UCI Rent Set to Rise Along With OC Housing Price Hikes

Rent prices for all on-campus UC Irvine housing communities are expected to rise during the 2016-17 academic year, reflecting a predicted spike in Orange County housing prices over the next two years. Average rent in Orange County remains more expensive than in Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego Counties. By 2018, only San Diego County will outpace expected rent increases in Orange County, per a USC Real Estate study released last Tuesday.

Beginning fall 2016, Campus Village apartment rent will increase $34 per month from this academic year’s prices. Arroyo Vista rent will also increase by $34 per month for double-room occupants.

Irvine is currently the second-most expensive region in Orange County, with average rent at $1,866 per month. This year, Irvine rent is expected to exceed $2,000 per month for the first time in the city's history. (Courtesy of USC Lusk Casden Real Estate Multifamily Forecast)

Irvine is currently the second-most expensive region in Orange County, with average rent at $1,866 per month. This year, Irvine rent is expected to exceed $2,000 per month for the first time in the city’s history. (Courtesy of USC Lusk Casden Real Estate Multifamily Forecast)

Hardest-hit by next year’s rent increases will be UCI’s on-campus freshman residence halls. Quarterly prices for a single room in Mesa Court or Middle Earth will rise by $356, double rooms by $311 and triple rooms by $276.

In contrast, the quarterly price of UCLA’s on-campus residence halls will rise $169 per resident over the next academic year.

These rent hikes reflect increasing housing costs throughout Southern California, poised especially to affect Orange County and San Diego over the next two years, according to an economic forecast of California real estate trends released last Tuesday by USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate.

By 2018, average rent prices in Orange County will rise $149 from 2015 levels, according to the USC forecast. Orange County’s rent hike will be significantly higher than the $109 increase expected for Los Angeles County by 2018, and almost double the $84 increase expected in the Inland Empire.

Among the four Southern California regions analyzed in the forecast, Orange County’s average rent in 2015 was the most expensive at $1,587 per month.

Irvine’s average rent was even higher, at $1,866 per month, and the forecast notes that “affordability concerns will increase” in coming years. In 2016, the forecast estimates that average rent in Irvine will top $2,000 per month for the first time in history.

Orange County’s skyrocketing rent prices are caused in part by a housing shortage and lack of space for new developments. According to a recent study by the Los Angeles Times, Orange County would have had to build 6,083 new housing units each year over the past three decades in order to keep pace with average nationwide housing costs.

Rent prices for all undergraduate, on-campus UCI housing communities are expected to go up this fall, along with skyrocketing prices for housing countywide. (Courtesy of UCI)

Rent prices for all undergraduate, on-campus UCI housing communities are expected to go up this fall, along with skyrocketing prices for housing countywide. (Courtesy of UCI)

UC Irvine is currently addressing its own housing shortages with the construction of three new Mesa Court residence halls scheduled to open this fall in time to receive more than 800 incoming freshmen.

UCI Housing hopes the new halls will help accommodate the influx of an expected 8,700 new freshmen and transfer students enrolled for the 2016-17 academic year –  the largest incoming undergraduate class in over a decade.

Maintaining a balance between housing quality, availability and affordability in Irvine’s supersaturated housing market will prove a challenge for UC Irvine in coming years, as undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase drastically along with Orange County rent prices in the near future.

UCI Student Housing says that they will remain steadfast to their mission statement in coming years: to “[provide] a variety of learning-centered residential communities that are safe and secure, well-maintained, and affordable.”