Seems that the market is being squeezed by the lack of new apartment construction and recent employment gains, according to a USC report. Look for a 7.9 percent jump in rentals over the next year - and further increases after that. Rents have been fairly flat for the last couple of years. From the LAT:
Los Angeles County was the strongest performer out of all the counties analyzed, with a 6.2% increase in the average rent from 2010 to 2011 to hit $1,596. The average rent was up 3.2% to $1,523 in Orange County; 3.4% to $1,069 in the Inland Empire; and 4.3% to $1,377 in San Diego County.
By the way, if you're bemoaning the high cost of housing in L.A., I have one word for you: Mumbai. A 1,000-square-foot luxury residence in the Indian city costs about $1.14 million. Or put another way: The average Indian would need to work for three centuries to pay for that home. (Bloomberg)