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It's More Expensive To Rent An Apartment In Downtown Than In Bel Air

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As if we needed another reminder that it's getting more expensive to exist in downtown Los Angeles.

As noted at The Real Deal, a Zumper report for March says that the median rent for a one-bedroom in downtown was $2,600 month. This is comparable to rents in traditionally tony neighborhoods like Beverly Hills (also $2,600), and more expensive than the combined area of Bel Air and Beverly Crest (which comes in at $2,300 a month).

No, not a ton of people rent in Bel Air. Residents up there prefer a more... permanent living arrangement, like buying a multi-million, Tudor-style mansion that was once owned by a silent movie star. Or, for a setup with more wiggle room, they'll fly in from out-of-town and live with their wealthy uncle and his household of deftly-written characters (which includes a laconic butler).

Still, the rent figures are more than symbolic of downtown's current status as a hub for wheeling and dealing. Whereas the area had once been overlooked by big-scale developers, it's now undergoing one of the most development-intensive periods in its history. A report by Realtor said that economic growth was projected to spike 8.8%, about six times the rate of some of America's top markets.

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Certainly, people have been coming to downtown in droves, and the area is trying to keep up with demand. According to LA Downtown News, the Downtown Center Business Improvement District reported that, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the area saw the completion of 2,671 residential units. Also, ground was broken in that same period for projects that are slated to bring an additional 3,968 housing units.

“The revitalization of downtown L.A. has been an encouraging post-recession story,” Steve Basham, senior market analyst at CoStar Group, said in a report, according to The Real Deal. “The question is whether the submarket can attract enough affluent renters to match the frenetic pace of development. An unprecedented number of units will deliver over the next two years, most of them high end."

Curiously, the vacancy rate in downtown L.A. has actually been rising in the past few years. It went from a low of 4.1 percent in 2013, to nearly 7% in 2015. It would be logical to surmise that this is due to the influx of new units, as well as the pricey rents attached to them.

As for the priciest rent in county? That belongs to the cities touching the shore. Santa Monica comes out on top with a median rent of $3,000 for a one-bedroom. Venice comes in at a close second with $2,890.