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San Diego Apartment Rents Rise Faster Than State, National Averages

Mitch Barrie

Costa Mesa home for rent, Sept. 24, 2014.

Aired 1/5/16 on KPBS News.

A new survey of California apartment rents finds the state outpaced the nation when it comes to rent hikes over the past year.

A new survey of California apartment rents finds the state outpaced the nation when it comes to rent hikes over the past year.

The ApartmentList.com report found rent hikes in California exceeded the national average every month during 2015.

San Diego's rental price increases are slightly higher than state averages.

Rents for one-bedroom units are up more than 7 percent in California. Two-bedroom rents increased nearly 5 percent.

Building permits for multi-family units are leading the resurgence of the local housing market. While a lot of those units are close to opening, they won't all remain rentals.

"A lot of the projects are built so that eventually they can become condominiums, but they can also serve as rentals to start with," said Marney Cox, chief economist of the San Diego Association of Governments. "And that becomes an important transition mechanism for the marketplace."

Rents are going up now, but that could level off as more units open.

"It takes a little while for those units to get built and on the market," Cox said. "They should have an impact after that on slowing down the rise and the increase in rental rates. But before that arises, you'll probably continue to see the 5 to 8 percent increases we have so far."

A strong job market is likely driving the rent increases, said ApartmenList.com analyst Andrew Woo.

"Rents will continue going up in California this year," Woo said. "However the size of month-to-month increases will likely be smaller."

San Francisco is the state's most expensive rental marketplace, with the cost of a typical two-bedroom apartment costing more than $4,600 a month.

The San Diego County Apartment Association says a two-bedroom unit in San Diego goes for just over $1,600 a month.

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