Tom York on Business: San Diego Rents Still Rising, But Affordability Is Better than Miami

Home for rent
A home for rent in Carlsbad in 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Housing continues to be a top-most concern for many San Diegans, and the recent news gives continued cause for worry. Despite a slight decrease in rent prices recently, rental affordability remains a concern, according to a new report from residential web site

The report, which analyzed data from the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the month of February, found that while the median rent decreased to $1,716 in February, down $1 from the previous month, rents are still up 3.1% from one year ago.

The study also found that renters earning the prevalent household income are now devoting 25.3% of their wages to lease a typical apartment. “The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of household income on housing, but the data shows that in eight of the 50 largest metros, many renters are doing just that,” said spokeswoman Danielle Hale.

The least affordable rental markets in the U.S. were along the two coasts, with Florida and California leading the pack. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and New York-Newark-Jersey City were the three least affordable rental markets, with residents spending 42%, 39%, and 38% of their income on rent, respectively.

The average rent in the Miami market is $2,349 and required 42% of an the average household income there. Rent in San Diego averaged $2,844, but that required only 37% of the typical household income.

Fly-over country led the way in terms of affordability. Oklahoma City was the most affordable rental market, followed by Columbus, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Kansas City

While the pace of rent growth has slowed in the last 13 months, rates are still 21% higher than the same time in 2020 before the pandemic. “Slowing rental price growth is a positive for renters, but it’s important to put this in context. This means that affordability is worsening at a slower pace in many markets; it’s not getting better,” said Hale.

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Even more disappointing news, if you are a renter looking for a place to live here. San Diego is apparently the 13th most competitive rental market in the United States — 2nd in the California — according to website RentCafe’s rental competitiveness report. The report took data from 200,000 apartments in 45 cities to create an index based such metrics as occupancy and renewal lease rates.

RentCafe’s study attributes San Diego’s high ranking to a very tight 96% occupancy rate and the fact that 13 renters compete for every vacant apartment compared to the national average of eight prospects. Despite the high demand for units, no new apartments have opened here since the start of 2023.

To compile its report, a RentCafe research team analyzed apartment data from market-rate properties of at least 50 units. Fully affordable multifamily properties were excluded. is a nationwide apartment search website, featuring city-based research, insights and analysis of the residential real estate market. 

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El Cajon-based CigarBros Humidors says it has made a “breakthrough” in the U.S. hotel market by partnering with Resorts World Las Vegas and landing a spot in the hotel casino’s gift shop. CigarBros claims to be the world’s first patented climate controlled humidor that stores cigars vertically in air-tight tubes, which enables a 500% increase in selection compared to traditional humidors. The humidor keeps a temperature and relative humidity of 70 degrees, ensuring that the cigars are kept in best condition. Visit for more info.

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Products from San Diego-based Nonaste — laundry detergents, odor eliminating sprays and auto seat protectors — will now be sold in Road Runner Sports stores. The products contain a proprietary scientific formula that expels nasty odors, oil, grime, and bacteria, making it a popular choice for sports enthusiasts, according to a news release from the company

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Lakehouse Resort, the 250-acre property on Lake San Marcos, has appointed Michael Savastano as its new general manager. Savastano, a 16-year veteran of Hyatt hotels, will oversee all aspects of the resort, including golf, marina, sales, events, food and beverage. He brings extensive experience to the task, including a stint at the Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas.

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Graze Craze, a fast-growing retail concept in charcuterie boards and boxes, opens its first SoCal location at the Southwest College shopping center in Chula Vista. Franchise owner David Hurtado, a retired Navy veteran and Los Angeles native, along with his wife, MaryAnn Hurtado, discovered the charcuterie concept and said it aligned with the character of the Chula Vista community. Graze specializes in boards featuring gourmet meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal sweets, among other items.

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In case you missed the announcement earlier in these pages, Kaiseki Sushi, a new Japanese restaurant opened by the Wild Thyme Restaurant Group, debuts at The Forum Carlsbad shopping center. The eatery promises a unique dining experience with expertly crafted sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese-inspired dishes by master sushi chef Tin Nguyen and Nobu’s former sushi chef, Jon Kim.

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San Diego-based private-market REIT DiversyFund says it has purchased a 61-unit multifamily midrise property in Sand City, near Monterey. The $20 million purchase –brokered by Cushman & Wakefield — “represents an opportunity to expand DiversyFund’s holdings in a supply-constrained coastal market at below replacement cost,” according to spokesman Isaac Dixon.

“The acquisition provides a rare combination of a core plus asset located in a great market and the opportunity to develop additional units adding value for the community and our investors,” he said.

The acquired property, built in 2008, comprises 61 units with a ground floor commercial tenant and 11,000 square feet of vacant commercial space.

DiversyFund says it offers “the everyday investor access to private real estate markets focused on multifamily assets.”

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected].

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