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While other urban markets have seen their monthly rents stabilize, one-bedroom rent in Los Angeles continued to decline in February, falling 2.1 percent month-over-month to $1,900.

Compared to the same period last year, rent was down 15.6 percent, representing a price difference of $260 per month. That’s according to apartment rental platform Zumper’s latest report, which has recorded softening Los Angeles rents since the pandemic began in March of last year. 

Two-bedroom rent also took a hit, dropping 1.5 percent from January to February. The median rate of $2,660 per month was 11.3 percent lower than where prices stood a year earlier. Although migration out of Los Angeles to lower-priced cities appears to have slowed somewhat, without new renters coming in, the demand for apartments has fallen significantly, pushing prices down with it.

Tenants who have been fortunate enough to pay the rent on time each month have also been able to negotiate lower monthly payments to their landlords in response to the changing market. With an abundance of apartment listings, leasing incentives and concessions, prospective tenants have the upper hand in Los Angeles’ COVID-19 era.

Meantime, the Inland Empire has sustained tremendous rental growth as Angelenos with the ability to work remotely sought out more affordable apartments. In Riverside, the typical one-bedroom unit is currently priced at $1,624, up nine percent monthly and 20 percent annually. Nearby San Bernardino also saw its median one-bedroom rent rise 4 percent over the past month to $1,148, a 21 percent surge compared to the same period last year.

There are a handful of historically expensive California rental markets that have started to log one-bedroom price gains, including San Jose (+2.3 percent), San Diego (+1.10 percent) and Anaheim (+1.20 percent). According to Zumper, prices had not increased in San Jose, the hub of Silicon Valley, since early last year.

With new daily COVID-19 cases down 43.1 percent from two weeks ago and vaccinations nearing the 2 million doses mark in Los Angeles County, there is potential for rents to rise in the coming months as daily life slowly returns to normal.

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