According to a recent survey by the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA), rental rates have climbed to $1,330 this year. That’s up from both a year ago and last fall, when the rates where $1,232 and $1,288 respectively. The group also reported that the percentage of apartment vacancies in San Diego has remained unchanged when compared to a year ago, when it was 4.5%.
Alan Pentico, executive director of the SDCAA, says he believes the recent report reflects what’s happening the housing market. According to Pentico, rising vacancies and falling rents should be expected from a housing market flooded with buyers. “But in spite of that, rental vacancies have held steady,” he said. “That’s impressive.”
By the numbers:
The SDCAA survey is based on responses from 6,000 apartment owners and managers, who together are responsible for nearly 27,000 units. As would be expected, rental prices and vacancy rates varied based on apartment size and location.
Listed below are some comparisons between 2012 and 2013’s rental statistics.
- Rent for a studio apartment: $908, up from $910
- Rent for a one bedroom apartment: $1,133, up from $1,068
- Rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,428, up from $1,309
- Rent for a three bedroom apartment: $1,819, up from $1,677
- Vacancy rate for San Diego: 4.8%
- Vacancy rate for North County vacancy: 3.8%
- Vacancy rate for South Bay vacancy: 4.6%
MarketPointe Realty Advisors, which surveys include many of the larger apartment complexes in the area, showed a slight increase in San Diego’s apartment vacancy rate. According to a March survey of 125,097 units, the vacancy rate went up to 4.7%, which is higher than the findings last fall, 4.5%, and a year ago, 4.45%. In that same period, the average rent rose from $1,361 to $1,388.
Russ Valone, president of MarketPointe Realty Advisors, said the area’s uptick in vacancy rates is largely due to the construction of new units. He predicts the rate, which he called temporary, will fall when people start moving into the newly constructed apartments.
“I think rental rates will continue to go up,” Valone said. “There’s been sort of a balance. They were growing at a little bit of a faster rate in 2011 and 2012, but then started slowing. As rents started moving up and competing with the ability to buy, it had an impact and put a little pressure on the rental market.”
New apartment complex coming to La Mesa:
After being vacant for more than six years, the site of what used to be Coleman College in La Mesa is finally being developed. After a 4-1 vote last month, La Mesa’s City Council approved Fairfield Residential’s plan to build a 198-unit apartment complex on Parkway Drive.
Fairfield Vice President Ed McCoy said he was proud of his company’s history in La Mesa and is excited about the new development. He also took a couple of shots at a previous complex that was planned for the area by another company. That proposal was shot down in 2006. “Our proposal is 324 bedrooms, 145 less than what Williams Lyons was proposing,” McCoy said.
What the new project will mean to the city in terms of traffic and congestion still isn’t clear. It should, however, bring in significant revenue in terms of taxes. Mary England, CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, said the new project “will yield $500,000 in property taxes annually.”
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