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Rent Surge Ahead: USC Report Predicts Increases Across SoCal Counties

Rental Price Hikes Likely In Store for Los Angeles

By Dolores Quintana

Rents in the Southern California area are expected to increase by two to four percent, as per a University of Southern California (USC) report cited by the Orange County Register.

The Casden Multifamily Forecast from USC anticipates below-average rent hikes for Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, with average increases projected for Ventura County. Orange County, known for its robust rental market, is predicted to experience somewhat above-average rent growth, reaching a record $2,800 per month by late 2025.

While the projected rent growth for 2024-25 is not expected to match the significant increases seen during the pandemic, ranging from 12 to 18 percent annually, the pace of rent hikes is forecasted to rise in the subsequent two years, coinciding with a slowdown in apartment construction, according to the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

The forecast highlights challenges for landlords, who may face financial difficulties as they seek to replace low-interest loans maturing in the next four years. High interest rates and escalating operating costs could lead to foreclosures and diminish resources available to increase the housing supply.

Vacancy rates are projected to stay within the range of 4 to 6 percent over the next two years. As the industry grapples with financing issues, the authors of the forecast anticipate a decline in new supply, resulting in lower vacancy rates and increased rents.

The forecast emphasizes that the rental housing shortage in Los Angeles County persists as a chronic issue, even though the number of delivered units has been above average in the last 12 months. The county continues to struggle to produce adequate housing to meet demand.

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