Los Angeles rental prices drop for first time in a decade, possibly because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic are the possible cause of average rental prices in the Los Angeles area falling for the first time in a decade, according to CoStar, a research firm that tracks commercial real estate information.

Between the first week of January and April 2, properties have seen a 2-cent drop in price per square foot, CoStar said.

"We are seeing differences on a market-by-market level already," said John Affleck, the company's vice president of market analytics. He cautioned, however, "against reading too much into this data until the trend is more established."

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In Orange County, rents fell by 1.8% between their March peak and the 24th of that month. Inland Empire rents were 1.3% lower.

Across the U.S., some markets have yet to see any significant decline in rents. These include Milwaukee, New Orleans and Detroit.

"Again, a note of caution. The relative resiliency of these markets could in fact indicate that fewer apartments use LRO software or price units daily," Affleck said, referring to lease rent options, "and therefore we have yet to observe the impact."
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