Making Sense of the Senseless

Comparing Vacancy Rates Along the Coast from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach

Going along the coastal regions from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach, you will find dramatically different vacancy rates.  How is it possible to have a vacancy rate of 1% in Playa Del Rey, when right next door the highest vacancy rate in the region is Marina Del Rey at 9.5%!?  Playa Del Rey has some key advantages, such as the convenient location away from the airport.  The amount of available housing is significantly small for the area with a large demand from students of Loyola Marymount University.  There also is a significant growth in Retail locations in this area.

Santa Monica is moderate in its vacancy rate.  Some would have anticipated Santa Monica to be doing better, however rent control has been a double edged sword for the city.  Tenants who have lived in the area all their lives enjoy abnormally low rent and have no motivation to leave anytime soon.  To compensate for this, Landlords increase the asking price for the rent for new tenants.  This causes new potential residents to explore places nearby such as in Venice Beach.

It should be kept in mind that many of these vacancy rates have fluctuated between 1-2% in the last year.  These rankings are not stagnant, but the coastal regions are clearly dynamic and independent of one another in their marketplace.  Case and point is in the highest and lowest vacancies being right next to each other.