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by CareyBot

Southern California apartment rents and occupancy rates rank among the highest in the country, and economic gains should push these levels higher, according to a forecast released today by the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate. About 97 percent of apartments in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties are rented and those occupancy rates should remain steady this year, according to the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. Rent increases of 6 percent to 7 percent are forecast in Los Angeles, where the average monthly rent at the end of last year was $1,416. Orange County renters also can expect a rent hike of 6 percent to 7 percent beyond the average monthly rent of $1,390. Inland Empire rents, which averaged $1,012 per month at the end of 20...