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Apartment rents climb in Southern California, but at a modest pace

Apartment rents in Southern California rose this summer, but at a relatively modest pace.

Tenants in Los Angeles and Orange counties are paying on average 2.7% more than they were a year ago -- slower growth than the 4.2& rate for the nation as a whole, according to data released Thursday by real estate research firm Reis Inc.

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In the third quarter, average rent for all types of residential properties in Orange County grew 1.1% from a year earlier to $1,631 a month, and in Los Angeles County it grew 0.9% to $1,484, both in line with the 1% growth nationwide.

That makes the Southland one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, though rents here remain significantly cheaper than the nation's two priciest markets: New York and San Francisco.

And despite a surge in apartment construction, the supply of rental homes remains tight, with a vacancy rate of 2.5% in Orange County -- fourth lowest of the 79 markets Reis tracks -- and 3.2% in Los Angeles. Nationwide, the vacancy rate increased for the first time in nearly five years, to 4.2%.

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

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