Square Footage Breakdown: the Balance of Space and Location in LA’s Rental Market
By Keemia Zhang
RentCafe, a popular national apartment listing website, has conducted a study providing renters with insights into the square footage $1700, the average national rent, can secure in the 50 largest U.S. cities.
“In the world of renting, there’s a delicate balance between space and location, as represented best in renters’ eternal dilemma,” states the website. “How far can I stretch my dollar?”
Despite Los Angeles ranking as the second-most expensive city in America, the overall rent market remains more affordable than several other cosmopolitan centers. Bloomberg reports that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $2,400, considerably lower than the averages in New York or San Francisco, which stand at $3,780 and $3,100, respectively. However, the study recognizes that L.A.’s income disparities and city annexation contribute to significant fluctuations in space per dollar across zip codes.
According to RentCafe’s findings, $1700 will secure a renter just 362 square feet of space in the 90405 zip code, marking the least square footage for that price in L.A. This area encompasses the Ocean and Clover Park neighborhoods of south Santa Monica, with RentCafe attributing this statistic to “the high demand for living near the iconic beaches and thriving cultural scenes of the westside.”
Conversely, $1700 will provide for 70 square feet in the 90008 zip code, offering the most value in RentCafe’s study. Covering South Los Angeles neighborhoods like Baldwin Vista, Baldwin Village, and Leimert Park, the study notes that this area “offers urban accessibility for those seeking more room to breathe.”
For $1700 rent, various West LA neighborhoods consistently offered specific amounts of square footage. Brentwood’s 90049 permitted an apartment of 451 square feet, while Marina Del Rey’s 90292 allowed for a slightly smaller 432 square feet. Westwood’s 90024 zip code, the second most expensive in the country outside of NYC, averaged 440 square feet, and Culver City residents in the 90066 zip code could have 464 square feet of living space.