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Apartment Vacancies Plunged in San Diego County Over Past Year as Rents Rose 15%


Downtown apartments
Apartments in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

Apartment vacancies in San Diego have fallen to just above 1% of units amid a continuing rise in rents, the Southern California Rental Housing Association reported Tuesday.

The vacancy rate across the county dropped from 2.91% in the spring of 2021 to 1.25% currently.

The association said the economics of supply and demand pushed up rents by a weighted average of 15% across units of all sizes.

  • Studio rentals increased from $1,519 to $1,612
  • One-bedroom rentals increased from $1,749 to $1,970
  • Two-bedroom rentals increased from $2,052 to $2,433
  • Three-bedroom rentals increased from $2,651 to $2,842

“The data confirms that many people are remaining in their rentals,” said Alan Pentico, executive director of the Rental Housing Association, “and households looking for rentals will continue to experience heightened competition.”

Pentico attributed the increase in rentals and historic decrease in vacancy rates to “state and local governments placing additional regulations on rental housing, many of which were designed to keep people in their homes during the pandemic.”

The vacancy and rent data is based on surveys mailed to 6,000 San Diego County rental property owners and managers in March.

The Rental Housing Association is Southern California’s leading trade association serving the rental housing industry.


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