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  • Jason Tuvia

Apartment rents keep on rising in Los Angeles County

Apartment vacancies plunged in Hollywood during the last 12 months and rents increased as the neighborhood continued to rebound from the recession. But vacancies were still more plentiful in the Santa Clarita Valley, where former renters bought low-priced homes.

Rents rose across most of Los Angeles County during that time as both blue- and white-collar companies added jobs at a faster pace than the national average, a report said. And landlords are expected to continue raising apartment rents in the months ahead, especially in neighborhoods where empty apartments are scarce.

Since the recession, Los Angeles County rents have risen 12% to an average of $1,654 a month, according to a first-quarter report by apartment real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap. “Rents in the Westside cities and downtown have climbed nearly 20% since the most recent trough, and renters that signed bargain leases just a couple of years ago are finding it challenging to meet the new requirements,” the report said. The five tightest rental markets — vacancy was less than 3% in each — were South Los Angeles, the South Bay, Palms/Mar Vista, Brentwood/Westwood/Beverly Hills and Hollywood.But the availability of cheaper housing for sale in northern suburbs has kept rents in check. The vacancy rate was 5.3% in the Santa Clarita Valley and 7.4% in the Antelope Valley.

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