I felt like there wasn’t much reason to be in town if I couldn’t leave my apartment and go to work, ”says Sean Campbell, assistant at literary and arts agency Verve, who went to visit family in Novato, Calif., during the pandemic and ended up staying, swapping Los Angeles cityscapes for mountain biking and access to nature.
And he is not alone. While agencies, studios, and most entertainment and out-of-home companies have been working from home for the past 15 months, large bands 20 and older have left Los Angeles to return to live with families or in homes. cheaper and less central areas to save costs.
The city’s rental market has been hit. “There was no demand to move to these more urban areas with everything closed,” says Brian Carberry, editor of Apartment Guide. Apartment Guide’s May 2021 Rental Report found LA to see second-largest drop in year-over-year single-bedroom rental prices, behind San Francisco, with an 18.4 drop. %.
But, with California reopening on June 15 and many entertainment businesses slated for an in-person return in late summer or early fall, the market appears to be rebounding as those who have left flock to THE
“It’s a lot more affordable,” says Eric Sussman, professor of real estate at UCLA, “and you’ve got the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, so these young residents are backing down.” Studios and one-bedroom units – hardest hit in 2020 – are starting to fill up across the city, and rents are starting to level off, slowly bringing the market back to its pre-pandemic peak.
According to online apartment researcher Zumper, median LA rents in May were $ 1,970 for a one-bedroom and $ 2,670 for a two-bedroom. For comparison, in April 2020, Zumper found one-bedroom apartments averaging $ 2,250 and two-bedroom apartments averaging $ 3,040. December 2020 marked the first time since 2016 that the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment has fallen below $ 2,000, and March 2021 saw the first increase in one-bedroom rent in a year.
Real estate data provider CoStar reports that the LA County apartment vacancy rate in June 2021 also declined – to 5.8% after peaking at 6.2% in November.
These trends come just as LA County extended the California eviction moratorium, which was originally scheduled to expire June 30 through September, which Carberry said could result in more units available and ever higher rates. when it is finally up. Sussman said: “It will be a reversal of the downtrend that we have seen.”
ViveLA, which manages apartment complexes in West LA, Hollywood, Koreatown, Echo Park and the San Fernando Valley, has seen an increase in the number of leases over the past two months, particularly for housing one bedroom, said Lana Stevens, customer service specialist. . After a number of residents left LA and returned home in 2020, and before the recent rebound, properties significantly reduced their rates, she says, from $ 1,695 for a studio to $ 2,250. $ for a room. She adds that while most tenants will return to work in person over the next several weeks, many are looking for units that can accommodate working from home.
Campbell says he’s starting to search for places in the Westside, while Mariah Wilson, another Verve assistant, returns to Los Angeles from her San Diego home and searches for “a bigger space.”
“Before the pandemic, I was pretty averse to a roommate,” Wilson says, “but now I think it’s better to be around people and have the support of people during tough times in life.” She also hopes for a patio so that she can go outside.
As the Angelenos return at different times to different demands of in-person work, Carberry also expects that “we can see new, hip neighborhoods popping up as people decide they’re looking for something different from the place.” where they should have been before. “
At a time when the dizzying real estate market puts property out of reach for many, “a lot of people are going to see this as a great opportunity and are really going to try to get some of these cheap apartments back, especially in some very difficult areas to find. ‘access,’ adds Carberry. “There are going to be a lot more flights to be found, and these are going to go very, very fast.”
This story first appeared in the June 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.