Los Angeles rents have decreased nearly 7% since the start of the pandemic, placing the city somewhere in the upper-middle in terms of rent declines. Data from Apartment List shows that rents in Los Angeles have decreased 6.9%, while San Francisco—which leads the nation in rent decrease—rents have fallen 21.7% and the nation have averaged rent decreases of 1.4%.

Rents have fallen in 41 of the 100 largest cities in the country, and coastal markets have been the most susceptible. "The nation's pricey, coastal markets have significantly cooled off in 2020, and Los Angeles is no exception. Unfortunately, many of the benefits of being in a large city—events, vibrant small business communities, entertainment that brings people together—have been the very things we've needed to curb during the pandemic," Igor Popov, chief economist at Apartment List, tells GlobeSt.com. "At the same time, many incomes have taken a hit, so renters have found themselves looking for cheaper options in more affordable cities, leading to a reduction in demand and rents."

While 6.9% is a significant decrease in rents, Los Angeles has managed to stave off the double-digit declines of other markets. "Los Angeles is a large and diverse market, which has pockets of affordability and space to stretch out with a more suburban feel than some of the other urban markets that have seen rent drops," says Popov. "I think this diversity is keeping some of the demand in the market as people look for affordable options and more space to hunker down at home."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.