, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, apartment rents have spiked by nearly 24 percent, and the price of single-family home rentals has increased far more, driven by the millennial generation’s inability to purchase a house, Zillow reported.
The cost to rent a home has jumped nearly 37 percent since the beginning of the pandemic, and rose 4.8 percent since last year, according to the report.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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