Rent inflation in Los Angeles & Orange counties is at 5.4%, a 12-year high. This is the highest April reading since 2007, when the rate was at 6.4%. Rent inflation in L.A. and Orange counties ran at a 12-year high in April.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for the 2 counties shows the cost of local renting was up at a 5.4% annual rate in April vs. 5.1% a year earlier. The CPI tracks rental costs by polling consumers vs. other rent measurements that come from surveys of landlords. So far this year, this L.A.-O.C. rent index rose 5.6% compared with 5.2% in 2018 and 4.9% in 2015-2017. Between 2009 and 2014, local rents rose on average 2.5% a yr.
Local rents have surged as vacant apartments became more scarce during an economic recovery that’s created 1.19 million jobs and nowhere near enough housing options in Southern California since 2010. Housing eats up the biggest share of local household budgets. By CPI math for April, overall housing costs in L.A.-O.C. rose 4.6% in 2018.
Overall inflation in L.A. & Orange counties was rising at a 3.3% annual rate in April vs. (1) 2.7% a month earlier; (2) 4% a year earlier; (3) 2% nationally; & (4) 2.9% in Western states. Without the cost of shelter, local inflation would be at a 2.3% annual rate. So far this year, L.A.-O.C. averaged a 2.85% inflation rate. Last year, inflation rose 3.8% in the two counties, according to the index.
In 2009-2017, inflation averaged 1.4% annually after running 3.4% in 2000-2008. The CPI for Riverside & San Bernardino counties showed an inflation rate for March at a 2.8% rate.
Here are eight other L.A.-O.C. inflation trends you should be watching …
1. Gasoline cost 10.8% more in the last 12 months, by CPI math. Household energy cost 0.9% more.
2. Food costs rose 2.2% in a year. Eating out expenses rose 5.0% ; food-at-home fell -0.4% in 12 months.
3. Medical bills were rose 0.9% in the year.
4. Costs of all services were 4.1% above a year ago.
5. Apparel prices were -3.3% lower in the year.
6. The cost of big-ticket “durable goods” (such as appliances and furniture) were -0.2% lower over 12 months.
7. Big cities in Western states saw consumer prices in April up at a 3% annual pace. Smaller Western cities? 2.7% inflation rate.
8. Elsewhere in the West: Bay Area inflation? 4% while Seattle had 2.4% and 2.3% for Phoenix