Beautiful San Diego: What’s not to Love?

Well, other than the rent prices. They are not laid back. Your average one-bedroom apartment in San Diego County is renting for a dizzying $1,710 per month. With prices like this, it isn’t exactly a surprise that San Diego is ranked as the 11th most expensive city in the U.S. to call “home.”

Not to mention that the average two-bedroom apartment goes for around $2,330 and at that price point, San Diego takes Miami’s spot as the 9th most expensive US city.

While it would be easy to attribute San Diego’s monstrous rent prices to gentrification or maybe even inflation, in the shadows there are outliers which skew the rental data– chief of which is the massive influx of high-end downtown apartments.

In March 2018, the rental vacancy rate in San Diego hovered somewhere around 4.08 percent. At the time, there were about seven more prominent luxury apartment buildings renting in downtown, since then the number has increased.

The cost of rent at these high-end apartment complexes is significantly more expensive than the average, median, apartments that can be found within the county.

However, if the seven luxury apartment complexes that were present in 2018 were removed from the data, the counties vacancy rate would drop to around 3.2%, which is a vast .88 percentage drop.

This statistic indicates that empty luxury units accounted for a little over a 1/5th of the vacant apartments in the entirety of San Diego County.

While that .88 percentage drop cannot nearly account for the high rental prices in San Diego, it does illustrate a critical factor into why the statistics are so outrageous.

A MarketPointe survey reports that there are approximately 133,785 apartments throughout San Diego County. The .88 percentage drop in vacancy rate shows that in 2018 there were roughly 1,178 luxury units unoccupied alone.

This data shows that 1,178 empty high priced units directly forced the rental price statistics do not accurately represent the average price of renting living space in San Diego. The exorbitant rent cost of the luxury apartment inflates the average rent cost statistics, making it seem much more expensive to live in San Diego.


Photo by Daniel Guerra