California Markets See First Rent Decline In Two Years

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We’ve been reporting on declining rents around the country, but now Realtor.com is offering a more local glimpse at what’s happening in the Golden State. New numbers show that California has seen the first nearly state-wide rental decline in two years as of March.

In March, 14 markets saw year-over-year price declines, including San Francisco (-0.8 percent) and Los Angeles (-0.8 percent), which saw their first year-over-year declines in two years. Riverside and Sacramento (-2.1%) also saw declines in March, down 5.3 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. Across the state, Realtor.com notes these declines could be connected by tech layoffs and a weakening job market in the state.

Nationally, the median rent in the 50 largest metros increased to $1,732, up by $15 from last month and down $32 from last year’s peak. However, this is still $354 (25.7 percent) higher than the same time in 2019 before the pandemic.

“Mirroring trends that we’ve seen in the for-sale market, affordability is shaping housing demand, with lower-cost areas continuing to see stronger rent growth, home price increases, and competitive real estate markets. Markets in the Midwest and Northeast are benefiting from this trend while cities in the West are adjusting in the opposite direction,” said realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “The good news for renters is that overall rent prices and price growth have both cooled from their highs in early 2022, offering some relief for cost-burdened consumers who are facing higher prices across the board.”

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