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Santa Monica has been named the most expensive place to rent in the whole country

Santa Monica Pier
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Pacheco

It’s a good thing that relatively-affordable rent is just one of the many things that Angelenos have to hold over the residents of New York and San Francisco, because that advantage might be slipping away. According to new research, Santa Monica might be the single most expensive place to rent an apartment in the whole country.

The data, published by Apartment Guide, claims that the average rent in Santa Monica is a fairly-astronomical $4,799.20. That edges out $4,562.72 for New York City. San Francisco, a city famous (or is that infamous?) for the spike it has seen in rental prices in recent years, comes in at just $3,880.44 (which is itself less than a place in Venice, which Apartment Guide prices at $3,922.67).

Obviously, the averages skew high and not every one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica is renting for $4,799.20 each month, but their findings are consistent with another report that came out in 2016 that pegged Santa Monica as one of the most rapidly-increasing rental markets in the state of California. That study by Apartment List found an average price hike of 7.1 percent a year in the popular beach neighborhood. 

Several of Santa Monica’s Westside neighbors also made Apartment Guide’s list of the 50 most expensive places to rent in the United States. Venice is in fifth place, followed by Playa Vista at 15, Marina Del Rey at 16 and Culver City at 22. The city of Los Angeles itself, while it contains many pockets that are costly for renters, also still contains a broader range of pricing, which is enough to bring average rents down and keep it out of the top 50.  

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