Why rents dropped in Santa Monica but rose in Santa Clarita during pandemic

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A “for rent” sign sits on a lawn outside an apartment building on Cardiff Ave. in Palms, Los Angeles. Photo by Amy Ta.

LA rental data over the past year reflects a broader trend of rising prices in the suburbs. Rent increased in Calabasas and Santa Clarita, but decreased in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and downtown LA between May 2020 and May 2021. That’s according to Crosstown LA, a local data journalism outlet that examined rents in nine cities across Los Angeles County, using data from Apartment List, a real-estate listing service.

“We talked to real estate analysts, and they said that residents really value space over local amenities,” says Crosstown reporter Taylor Mills. “They would rather have a bigger yard, they’d rather have a bigger apartment, and maybe pay that extra price than to be closer to restaurants and bar scenes.”


Out of the nine cities examined, the three cities with declines in rent were Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Meanwhile, Calabasas and Santa Clarita had the steepest hikes. Graphic courtesy of Crosstown.

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