San Diego's Average Rent Soars to $1,600: Study

An increasing number of people are leaving San Diego at the same time rent rises

San Diego is becoming an increasingly difficult place to live if you look at the numbers, not the sunshine.

The average rent is San Diego is $1,618, according to a study released by Market Pointe Realty Advisors.

While high rent isn’t anything new for Southern California, the number of those leaving San Diego is a new phenomenon for one of the country’s fastest growing cities.

Between July 2014 and July of last year, roughly 9,300 more people left our county compared to the number who moved here, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.

When you consider overall population, our county continues to grow, as births outnumber deaths 2 to 1.

Still, the cost of living starts with housing, which continues to be a challenge.

The Market Pointe study showed that rent in San Diego has steadily increased from $1,359 in September 2011 to more than $1,600 in 2016.

Rent increased a “whopping” 5.2 percent in 2014 and has continued to grow since, the study found.

So does the industry support the exorbitant cost of living?

"In my experience we see people moving for self-employment, they're running their own business out of their homes, but a lot of the jobs that are here aren't necessarily keeping up with the cost of living," said Ryan Ponce of Welcome to San Diego Real Estate.

At the same time, vacancy rates have continued to cool. In March 2011, just about 5 percent of rentals were vacant; this March that rate is 2.46 percent.

Vanessa Carrillo recently moved into military housing because her family couldn’t find a place to live.

“It’s too expensive – beautiful – but so expensive and it’s not somewhere we see spending out the rest of our lives,” she said.

Encinitas resident Linda Kermott echoed Carrillo’s thoughts, pointing out the difficulty of buying a home in San Diego County, which pits you against the high number of fellow renters.

“You don’t get much for your money,” Kermott said. “You pay a lot for pretty minimal, but what you get is the sunshine.”

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