Overall weighted average rent decreased for the first time since Spring 2014
SAN DIEGO (June 26, 2017) — The vacancy rate in residential rental units across San Diego County now stands at 3.7 percent, a significant drop from the 5.4 percent vacancy rate reported in fall 2016, according to the San Diego County Apartment Association’s (SDCAA) Spring 2017 Vacancy and Rental Rate Survey.
In the City of San Diego, the vacancy rate is 3.3 percent. In the rest of the county, the rate is 4.1 percent. East County and South Bay have the lowest vacancy rates at 3.7 percent, while North County has a vacancy rate of 5.1 percent.
Among specific unit types, units with three or more bedrooms have the highest vacancy rate at 5.7 percent. Studios have the lowest vacancy rate at 2.8 percent, while two-bedroom units have experienced the most significant drop, down to 3.5 percent from 6.0 percent in fall 2016. The vacancy rate for one-bedroom units is 3.7 percent.
“The rise in vacancy rates for units with three or more bedrooms could be indicative of an uptick in single people or couples without children searching for smaller-sized units,” said SDCAA Executive Director Alan Pentico, “While the decrease in vacancy rates for studios reinforces the fact that despite all the multifamily construction, San Diego remains in a housing deficit.”
The current vacancy rate is lower than the rates reported during the last two surveys in fall 2016 and spring 2016 (5.4 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively). Recent reports still show that statewide and in San Diego, residential building permits are well below historic averages.
SDCAA’s survey also found the weighted average rent is $1,158 for studio units; $1,432 for one-bedroom units; $1,763 for two-bedroom units; and $2,330 for units with three or more bedrooms. Although rent rose for studios and units with three or more bedrooms, rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units decreased.
“In San Diego, we’ve seen the jobless rate steadily decline, giving people the financial means to seek out a non-roommate living situation and offering another possible explanation to the rise in rents for studio units,” Pentico said.
The relative low vacancy rate is indicative of the ongoing tight rental market in the San Diego region. It is difficult to forecast if the decrease in the countywide rental rate is indicative of a longer-term reduction that some are predicting nationwide.
The fluctuation of responses in some zip codes makes it difficult to ascertain a clear picture of the direction of overall changes in rents. For those interested in this information, SDCAA’s analysts suggest examining rents reported in individual ZIP codes and further analyzing changes through additional research.
About the survey: The SDCAA Vacancy and Rental Rate survey is conducted twice a year to provide a snapshot—not a scientific study—of industry conditions. The spring 2017 survey was mailed in March to nearly 6,000 rental property owners and managers in San Diego County. To ensure the results reflect the diversity of rental housing in the county, surveys are mailed to properties of all sizes, ages and amenity levels. The responses SDCAA received during this survey period represent 29,576 rental units. Because survey response rates fluctuate over time, comparisons between survey periods do not necessarily reflect the performance of a particular sample of rental units over time.
About SDCAA: The San Diego County Apartment Association is a nonprofit organization that has served the rental housing industry since 1919. SDCAA’s 2,200 members are rental property owners, rental property managers and suppliers of goods and services to the rental housing industry. The overall improvement of the rental housing industry is a primary focus of SDCAA, which represents single-family rental homes to the largest multifamily rental communities. SDCAA provides a wide range of services to its members, including legislative advocacy, education and resident screening. You can follow SDCAA on Twitter and Facebook.