The report marked the eleventh consecutive quarter of rising apartment rents in Orange County. The county held its position as the fifth-priciest metro area in California, trailing San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz.
Orange County had the fifth-highest apartment rent out of 25 California metro areas, according to the latest survey by RealFacts. Here are the top five and their average monthly rents:
|1.||Santa Clara County||$2,140|
|2.||San Francisco Bay Area||$2,043|
|3.||Los Angeles County||$1,829|
|4.||Santa Cruz County||$1,811|
One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments had the biggest rent hikes among large complexes in Orange County this summer. Here’s a breakdown of average monthly rents by apartment size and year-over-year increases:
|1 bd,1 bath||$1,475||+5.1%|
|2 bd, 1 bath||$1,547||+4.1%|
|2 bd, 2 bath||$1,952||+4.4%|
|2 bd townhome||$2,112||+4.0%|
|3 bd, 2 bath||$2,327||+4.2%|
|3 bd townhome||$2,660||+4.2%|
“For low-income families, rents continue to rise, and they continue to struggle as to how they’re going to pay those rents,” said Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of the Kennedy Commission, an affordable housing advocacy group. . “We are seeing increases of $20 to $30 a year for the last couple of years.”
Average rents for all rentals tend to range from $1,200 to $1,500 a month for a two-bedroom unit, compared to $1,500 to $1,900 for large-complex units, Covarrubias said.
Five cities skewed Orange County’s rental averages upward: Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo and Dana Point. RealFacts figures show that the average apartment rents in those cities was $2,002.
By comparison, the average large-complex rent in the rest of Orange County was $1,529 a month.
But rents jumped in all 24 cities included in the RealFacts report, ranging from a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase in Dana Point to 9.6 percent in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Rents also increased for all apartment types and sizes. One-bedroom, one-bathroom units had the biggest increase, with rents up 5.1 percent to $1,475 a month. The smallest rent hike was 4 percent for a two-bedroom townhome. Those units rented for $2,112 a month this past summer.
During the past three years, asking rents for all Orange County apartments rose an average of $216 a month. Rent in the summer quarter was up $80 a month, or 4.9 percent, from the same quarter one year earlier, the survey showed,
The survey represents the amount landlords are asking their newest tenants to pay and don’t take into account concessions landlords may grant, such as free rent for the first month.
The Consumer Price Index pegged annual rent inflation at 2.5 percent in August for all rentals in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
Ray Maggi, CEO of MPMS Inc., estimated rent has increased 2 percent to 3 percent for the past year at the 2,500 apartments his Anaheim-based firm manages.
High demand, fueled by job growth, accounted for some of the increase, Maggi said. RealFacts reported occupancy at Orange County’s large apartment complexes at 94.9 percent, or virtually full.
But Maggi noted that rents are just getting back to where they were at the last market peak in 2008. He noted that large-complex rents have increased only 1.1 percent a year since then. But landlords’ cost for maintenance, taxes and utilities have gone up more, he said.
“In reality, we’re still not at the point where we were in 2008,” Maggi said.
For tenants, however, rising rent means shelling out more and more of their income for housing, Covarrubias said.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition issued a report earlier this year showing that the average renter in Orange County could afford no more than $938 a month.
To compensate, many low-income families have to double or triple up, renting a room that they share with other families, Covarrubias said.
“If you’re making minimum wage, you need four jobs to pay the typical rent,” Covarrubias said. “That’s why you have two to three families living in an apartment, to be able to pay the rent.”