Southern California rents rising at 5% annual rate, says CPI math – Daily News

on Feb17
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The cost of renting in Southern California was growing at least 5% a year in January, according to a slice of the local Consumer Price Index.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI tracks rental costs by polling consumers vs. other rent measurements that usually come from surveys of major apartment landlords. And the CPI shows lots of financial challenges for local renters.

In Los Angeles and Orange counties, the cost of renting one’s primary residence grew at a 5% annual rate in January. That’s down from 5.1% a year earlier but extends a monthly streak above 5% dating to December 2018.

A bit of good news is that January’s increase is below what this L.A.-O.C. rent index averaged last year: 5.6% increases after rising 4.6% in 2015-2018. This is all a sharp contract from the 2009-2014 period when L.A.-O.C. rents rose on average 1.7% annually.

Rents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in January rose at a 5.2% annual rate, according to the Inland Empire CPI. That’s slightly higher than the start of 2019 when Inland Empire rents were rising by 4.9% a year. This is a new index and its history only dates to 2018.

Pricey rents are one reason why overall inflation runs above the national pace in Southern California.

In L.A.-O.C., all consumer prices were rising at a 3.1% annual pace in January vs. 3.2% a year earlier. In the Inland Empire, overall inflation ran 3%, unchanged in a year.

The surge in the local cost of living tops the nation’s 2.5% inflation rate for January and a 2.9% pace in Western states. Elsewhere in the West, San Diego’s CPI was up 2.3% in a year and urban Hawaii’s increased 1.7%.

Ponder housing’s impact on the region’s household budgets as it’s the typical consumer’s biggest expense.

By CPI math, overall housing costs in L.A.-O.C. rose 4.1% in the past year. Minus the cost of shelter, the CPI’s up only 2.3% in 12 months. Same is true in the Inland Empire: Housing costs rose 5.2% in a year but inflation, minus shelter, was up just 1.8% in this period.



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