For the first time in 15 years, San Diego County has become a real renter's market. Apartment vacancy rates are climbing and rents actually have been dropping which is unprecedented in recent history.
In the Spectrum District in Kearny Mesa for example, a lot of rentals are flooding the market because of broken condo deals.
Banks and builders are desperate for cash flow, and cutting great deals for tenants but the economy is such that incentives haven't overcome the drop in demand.
A couple of leading surveys show that local apartment vacancy rates have more or less doubled in the past few months.
Rates have been hovering around 6 percent -- 7th highest in the country -- while monthly rents have dropped by about $20, to an average of about $1350.
And those figures don't account for what the industry calls "economic vacancies," the rent-free first month of occupancy, or even more after that a lot of landlords have been offering.
They also have to be really competitive, because their prospective tenants are especially picky now -- knowing they could be in their units quite awhile before the economy and housing market allow them to become homebuyers.
You'd think that all the foreclosures going on would generate more apartment tenants but property managers say many of those who lost their homes are credit risks.
Others, plus apartment dwellers who have lost their jobs, are doubling up with roommates, moving in with relatives, or leaving the area altogether.