Apartment Rentals Are Cheap, and Getting Cheaper, In SoCal

Attention bargain hunters: It's a great time to move to Southern California. Sure, the weather's great this time of year - but then, it always is. An even better reason is that apartment rents are falling fast. In the coming year, rents are expected to decline by as much as 3.5 percent in Los Angeles County and 2.4 percent in Orange County, according to a new study by the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. That's on top of declines for the previous year.

In case you're wondering (sure you are), the average monthly rent in L.A. County fell to $1,488 by the end of last year, says the LA Times, a decline of almost 6 percent from the previous year.

In comparison, the average rent in Manhattan edged up in the first quarter of 2010, to $3,812, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman and appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. (And that's without even a palm tree view!)