July 5, 2009

Recession turns L.A. into renter’s maket

A depressed real estate market has turned Los Angeles County into a haven for renters seeking deals and discounts, industry observers say.

The struggling economy has produced rising vacancy rates, falling rents and landlords willing to negotiate on lease deals, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

I've never seen it this saturated with rentals, property manager Vickie Callahan, who owns three- and four-unit buildings in the Redondo Beach area, told the newspaper. It's very scary.

It's definitely a renter's market, added Delores Conway, director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

Los Angeles County's rental vacancy rate rose to 5.3 percent in the first quarter, up from 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2008, the highest rate since the early 1990s. Rental vacancies in the intervening years had hovered between 2 percent and 3 percent, the Times said.