This SoCal city ousts Los Angeles in report listing most expensive rent in US

To no surprise - rent prices in the Los Angeles area are among the most expensive in the United States, but it looks like some other West Coast cities are outpacing LA since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a Zumper report released Tuesday shows.

Zumper's National Rent Index showed rent is rising in 2022, almost twice as fast as it did during the same period in 2021.

That's true in West Coast cities where San Diego posted a 31% rise year-over-year, jumping past Los Angeles and San Jose as the fifth most expensive city.

According to the report, San Diego's median one-bedroom rent is up nearly 33% and began rising rapidly in May 2021. At the beginning of the pandemic, San Diego ranked 10th, analysts said.

As of April, Los Angeles rent is back to the $2,250 median it reported in March 2020, according to the report.

Analysts say one key difference between San Diego and other West Coast cities is its homeownership rate of 47% which is slightly higher than its counterparts. 

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"This indicates San Diego’s rent is more responsive to a rise in home prices. Rising home valuations price out renters who would otherwise buy, thus keeping them in the rental market longer than they otherwise would, which adds to the demand for rental housing. Home prices in the San Diego metro area have risen almost 50 percent in the last two years," the report stated.