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Advice for the Decreasingly Lucky Few: Hold on to that Cheap Rental

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As if you didn't already know that.

Bubble vs. no-bubble talk continues to swirl around the topic of Los Angeles residential real estate, and now the rental market is following suit. Alas, the evidence further supports that Los Angeles continues to lose its status as the much cheaper alternative to New York and San Francisco.

Make no mistake, the Los Angeles area rental housing market remains quite robust according to the latest Los Angeles Apartment Report by MP/F Research. The report covers the second quarter (April to June) of 2004 and highlights numerous facts that have developers, landlords, and other vested stakeholders cheering, while most renters frown. It’s certainly exciting news that 1,817 new units were completed in this timeframe, constituting a record addition to the housing stock during one quarter in ten years. Demand remains at an all-time high. Occupancy is at 96.4% in metro Los Angeles, while it’s at a not-too-shabby 96.2% in the San Fernando Valley.

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Some figures for comparison's sake:

For those of you who love edge cities and need cheap rent, then the Antelope Valley is for you. An efficiency unit goes for $587 on average, whereas LA “intown” (geographic boundaries unknown) studios rent for $1,228. The extremes are more evident in figures for larger units. Average rent for a three bedroom apartment in Hollywood is $2,104, while this figure hovers at $3,819 in West LA. Must be those outliers, i.e. astronomically priced townhouses by the beach in Santa Monica. (Apologies for any terrible flashbacks to awful required statistics courses.) Meanwhile, the same number of bedrooms will cost an average of $1,303 and $971 a month in East LA and back in the ‘Lope fringes of the region, respectively.