IRVINE ( — Danielle Varon says she pays $1,745 a month to live in a studio apartment in Irvine.

But privacy comes with a price. She is one of a growing number of millennials whose rent is going up much faster than her income.

Varon says at least 50 percent of her income goes to her rent.

Real estate agent Sam Orozco says many of his friends are forced to live with roommates or move outside Orange County.

“If you’re a millennial you’re looking at a minimum-wage job, it’s nearly impossible to get by and live, let alone eat and survive,” Orozco says.

According to Real Answers, the average studio in Orange County is $1,500, up 6.7 percent in just the last year.

1 bed 1 bath $1700, up 4.9%
2 bed 2 bath $2200, up 6.0%
3 bed 3 bath $3000, up 6.4%

“You have a lot of investors that want to buy these houses to rent because rentals are so hot commodity,” Orozco says.

Orange county rents are the ninth highest in the nation. And the millennial generation is hit the hardest.

“My daughters dated people who live with their parents because they can’t afford to live in an apartment and save money to buy a condo later.” Melisa Varon says.

Julie Cegielski says she expects her kids to move back home after college. “I rent a townhouse in Newport Beach near the schools so my kids can walk to school. We’re on the golf course, which is really nice. But our rent is probably double of most people’s house payments.” offers these tips:

  • Look for special offers like free first-month rent or waived move-in fees
  • Negotiate for lower rent
  • Sign a longer lease or a lease that ends in the summer
  • Negotiate amenities such as free parking, upgrades and free storage
Comments (3)
  1. bob says:

    Orange County really sucks, why would anyone want to live there?

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