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Need a Southern California apartment? Good luck finding one!

By in Press Enterprise on December 2, 2017

By Jonathan Lansner

Forget the high rents, just finding an empty Southern California rental is a challenge.

But will significant construction efforts give apartment shoppers many more options?

A recent report by the Marcus & Millichap brokerage suggests only modest help is coming as a decent local job market creates new renters at a pace nearly equal to the number of new apartments builders are bringing online.

Vacancy stats for the third quarter reveal a slight increase in available units in major complexes across Southern California. But empty units remain a rarity as even the national vacancy rate — 4.5 percent — runs below the historic 5 percent norm.

Here’s how rental availability breaks down by Southern California’s major markets, according to Marcus & Millichap:

Los Angeles County

Vacancy bounced up from last year’s post-recession low, rising 1 full percentage point to 3.6 percent.

Why? Construction outpaced landlords ability to fill rentals.

In the past year, 9,800 new units came to the market — most in Downtown L.A. — up from a previous 8,000-a-year pace.

The report gives little hope to apartment hunters, noting in L.A. “job gains have fueled household formations during a time of out-of-reach home prices for many. This combination of factors keeps vacancy below 4 percent in most submarkets.”

Orange County

Landlords could not lease up all the newly built units, so the vacancy rate rose from last year’s post-recession low.

Still, that 0.8 percentage-point increase pushed Orange County vacancies all the way up to 3.5 percent, the tightest in the region.

Developers added 6,175 units in a year and are working on 9,300 more but the report notes Orange County’s “household formations and a sizable millennial populace, will prevent an uncontrolled rise in vacancy.”

Inland Empire

It’s been eight years, but there’s actually more choice this year! Oh, that’s 3.6 percent empty units vs. 2.7 percent vs. a year ago.

New supply is limited, […]    

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