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Old 10-05-2008, 05:32 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
419 posts, read 1,426,793 times
Reputation: 181


There are some interesting factors in play - folks renting instead of owning because they cannot afford a home with a downpayment & 30 yr fixed loan (this includes people who were smart or wisened up and underscores the bubble pricing in the market), folks renting closer to work rather than owning in the sticks due to gas prices etc. On the other hand, we have empty houses with newly minted landlords and overall softness in California's economy, particularly in entertainment. There are very few features being shot right now, so those workers have trickled to TV/music videos/commericals, which puts pressure on folks in those markets. The financial sector continues to suffer a beating. Unemployment statewide is at 7.7%, which doesn't include "underemployed" folks in part time jobs or simply given up searching. When those are factored in, we're closer to 9% -- both figures are 2+% over last year at this time.

So what will all that do to rents? My guess is "not much" - in the short run, I think the former factors will largely cancel out the latter factors. However, if this recession is as deep and prolonged as we all fear it will be, pricing will have intense pressure.

My advice no less than a 6 month lease, no longer than a 12 month lease. Re-evaluate things at the end of your term.

Good luck...

Also regarding WSR or Craigslist -- there is a ton of overlap, but still a surprising number of rentals exclusively on WSR. That's how we found our little dollhouse rental ;-).
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