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Rent growth picking up pace in Southern California this summer

Rents now growing at same pace as sale prices in Los Angeles, new data says

The rent is getting higher, faster.

The average rent in Los Angeles County has climbed 8.8% in the last year, according to a new report out Tuesday from real estate website Trulia, with the median two-bedroom apartment now going for $2,450.

That's a significantly faster clip than the 5.4% annual growth Trulia reported in May, a sign that the rental market continues to heat up even as more high-end apartments come on line across the Southland. Rent growth also picked up speed in Orange County, where average rent gained 5.1% to $2,100 for the median two-bedroom apartment, up from 2.8% in May.

The rental acceleration comes as price gains cool off in the for-sale market. Indeed, the year-over-year growth in asking prices in L.A. County was 8.9%, says Trulia, nearly the same pace as rentals. Other reports measuring data from this summer had suggested that rent growth in the county may be hitting a ceiling amid slow wage growth, much as sale prices have.

The new figures, which reflect apartments listed for rent on Trulia, would make metro Los Angeles the fourth-priciest rental market in the country, trailing only New York, San Francisco and Oakland. Rents in the Bay Area market, though, are even hotter than those in the Southland. Rent grew 14.5% in San Francisco and 14.4% in Oakland over the last year, Trulia said.

Keep an eye on housing and real estate in Southern California. Follow me on Twitter at @bytimlogan

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