A national study released this week indicates Santa Clarita’s rent growth rate from year to year was 4.9 percent from 2015-18. This makes it the 15th most expensive city out of the 250 biggest in the country. Apartment List, an online platform connecting renters with apartment listings, revealed this month that the current median rate for a two-bedroom in Santa Clarita is $2,564, and a one-bedroom is $1,995. The national average for a two-bedroom is $1,170. Santa Clarita’s month-to-month rent change is at 0.6 percent, according to the site. This is the fourth straight month the city has seen rent increases since a decline in January. The rate currently leads the state average of 2.2 percent, as well as the national average of 1.5 percent. In previous years, a two-bedroom was $2,445 in 2017, $2,341 in 2016, and $2,186 in 2015. Santa Clarita previously ranked at No. 72 in 2017, No. 45 in 2016 and No. 46 in 2015, with year-to-year growth rates of 4.4 percent, 7.1 percent and 6.9 percent for those respective years. Much of the SCV’s rent growth can be attributed to a general growth in population in the Los Angeles metro, said Chris Salviati, an Apartment List housing economist. Of the largest 10 cities in the greater L.A. area, nine, including Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lancaster and L.A. proper, have seen prices increase. Job growth and a disproportionate number of apartment developments may have contributed to Santa Clarita’s higher rent prices, Nancy Starczyk, a Santa Clarita realtor and board member of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, told The Signal in a recent interview. “Young people are looking to rent more than before, because they can’t afford a house now,” she said. “Renting is a stepping stone to home ownership. But for young people, it’s hard to save up for a down payment. People have loans and student debt they can’t handle. The costs of living have gone up too, making it hard for people to save any money.” Salviati said he believed the L.A. metro as a whole would continue to see generally above-average rent growth throughout the year. He also confirmed Santa Clarita was among the more expensive cities in the L.A. metro, but the one area of L.A. County with a lot of new development.