Vacant homes have plummeted in San Diego County over the past year as rents have risen 15%

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

Vacant homes in San Diego have fallen to just over 1% of units amid continued rent increases, the Southern California Rental Housing Association reported Tuesday.

The countywide vacancy rate has fallen from 2.91% in the spring of 2021 to 1.25% currently.

The association said the supply and demand economy has pushed up rents by a weighted average of 15% in 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 staying in their rentals,” said Alan Pentico, executive director of the Rental Housing Association, “and households seeking rentals will continue to face increased competition.”

Pentico attributed the rising rents and historic drop in vacancy rates to “state and local governments imposing 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 premier trade association serving the rental housing industry.

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