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This map shows the extent of the Southern California apartment boom. Will all the construction help lower your rent?

By in Press Enterprise on November 13, 2017

By Jeff Collins

Irvine resident Mike Meservey thought he would find a bargain when he saw all the new apartments being built along Jamboree Road.

Developers must be desperate to fill all these new buildings, he figured. And they must be offering deals.

Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth. As a result, Meservey and his wife, Rose, are staying put in the Irvine condo they’re renting for $2,000 a month.

“They’re building tons of stuff. They just keep building and building,” said Meservey, 58, a retired plant manager. “But they call them luxury apartments and charge $3,000 a month.”

Irvine isn’t alone.

Southern California — and the nation as a whole — is experiencing the biggest apartment construction boom in a quarter century.

In the last 34 months alone, new apartments have been springing up from San Clemente to Sylmar, from Murrieta to Marina del Rey.

More than 37,000 new apartments have been built in the region since the start of 2015, data from commercial real estate tracker CoStar show. More than 36,000 more are under construction.

CoStar projects Southern California is on track to complete 15,000 new apartments this year and 23,000 more in 2018. Developers in the region have added almost 65,000 new homes to the local housing stock since the recovery began in 2012 — a gain of almost 2 percent.

It’s the most construction in the region since at least 1991, according to Reis Inc., a market data firm.

And it’s happening across the country. U.S. developers are on track this year to complete at least 350,000 new apartments, the most since the late 1980s, according to rental data firm RealPage Inc.

“This is the biggest number we’ve seen in a long time,” said Mark Obrinsky, chief economist for the National Multifamily Housing Council. “Demand ran ahead of supply, and supply […]    

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