Apartment rents in Southern California are projected to increase slowly in 2008 as a result of the credit crunch, according to a report released Thursday by the USC Lusk Center Casden Forecast. Los Angeles County rental increases are expected to be in the 2.5 percent to 3 percent range on average.
The report notes that renting has become a popular alternative for prospective homebuyers who cannot obtain financing to make their purchases.
“Although the national economy is skating close to a recession, the apartment market is supported by demand for trade, regional economic strength, and higher paying jobs in healthcare and professional services,” said Delores Conway, director of the Casden Forecast, in a statement.
Rental increases could be higher than 3 percent in more desirable areas likes Hollywood, Pasadena and Burbank. There are more than 1 million apartments in the county.
Occupancy rates across the region are in the 96 percent to 97 percent range.