LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- There has been a movement of residents from Los Angeles Metro to the Inland Empire so people can get more bang for their buck, but because of this trend, rents are drastically rising in the I.E.
"Now with the pandemic, not being able to go out, having dinners at home, you're like, dang, my kitchen's a lot smaller than I remember," said Fontana resident Roberta Arias.
Arias says the pandemic made her family and friends reevaluate what they were getting for their money, and they were not alone.
"I think people are leaving that idea behind to be able to have a home or more space, build a family," she said.
Several studies now show rents have increased faster during the pandemic -- on average -- than any other area of the country.
Property managers in the Southland report that rents are rising, vacancies are at a 10-year-low and waitlists are getting out of hand.
"We had a home recently that we rented out in Riverside and we got in about 75 applications. It is hard turning 74 people down," said real estate agent Dave Clark, with the Clark Team at Keller Williams Corona.
Clark says demand is so high for the few properties they rent that it's continuously driving up the monthly rate.
"I think if the vacancy continues to be lower, then sure, prices could continue to rise, but what I think we need to focus on is we have so many people behind on their rent right now. We need to get those federal dollars out and focus on that," said Ben J. Benoit, the spokesperson of the California Apartment Association.
Benoit said if landlords don't get paid, they won't continue renting their properties, and that a shortage of new home construction across Southern California has increased rental rates for a long time.
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