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Rent Report Was Skewed to Luxury Apartments

Re: “L.A. County Rents Shoot Above $1,000" [Oct. 16]. This is nonsense. The average L.A. County residential rent in 1990, per the Census Bureau, was $570.

From 1990 to June 1999, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that L.A. residential rents have increased 13.3%. This would give an average rent as of June 1999 of $646.

Adding 3% for the increase since June 1999, then, would give an average apartment rent in L.A. County for October of $665.

The $665 is close to our experience as a company managing 900 apartment units in about 20 cities in eastern Los Angeles County.

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The survey the article refers to is of the most expensive large apartments, the top 10%. The average person would call these luxury apartments; the real estate trade calls them “investment grade.”

To take the average rent of the most expensive apartments and claim that they are the average for all Los Angeles County apartments is as bad as claiming the average sale price of Beverly Hills homes as the average for all of L.A. County.

JOHN P. GORDON

Fertig & Gordon Cos.

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Pasadena

* Is anybody listening? Can our California economy foreseeably project sustainable, healthy growth in all sectors with landlord-speaking persons such as Stephen Shein mischaracterizing the rising, exorbitant cost of rents statewide as “simply part of . . . recovery?” Recovery of what?: Budding inflation? More homelessness? Sprawl?

How will California’s economy continue to lead if, statewide, landlords gobble up low (and mid-tier) workers? Weren’t we here once before in the ‘70s, when powerful pro-landlord lobbies, acting in Sacramento, added their rent fuels to the fire of statewide inflation and unbalanced development?

This time, for a better business environment all around, can’t Sacramento just drop its dead, knee-jerk ideology and even look to selected, tougher rent control?

DAVID BUSCH

Santa Monica


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