Real Estate News

Here’s what it takes to rent a two-bedroom home throughout California

Rent control fight comes to Sacramento

On Jan. 11, 2018, activists advocate for a bill to expand rent control in California.
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On Jan. 11, 2018, activists advocate for a bill to expand rent control in California.

California rent continues to rise rapidly, eating up wage increases from a growing economy, forcing thousands to endure long commutes and contributing to an increase in homelessness.

Median rent for a California two-bedroom condo or home rose from about $1,740 in December 2013 to about $2,300 in December 2017, a 32 percent jump, according to tracking firm Zillow.com. By comparison, median rent for a two-bedroom unit nationwide was about $1,290 in December 2017, up 14 percent from 2013.

Rents vary widely across California. Median rent for a two-bedroom unit in San Francisco is now almost $4,200. (A mortgage payment of that amount could pay for a home that costs roughly $800,000). Rent for a two-bedroom in Kings County is just below $900.

All California counties saw rent increases during the last four years, Zillow.com data show.

The highest increase occurred in San Luis Obispo County, where two-bedroom rents jumped more than 50 percent between 2013 and 2017. Santa Cruz, Alameda, San Benito, Sonoma, Amador, El Dorado and Stanislaus counties all saw rent increases of at least 40 percent during that period.

The California legislature is considering a number of bills to address rent increases, including measures to stimulate multifamily housing construction and to expand the number of housing units potentially covered by rent control laws.

Phillip Reese is The Bee's data specialist and teaches at Sacramento State. Reach him at 916-321-1137 or 916-278-5420.

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