By Tali Wee of Zillow
Thinking about moving to Los Angeles but don’t want the obligation of purchasing property? Renting is a great way to experience the city without fully committing to a specific neighborhood or type of home. The median rent price in Los Angeles is currently $1,850. This is a 2.2 percent increase from last year. However, median list prices on homes for sale have increased almost 30 percent throughout the last year. With listing prices on the rise at such a high rate, now may be a better time to rent.
Here are five mid-range neighborhoods that closely resemble the median rent price for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Mar Vista: $1,800
The median rent price in Mar Vista reflects a 3 percent decrease since last year, an advantage for those considering renting in the neighborhood. Compared to the Los Angeles median of $36,687, the median household income in Mar Vista is high at $52,596. For those who work in the city, the commute time is fairly low at 26 minutes. Comparatively, the city-wide average commute is 31 minutes. There are 39,804 people currently living in the Mar Vista neighborhood. Fifty-three percent of the population in Mar Vista are renters. The high number of home renters could be a result of listing prices on homes for sale, which increased 25.2 percent in the past year. With this sudden and enormous increase coupled with high property taxes ($4,536), renting is a more reasonable option for people looking to live in the Mar Vista neighborhood.
Westchester’s rental prices have decreased 0.5 percent in the past month. The population in Westchester is 36,358, which is fairly high compared to other neighborhoods in the greater Los Angeles area. Similarly to Mar Vista, list prices on homes for sale are up 19.5 percent since last year. There seems to be a trend of increasing listing prices on homes, indicating now as a good time to rent in Westchester.
Median rent prices in Chinatown are up 1.6 percent since last quarter. Rents have not fluctuated in the past month. Chinatown’s population is 7,588 and the median household income is relatively low at $17,550. Chinatown is an attractive neighborhood for house hunters due to the low commute time of 27 minutes compared to the city-wide average of 31 minutes.
Northridge rent prices increased 4.8 percent since 2012, a steady and nearly sustainable rate of inflation. The population in Northridge is 70,211 and although rent prices are slightly higher here, the neighborhood draws families with children because of the strong school system. Further, list prices on for sale homes in Northridge have increased 42.6 percent in the past year. Due to such a drastic increase on sale prices, renting in Northridge is clearly the better option at this time.
List prices on for sale homes in Pico-Robertson have increased 12.1 percent in the past year. Comparably, rent prices are down a whopping 27 percent since last year, so renting property in this neighborhood is the more cost-effective option. The population is currently 22,193 people and the commute time is about 28 minutes.
Unless movers are looking to invest in high-priced properties to own, renting is a great option for L.A. newcomers and young professionals hoping to explore different regions of the city. Depending on individual preferences, such as proximity to the city and population size, these fives neighborhoods all have positive qualities for potential renters.