Report: Pasadena Rents Now Most Expensive City in Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area

Although some West side neighborhoods are asking far higher rental rates than those found in Pasadena, as a city, Pasadena's overall median rent rate now ranks highest in the Los Angeles Metro area

Published : Thursday, September 8, 2016 | 5:10 AM

Pasadena has surpassed Los Angeles as the city with the most expensive rents within the greater L.A. metropolitan area, a distinction some local experts are attributing to location and a housing shortage.

According to the Los Angeles Rent Report released earlier this month, Pasadena now takes first place in both rent growth and rent costs. A 2-bedroom apartment here has a median rental cost of $2,630 while a 1-bedroom comes in at around $2,060.

Whereas Pasadena as a city has the highest median rents, the report found certain neighborhoods in the Southland, such Venice Beach, are asking considerably more.

The report was released by Apartment List, a respected, Webby-award winning online rental marketplace company, from its comprehensive database.

Results charted by a second online rental site, Rent Jungle, reportedthe July, 2016 average apartment rent with the City of Pasadena was $2,408 for a 1-bedroom apartment while a 2-bedroom apartment rents averaged $2,760. Chart courtesy Rent Jungle

Rental rates in Pasadena have grown by 6.6 percent in the past year, though the growth was flat this past month, the report also concluded.

“Rent fluctuates with the economy, so as the economy grows and the population grows, rent grows too,” said Todd Hays, a Pasadena-based realtor and former president of the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors. “The other contributing factor which is significant is the lack of availability. We have a housing shortage right now in Pasadena, which we also have up and down the state. A bigger contributing factor to the rise of rent is the shrinking available rental units.”

According to Eric Duyshart, the City of Pasadena’s Economic Development Manager, Pasadena is also an expensive place to live because of the amenities and transportation hubs associated with the city.

“The housing market remains strong in Pasadena and the broader L.A. area, with Pasadena being central to many amenities, and transit options and cultural amenities,” Duyshart said.

Duyshart went on to explain the importance of having versatile housing options in Pasadena.

“We see the need to provide a variety of housing options in Pasadena in hopes that projects provide not just high-end luxury units but also more affordable options for people who are working and living in Pasadena,” Duyshart said.

Hays said that due to high rental prices, taking out a mortgage is a better option for people who can afford to pay rent in Pasadena.

“It’s absolutely a better option if you can afford to buy, given the rise of rent over the last couple years,” Hays said.

However, Hays cautioned that the median prices mentioned in the report may not fully represent the range of properties available in Pasadena.

“We have a huge range of area. If you’re north of the [I-210] freeway, you’re going to be looking at one set of averages, and if you’re south of the freeway, you’re going to looking at another one,” Hays said. “You will absolutely be able to find a 2-bedroom apartment less [than the median amount].”

Duyshart said that even though rent prices are high and interest rates are low, not many people are looking to buy homes in Pasadena.

“As rental rates climb, it’s always a good option for people to consider what is more affordable,” Duyshart said. “Compared to most cities, Pasadena has a range of single-family and condominium-style units available, but still, the percentage of people looking is low. What’s available for sale is still constrained.”

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