The median price of a one-bedroom apartment in the city of Los Angeles is nearly $2,000, which means that many Angelenos either live with roommates or spend half or more of their income on rent. Or both. One report a few years ago concluded that it takes a six-figure income just to afford an average two-bedroom rental in L.A.
Of course, there are still a few pockets of the city that are relatively more affordable. After crunching data from its 2017 L.A. listings through mid-May, the folks at Apartment List have come up with a list of the city's five least expensive neighborhoods for two-bedroom rentals.
None of them are in the area between downtown and the beach and between the 10 freeway and the Santa Monica Mountains. Unsurprisingly, the father away you look, the better deal you're likely to get. But the rents on this list are often $1,000 or more below what you'll find in the core L.A. basin. Only Westlake's $2,400 median rent for a two-bedroom comes within hundreds of dollars of what you can find in these five neighborhoods, according to Apartment List data.
"Areas further from downtown, either in the San Fernando Valley or closer to Long Beach, tend to be less expensive," Andrew Woo, the site's director of data science, says via email. But there's still a few neighborhoods fairly close to downtown on the list.
5. South Los Angeles
The mega-community has long been one of the most affordable in L.A. for buyers and renters. Apartment List looked at a smaller, eastern region of South L.A. that's proximate to downtown — south of the 10 freeway and east of Arlington Avenue — and found the median two-bedroom apartment lists for $1,900, while a one-bedroom can be had for $1,100.
4. Congress West and Crenshaw
The Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Council covers the neighborhoods of Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park and others in the vicinity. Apartment List concludes that apartment hunters on this western side of South L.A. can find median-priced two-bedrooms for $1,800 and one-bedrooms for $1,350.
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Yes, it's next door to the community with the highest temperatures in L.A. during summer, Woodland Hills. And yes, it was named for Tarzan. But if you can handle the heat and the 101 freeway, you're in for a bargain, according to the site. A median two-bedroom can be had for $1,763; the one-bedroom median is $1,500.
2. San Pedro
It really is a small town in a big city, with generations of dock workers and fishermen living side by side with south-of-the-border immigrants. It's one of the few water-adjacent communities in Southern California that hasn't seen housing prices explode. Apartment List says a median two-bedroom lists for $1,758, while a one-bedroom registers at $1,270.
1. North Hills
The top discount destination is also one of the farthest communities on the list from the city's core. It's hot. It's in the central Valley. But it's relatively cheap. The median two-bedroom is $1,650 and the median one-bedroom is $1,300, according to the site.
Happy apartment hunting.