It Costs Too Much to Live in San Diego

Dated: 05/11/2019

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The average rent in San Diego is now $1,887 a month, up 8 percent from a year earlier, according to Marketpointe Realty Advisors. And CoreLogic reports the median home price in the county is now about $550,000. 

"That's a problem for everybody, and I think everybody feels that," said Rick Gentry, who heads the San Diego Housing Commission , which oversees affordable housing in the city. 


Gentry describes something of a perfect storm when it comes to housing in San Diego -

1) There's not enough housing for the middle class.

2) There aren't enough resources for low-income individuals.

3) The current market has already swallowed up the glut of homes built during the housing bubble before the market crashed in 2008. 

"And that means the marketplace has gotten that much more expensive and that much tighter," Gentry said. "There's no place to move to."

Plus, San Diego County continues to grow with more jobs - employers added 27,000 new payroll positions in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, developers in the county only pulled permits for 10,000 new homes. 

"It takes a long, long time to get approvals for buildings to put new product online," said Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University. "There are more and more impact fees that makes it more expensive, there's a limited amount of land to do it."


The city is working to encourage development, including a region-wide plan to encourage housing along transit routes. The city of San Diego also recently approved streamlining complexes with microunits and fewer parking requirements in these areas but these are getting kickback from current residents who fear overcrowding and worse traffic issues.

But until the prices come down, renters will be bracing for when their leases end. 

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Susy Thomas

Susy grew up in Detroit, graduated from Michigan State University. She has lived in San Diego for over 35 years. While working as a purchasing manager in the restaurant business she was offered the o....

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