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Reports Suggest San Diego Is The 5th Most Expensive City In The U.S.

This comes as multiple San Diego residents highlight rising rent costs.

A report from Zumper revealed rent prices in the San Diego area as among the most expensive in the country. The data shows rising costs in San Diego are shooting up faster than other California cities since the pandemic began.

The report says the median rental price in April for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,390. This number suggests it is more expensive to rent a one-bedroom in San Diego than Los Angeles, Oakland, and Washington D.C. Meanwhile the median price for a two-bedroom in San Diego was greater than $3,000. This is more than a 27% increase year-over-year.

“Rent growth in big cities on the West Coast has been sluggish since bottoming out at the beginning of 2021, but San Diego has bucked that trend by posting a 31.3 percent rise year-over-year,” Jeff Andrews, the author of the report, wrote. “As a result, San Diego has leapfrogged San Jose and Los Angeles to become the nation’s fifth most expensive city.”

Andrews says San Diego’s rental patterns mirror cities in the middle of the country as opposed to other West Coast cities. 

“One key difference between San Diego and other West Coast cities is that its homeownership rate of 47 percent is slightly higher,” Andrews wrote. “This indicates San Diego’s rent is more responsive to a rise in home prices. Rising home valuations price out renters who would otherwise buy, thus keeping them in the rental market longer than they otherwise would, which adds to the demand for rental housing. Home prices in the San Diego metro area have risen almost 50 percent in the last two years.”

Andrews asserts high rental costs essentially trap residents in the city as well. 

“If you’re on the bubble of being able to buy a house and they rise by say 20% in a year, which is not uncommon, you just got totally priced out,” Andrews said. “When home prices rise like that, it leaves a lot of people who would have transitioned into the home market in the rental market.”

Comparatively, the country’s  median average price for a one-bedroom rental unit reached a new high in April at $1,410, rising 13 times in the past 14 months, according to the report. Prices for a two-bedroom are rising too at $1,746, reaching a record for the 15th consecutive month.

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