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Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been closely monitoring Zumper’s monthly rent reports, watching prices for one-bedroom apartments in Los Angeles trend downward over the past eight months. 

In its latest release, the apartment rental platform noted that 13 out of the 100 most populous metro areas have experienced record-breaking annual price reductions for one-bedroom units. Zumper has been tracking monthly rental data since 2015, pulling from more than 1 million apartment listings. 

Los Angeles logged the seventh-largest price slump nationwide, with one-bedroom rents falling 13 percent year-over-year to a median of $2,000 per month. That’s 1 percent lower — or $20 cheaper — than September when the median totaled $2,020.

“While decreases in large rental markets have not stopped, there is some indication the decreases have slowed,” wrote Neil Gerstein, a Zumper data analyst and economic researcher.

“However, decreases will likely continue in some markets and there will likely be more records set next month.”

Two-bedroom rents in Los Angeles tumbled 14.7 percent over the same period last year to $2,780. The median price was $30 higher in September, marking a 1.1 percent monthly decline.

More affordable rental markets within commuting distance of Los Angeles have been on the opposite trajectory, however.

Rents for one-bedroom apartments in Long Beach rose 1.3 percent year-over-year to $1,570, although prices did take a slight 1.9 percent hit from September to October. Two-bedroom rents jumped 2 percent to $2,040 as those with the financial means to move sought out larger units.

Santa Ana, located in neighboring Orange County, saw the median price of a one-bedroom apartment inch up 1.2 percent annually to $1,640. Its two-bedroom rents surged 9.3 percent over October 2019 to $2,230.

This shift toward lower-priced rental markets, or so-called ‘secondary cities,’ has been observed across the country as more companies adopt permanent work-from-home policies. Zumper counted Anchorage, Alaska, Richmond, Virginia, and Providence, Rhode Island among the cities that sustained notable upward changes in median rent prices last month.

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