Rent goes up in Inland Empire amid 'sky high' demand

Vacancies down, rents up.

The hottest rental market in Southern California is in the Inland Empire. With two bedrooms, two-bathroom homes in riverside for under $2,000 a month, and amenities like a pool and a gym, all those may be enough to someone away from Los Angeles and Orange County.

"It's super, super competitive," said real estate agent Leticia Sotomayor. "It's almost nearly impossible to find your client a rental."

Multiple factors add to the Inland Empire's appeal to its neighbors to the west and the south. There's newer construction and compared to what you would pay in Los Angeles, rent is more affordable in the region. Not to mention with the pandemic, families are working and taking classes from home.

Greg Willet, the chief economist with Real Page, a rental data analytics firm.

"Now that we've lessened that relations between where we work and live," Willet explained.

Willet said the Inland Empire is seeing an 8% rent growth in the area. One of the reasons the rental market is so hot in the Inland Empire is the competition over the few available rentals in the area.

"Each listing that comes up gets 20 to 50 applications and so they start bidding each other," Sotomayor says.

Willet says Riverside and San Bernardino counties make up the No. 1 market nationwide for rent increase. 

"The occupancy rate in the Inland Empire is sky high," Willet says. "It's about 98% or so. Again, inline with the highest you're going to see across the country."

He also adds, with the limited construction in the area, the demand outweighs the supply in the real-estate market.

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