Department of Numbers

Orange County California Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Orange County CA was $1,786 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Orange County was $1,810 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Orange County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for Orange County rental vacancy rates, Orange County rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Orange County.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Orange County California (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
California Median Gross Rent $1,447 +3.65% +11.48%
Orange County CA Median Gross Rent $1,786 +2.12% +10.93%

Orange County CA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,786, real median gross rent in Orange County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,810, real average gross rent in Orange County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: Orange County CA Median, Orange County CA Average, California Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Orange County

Date US
Median
California
Median
Orange County CA
Median
Orange County CA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,447 $1,786 $1,810
2016 $996 $1,396 $1,749 $1,766
2015 $987 $1,349 $1,671 $1,702
2014 $956 $1,298 $1,610 $1,647
2013 $924 $1,250 $1,531 $1,594
2012 $912 $1,238 $1,511 $1,566
2011 $912 $1,230 $1,498 $1,552
2010 $927 $1,260 $1,519 $1,577
2009 $931 $1,277 $1,591 $1,636
2008 $947 $1,304 $1,631 $1,681
2007 $899 $1,228 $1,563 $1,597
2006 $909 $1,225 $1,565 $1,616

Orange County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Orange County California was 3.00% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Orange County California

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
California 3.49% +0.18% -0.41%
Orange County CA 3.00% 0.00% -0.36%

Trends in Orange County CA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Orange County peaked in 2009 at 5.98%. Since then it has fallen by 2.98% to 3.00%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2016 post peak low of 3.00%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.00%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Orange County CA, California, US

Rental vacancy rate in California

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Orange County

Date US California Orange County CA
2017 6.18% 3.49% 3.00%
2016 5.89% 3.31% 3.00%
2015 5.85% 3.33% 3.01%
2014 6.32% 3.90% 3.36%
2013 6.49% 4.22% 3.75%
2012 6.77% 4.51% 3.52%
2011 7.40% 4.94% 4.16%
2010 8.17% 5.86% 5.48%
2009 8.43% 5.76% 5.98%
2008 7.86% 4.71% 5.32%
2007 7.87% 4.72% 4.03%
2006 7.70% 4.67% 4.18%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Orange County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Orange County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 24.86% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Orange County California Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
California 24.18% -0.18% -0.39%
Orange County CA 24.86% -0.39% +0.14%

Trends in Orange County CA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Orange County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2016 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 25.25%. Since then it has fallen by 0.39% to 24.86%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Orange County CA, California, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Orange County California

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Orange County California

Date US California Orange County CA
2017 20.13% 24.18% 24.86%
2016 20.43% 24.36% 25.25%
2015 20.63% 24.39% 24.85%
2014 20.89% 24.57% 24.72%
2013 20.78% 24.40% 24.25%
2012 20.65% 24.69% 24.42%
2011 20.70% 24.59% 23.74%
2010 20.50% 24.18% 23.74%
2009 20.12% 23.52% 24.03%
2008 19.00% 22.32% 22.70%
2007 18.66% 21.58% 22.47%
2006 18.90% 21.80% 22.45%

Renter Fraction in Orange County California

You can calculate the renter fraction in Orange County in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Orange County as a fraction of total Orange County households. In 2017 42.64% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Orange County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
California 45.21% -1.15% -1.06%
Orange County CA 42.64% -0.72% +0.05%

Trends in the Orange County CA Renter Fraction

The Orange County household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 43.38% and is now 0.74% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Orange County CA, California, US

Fraction of renters in Orange County

History of Orange County Renter Fraction

Date US California Orange County CA
2017 36.13% 45.21% 42.64%
2016 36.88% 46.36% 43.36%
2015 36.97% 46.41% 43.38%
2014 36.90% 46.27% 42.59%
2013 36.50% 46.21% 42.49%
2012 36.09% 45.97% 43.14%
2011 35.42% 45.12% 41.38%
2010 34.65% 44.36% 40.76%
2009 34.13% 43.43% 39.86%
2008 33.36% 42.95% 38.97%
2007 32.80% 42.00% 37.29%
2006 32.73% 41.55% 37.64%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.