Los Angeles

Sky-High Southern California Rent Keeps Getting Higher: Report

The average rent in LA County saw a 7.8 percent increase from the time last year, according to the researchorganization RealFacts

The already sky-high price of rent in Southern California is only getting higher, according to housing data released Wednesday.

The cost of rent in Los Angeles County reached a peak high this past winter, according to data from research organization RealFacts.

The average rent in LA County is $1,991, a $114 increase from the same time last year. The report also found the asking rent of $1,807 for Orange County shot up $105 from last year.

Rent in the Inland Empire increased by $80 to $1,246 over the past year, according to the data.

One thing that can drive prices down is an increasing number of rental units, RealFacts spokesman Nick Grotjahn said Thursday.

"Apartments take a long time to get approved and built, so this is a slow process in terms of oversupplying the market," Grotjahn said.

But the demand for homes is still there, so the rent keeps rising, Grotjahn said.

"Since the mortgage meltdown in 2008... these homeowners began renting, and it hasn’t really slowed down," Grotjahn said. "Many renters still cannot afford to purchase a home or just are now choosing to become renters."

The children of those homeowners are choosing to stay in the rental market longer, too, he continued. Millennials prefer the renter lifestyle as they choose to delay "home-buying events" like marriage and having children. Improvements to the economy also keep housing up.

But not everyone is able to stay on top of the mounting costs.

"A lot of people say we need to build more housing, but the fact of the matter is we'll never build our way out of the housing crisis we're in because there's no funding for it," said Larry Gross, executive director of the nonprofit Coalition for Economic Survival. "But at the same time, we need to preserve affordable housing."

"People are having to cut back on food, medication, providing their children clothes to go to school," Gross continued. "All the other essentials of life people have are being squeezed in order to maintain the roof over their heads."

A September 2014 study by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs reported that Los Angeles was the most unaffordable rental market in the country.

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