The cost of shelter in Southern California is declining. The numbers for the February Consumer Price Index are out for the region:
- All housing costs rose at a 1.3% annual rate, lowest since August 2003.
- Renters’ costs rose at a 3.2% annual rate, lowest since November 1998.
- Homeowners costs — odd math equal to what it might cost to rent your own home — rose at a 2.9% annual pace. That’s lowest since December 1999.
- Heating gas costs tumbled at a 29.4% annual rate. These volatile costs last fell at a faster rate in October 2006.
- Electricity costs fell at a 2.9% annual rate. These expenses have declined in 22 of the past 24 months.
- Inflation in “household furnishings and operations” was up at a 0.5% annual rate, smallest since January 2005.
- The costs of living on SoCal, minus the expense of the roof over your head, fell at a 1.2% rate — 4th consecutive decline. This local CPI minus shelter math — that dates to 1979 — had never gone negative before November of last year.
- The overall SoCal inflation rate was zero. [Orange County Register]