Apartment Rent Growth in Salinas Among Top in Nation

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Apartment rent growth in the small California market of Salinas ranked among the top in the nation in February. Effective asking rents grew 7.1% in Salinas in the year-ending February, compared to a near-stagnant rate nationally of just 0.2%, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. That increase ranked this small California market with less than 25,000 existing apartment units third nationally for rent performance. On a month-over-month basis, Salinas rents grew 1.3% in February, which also marked the third best rate in the nation. Current rent growth in Salinas stands above the market’s pre-pandemic average of 6.9% (from 2015-2019), marking one of the very few markets nationwide where that is the case. The ascent of rents in Salinas continued despite occupancy contracting 60 basis points year-over-year to stand at a still strong rate of 96.8%. Limited supply has helped to shore up the market’s performance, as there were virtually no units underway in the market at the end of 2023. The county seat of Monterey County, Salinas is located about one hour outside of San Jose and has a population of roughly 432,900, per the U.S. Census Bureau. Rents in Salinas remain relatively affordable in comparison to the pricier Bay Area. Effective asking rents in Salinas averaged $2,460 in February 2024, significantly below both San Francisco ($3,243) and San Jose ($3,051).