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Orange County Rental Market Update 2021

The rental market in Orange County at the end of 2021 is hot. Rents are high, and there’s a large demand for well-maintained rental homes. This is good news for property owners and investors, and an excellent reason to consider buying an investment property in Irvine or throughout Orange County. Supply is still low, and that means there are a lot of great tenants willing to pay top dollar for a rental home that’s well-appointed and in a desirable neighborhood.

Orange County Rental Market Recovery from COVID

With an uncertain couple of years that included eviction moratoriums and a reliance on contact-free leasing and showings, things are returning to some sort of normalcy at the end of 2021. As we move into 2022, most industry experts agree that the market will continue to stabilize and perform. With new technology, a lot of the protocols implemented during the pandemic will stay in place. Tenants appreciate paying rent online, signing lease agreements digitally, and enjoying self-showings that include digital locks and lockboxes. 

Evictions will be permitted again, easing some of the pain for landlords who could not collect rent from tenants who had been financially impacted by COVID. Rental property owners will have the opportunity to place new tenants if they have to remove current tenants for non-payment.

Rising Rental Rates in Irvine and Orange County

Most of the rents in Orange County are, on average, over $2,300 per month. This is true even for one-bedroom apartments with under 900 square feet. After a brief dip during the worst of the pandemic, rental prices are rising again and they should continue moving in that direction as this year ends and 2022 begins. 

While higher rental prices are the norm, owners should expect to provide additional features and amenities in order to attract the best tenants quickly. Renters today are looking for space that fits their working lives as well as their personal lives. They want access to high-speed internet, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and additional storage as well as outdoor space and modern upgrades and updates. 

You won’t have a problem attracting tenants, but to identify, place, and retain well-qualified renters, consider making the updates and improvements that will induce them to choose your property over the competition. 

Rental Property Repairs and Rising Costs 

Owners will need those higher rents to offset the rising cost of labor and materials, especially when it comes to maintenance. Whether we’re talking about preventative maintenance, renovations, or emergency repairs – it’s more expensive than it was a few years ago to maintain a rental property. 

Rising costs and higher price tags are not unique to the property management and real estate industries. You can prepare for this trend by putting together a reliable list of preferred vendors. Working with an Orange County property management company can also help you keep costs down when you’re responding to repairs or planning for work. 

California’s legal landscape is always changing, and its’ important that you stay up to date on the local and state laws pertaining to rent control, just cause evictions, tenant screening, Section 8, and fair housing. When you’re thinking about the current rental market in Orange County and what it means for your current and potential investments, please contact us at HCM Property Management. We’d be happy to help you and your rental properties. 

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