Rents in Los Angeles and Orange counties up 5.6%! That’s the biggest hikes since 2007!

by in News

More bad news for local tenants: Rents are rising at the fastest pace in 12 years, according to the local Consumer Price Index.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the slice of the CPI tracking the cost of renting show this expense in Los Angeles and Orange counties rose at a 5.6% annual rate in March vs. 4.8% a year earlier. The last time rent inflation was greater in any March was 2007.

The CPI tracks rental costs using government polling of consumers vs. other industry measurements that come from surveys of landlords. So far this year, this L.A.-O.C. rent index rose 5.4% compared to 4.9% in 2018 and 4.6% in 2015-2017. Between 2009 and 2014, local rents rose on average 1.7% a year.

The CPI also tells us that overall inflation in Los Angeles and Orange counties was rising at a 2.7% annual rate in March vs. 2.5% a month earlier and 3.6% a year earlier.

Local inflation — averaging 2.5% this century, is volatile. So far this year, L.A.-O.C. inflation has risen at an average annual pace of 2.9%.Last year, inflation rose 3.8% in the two counties, according to the index. In 2009-2017, inflation averaged 1.5% annually after running 3.4% in 2000-2008.

Note: A new Consumer Price Index for Riverside and San Bernardino counties shows the Inland Empire’s inflation rate at 2.8% for March.

Housing eats up the biggest share of local household budgets. By CPI math, overall housing costs in L.A.-O.C. rose 4.9% in the past year. Without the cost of shelter, inflation would be 1.2%.

Here are eight other L.A.-O.C. inflation trends you should be watching, as of March …

2. Gasoline cost 0.1% less in the last 12 months, by CPI math. Household energy cost 0.1% less.

3. Food costs rose 2.2% in a year. Eating out expenses rose 4.6% while food-at-home was flat.

4. Medical bills were fell 0.1% in the year.

5. Costs of all services were 3.8% above a year ago.

6. Apparel prices were 4.4% lower in the year.

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7. The cost of big-ticket “durable goods” (such as appliances and furniture) were flat over 12 months.

8. Size matters: Big cities in Western states saw consumer prices in March up at a 2.6% annual pace. Smaller Western cities? 2.3% inflation rate.

9. Elsewhere in the West: San Diego CPI? Up 2.2% annually vs. 1.8% for Urban Hawaii.