San Diego Renters Face the 5th Most Expensive Market in the US, But Is the Slowdown Beginning?

San Diego Renters Face the 5th Most Expensive Market in the US, But Is the Slowdown Beginning?

The San Diego real estate market
A for lease sign outside a North Park apartment complex. Photo credit: Staff photo

San Diego ranked as the fifth most expensive rental market in the country as of September, though there are signs that rapidly rising costs are slowing, according to housing analysts.

Zumper.coman online apartment search service, put the median price of a one- and two-bedroom in San Diego at $2,620 and $3,420, respectively.

Overall, Zumper estimates that two-bedroom prices in the area are up 26.2% since the same time last year.

Both Zumper, and another analysis, on, however, noted the first signs of slowing the meteoric recent increase in costs for renters.

ApartmentList put the monthly rent drop in San Diego at 0.2% in September. Annual rent growth in San Diego stands at 10.5%, compared to 18.7% this time last year.

Zumper noted that half of the 100 cities they tracked showed monthly declines, “a sign that prices are slowly starting to moderate.”

Apartment List cited a decrease in 69 markets, but added that “a slight decrease in rents at this time of the year is consistent with the normal seasonal trend that we usually see in our rent index.”

In ApartmentList’s local analysis, the highest rents for two-bedroom apartments in the region were in Carlsbad, at $2,900, Oceanside, at $2,630, San Diego, at $2,600 and La Mesa at $2,500.

Meanwhile, six of the most expensive rental markets in the country are in California, according to Zumper, with San Francisco following New York City as the nation’s most expensive.

San Jose is at No. 4, with San Diego leading the way, while Los Angeles, Oakland and Santa Ana all have a spot in the top 10.

The report cites several factors, such as recession concerns and rising interest rates that are forcing potential buyers away from home purchases, as reasons for the tight rental market. Nationally, the median one-bedroom rent reached a new high of $1,503, Zumper said, with two-bedroom rents at $1,845, also an all-time high.

“The rental market has been very limited in supply for the last five quarters, but there was a significant shift back to balance last quarter,” explained Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades. “Occupancy rates and the pace of rent increases are now falling in many major metros as renter demand softens and fears of a recession, with many renters deciding to stay put or sell the most expensive options.”


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