Chasing your dreams of becoming a Hollywood star? Following a promotion at work? Ready for year-round sunshine? Moving to Los Angeles just might be on your to-do list.
Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis, ranking #2 among America’s most populous cities (#1 being New York City). It’s also packed full of opportunities: the city alone has a larger gross national product than most countries, with industries ranging from the glitz and glamor of filmmaking to vital agriculture and manufacturing.1
The city’s size and diversity in styles can make it intimidating to new residents. With rent prices and rent growth changing rapidly nationwide, finding an LA home can feel even more daunting these days.
What are the rental trends in LA? Will rent go down in 2023 in Los Angeles? We’ll walk you through some rental predictions in the housing market for 2023, along with data about average rent in Los Angeles. Ahead, you’ll get an idea of what to expect from LA rent so you can find your sun-soaked paradise without breaking the bank.
2023 Rent Predictions
Rental prices have been anything but stable for the last few years, but economists are predicting a few things for 2023:
- Slower growth in rent increases
- Increased vacancies in the event of a 2023 recession
- Lower than average increases in some popular areas, including LA
Let’s unpack these predictions by examining the state of rent across the nation, and then see what experts have to say about rental trends in the Los Angeles area.
What’s Going to Happen to Rent Nationwide in 2023?
During the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, rent prices skyrocketed nationwide due to factors like economic unrest and increasing demand for private apartment spaces. Fortunately, 2022 saw rent increases slowly start to slide back into normal growth rates.2
Where the previous years were hitting double-digit percentage increases, 2023 is only predicted to see an average of 3% in rent increases nationally.2
This is partly due to a massive boom in the construction of new living spaces. This year is set to see the most new units built in any year since 1986.2 The cities that expanded the most rapidly during these years are likely to see lower rent increases, perhaps even slight decreases overall.2
The Los Angeles Rent Forecast for 2023
So where does Los Angeles fit into these numbers?
What is a normal rent increase in LA? Although the rapid growth is slowing, experts think prices in the area will still continue to rise. A forecast from the University of Southern California (USC) estimated 2.4% in rental increases for LA county in 2023, slightly less than the projected national average.
Let’s take a look at the facts behind this figure.
While it’s a historically popular place for renters, the previous years saw substantial emigration from the Los Angeles area as people fled increasing rent prices.2 Economists stated that rents in the double-digits, like the 17% percent rises seen in LA lately, are not at all sustainable.2
The areas with the projected slowest growth are Inglewood, Downtown LA, and Koreatown, which USC all predicts will have less than 2.5% rent increases.2 These are areas where people are moving out in high numbers. The High Desert and Inland Empire areas will likely still see double-digit increases as populations head toward the more urban areas.2
This migration created more empty LA apartments and took some of the sting out of recent price hikes.2 Because people are more likely to share apartments or move back home during a recession, severe economic downtown in 2023 could create even more vacancies in Los Angeles.2 This would lead to smaller increases in rent or even decreases, especially in those areas that previously spiked enough to scare people away.2
USC predicts 4.5% vacancies in LA County by 2024, as opposed to the prior 3.6%.2 If you’re hoping to find a new home in LA, all these factors could make your search a little easier this year.
As the past few years have shown us, anything can happen. A few other factors USC mentions that could impact their data include: 2
- Changes in interest rates for building owners
- Increased lay-offs citywide
- Supply chain issues impeding the construction of new units
While hazy, the bottom line in all these predictions is that rent increases are most likely slowing down overall in 2023.
Rent Increases by LA Neighborhood
So, rent hikes might be slowing down for LA as a whole—but the neighborhood you’re aiming to move to can affect just how much that slowdown will take effect.
Let’s examine a few neighborhoods in and around LA, listed by percentage of projected rent increase. When looking at predicted increases as a list, it’s easy to see that those central locations are likely to stay stable, while the outer regions are set to experience new growth. This means that if you want to move to LA’s outskirts, you may want to look for a longer lease option to delay the possible price hike.
Here’s the increases USC predicts will occur by 2024:2
- Inglewood – 1.3%
- Downtown – 1.6%
- Koreatown – 2.3%
- Hollywood – 2.7%
- Burbank – 4.1%
- Beverly Hills/Coastal Communities – 4.9%
- Long Beach – 5.5%
- Palm Springs – 7.8%
- South/Southeast LA – 8.9%
- North Orange County – 9.4%
- Pasadena – 9.6%
- Palmdale/Lancaster/Santa Clarita – 12.2%
- West Riverside County – 12.3%
While these are just predictions, it might help to keep these numbers in mind as you apartment shop, so you don’t get blindsided by a huge renewal bump the following year.
Los Angeles Average Apartment Rent
Now that we have some idea of what to expect this year, let’s check out current data for rentals in Los Angeles and see what we’re dealing with. Rent.com lists the following overall average prices for apartments throughout the city, as of January 2023:
- Studio – $2,237
- 1-Bedroom – $2,725
- 2-Bedroom – $3,765
If these numbers are frightening, don’t panic just yet.
It is possible to find a 1-bedroom under $2,000 a month in the city. Places like Koreatown, East Hollywood, and Northridge clock in with averages below $2k, with some studios around $1,500.2
Stay tuned as we dissect four vastly different regions to give you a sense of LA’s range in both vibes and pricing.
Rental Stats in Four LA Regions
While they don’t provide averages based on square footage, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development does distinguish units by number of bedrooms and by zip code. Let’s go through a few major neighborhoods in Los Angeles County and see how they measure up.
Keep in mind that the projected increases for this year mean these numbers are constantly changing, varying by location.
Downtown Los Angeles
The city center of LA is a bustling urban area full of museums, restaurants, and historical architecture. Like any major metro, there’s a wide range of housing prices. Here are the stats for the neighborhoods that the LA Almanac designates as Downtown LA:
- Overall Average Rent (1-Bedroom) – $2,265
- Most Affordable Zip Code – 90015 (Fashion District, South Park)
- Most Expensive Zip Code – 90014 (Heart of Downtown)
The center of the nation’s film industry, Hollywood is close to the city’s main thoroughfares while also having several landmarks of its own, including the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s what you’re getting into, rentwise:5
- Overall Average Rent (1-Bedroom) – $1,941
- Most Affordable Zip Code – 90029 (East Hollywood)
- Most Expensive Zip Code – 90048 and 90069 (both West Hollywood)
Inglewood is a suburb of Los Angeles County that has everything locals need, but without the densely packed urban feel you find in much of the city. Residents enjoy the culture, which manages to feel both diverse and close-knit. Here’s the breakdown of median rent in Inglewood:4
- Overall Average Rent (1-Bedroom) – $1,532
- Most Affordable Zip Code – 90304
- Most Expensive Zip Code – 90305
It’s hard to ask for a more beautiful region than Santa Monica. This neighborhood has premiere beach access, the iconic Santa Monica Pier, and boardwalk access to Venice Beach, one of LA’s trendiest and most unique locales. Here’s what to expect from rent prices in Santa Monica:5
- Overall Average Rent (1-Bedroom) – $2,104
- Most Affordable Zip Code – 90404
- Most Expensive Zip Code – 90401
While far from definitive, hopefully this gives you some idea of what LA rent looks like. With such a diverse collection of neighborhoods in the city, Los Angeles can vary wildly from block to block. Always scope out your target areas to make sure you find the most reasonable price—and the best rental options and amenities to go along with it.
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- Encylopaedia Britannica. Los Angeles. https://www.britannica.com/place/Los-Angeles-California
- Realtor. Apartment Rent Growth Set to Keep Slowing This Year. https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/apartment-rent-growth-set-to-keep-slowing-this-year/
- Orange County Register. Rent slowdown likely for Southern California apartments, USC forecast says. https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/11/rent-slowdown-likely-for-southern-california-apartments-usc-forecast-says/
- Rent. Rental market trends in Los Angeles, CA. https://www.rent.com/california/los-angeles-apartments/rent-trends
- Los Angeles Almanac. Fair Market Rents by Zip Code: Residential Rental Properties: Los Angeles County. http://www.laalmanac.com/economy/ec40b.php