Single-family rents soar in tight housing market

Florida saw the largest rent hikes during the pandemic

You could buy a top-of-the-line laptop and a new cell phone to match, or you could pay one month’s rent for a single-family home in Los Angeles.

It’s not much better for prospective single-family renters across California, a study by HouseCanary found. In Ventura or Carlsbad, median single-family rents are $4,250, and in Santa Clara and Berkeley, median single-family rents reached $4,225 and $4,200, respectively. That’s nearly as much as it costs to deliver a newborn, on average, even with employer-provided health insurance, and quite a bit more than the $3,900 the average woman earns each month.

As eviction moratoriums expire, HouseCanary predicts single-family rents will continue to increase.

Enforcement of the now-expired Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium was inconsistent to begin with, and in some areas there have been few checks on tenant turnover and rent increases even during the pandemic.

Curbing court-ordered evictions also only addresses a portion of evictions — a recent Princeton University study estimated that informal evictions outnumber formal proceedings by more than five to one. Still, robust local restrictions in places like New York City helped keep rents more level, the HouseCanary report found.

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