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San Diego Rent Increases Slowing

Above: El Cerrito is a San Diego neighborhood full of homes built in the 1930s and 1940s.

Aired 1/4/17 on KPBS News.

San Diego rent prices continued to go up last month, but the speed of that climb has slowed significantly.

San Diego rent prices continued to go up last month, but the speed of that climb has slowed significantly.

The region's rent prices held firm in the final month of 2016. The average cost of a one-bedroom in the county stayed at $1,500 a month, with the average two-bedroom going for $2,000.

The rental tracking service Apartment List follows local rents and it found prices were up year over year, but only by 1.4 percent in San Diego. The service said rents were climbing 4 to 6 percent a year in 2015 and early 2016.

"Renters are much less likely to move in November and December, and so rents do start to come down a little bit because of that. In the summer months I think you'll start to see rents creep up again," said Andrew Woo, an analyst at Apartment List.

San Diego remains the fourth most expensive rental market in California. The local region landed behind San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose.

"San Diego saw really large rent increases in 2015 and early 2016 — in the order of 6 to 8 percent over a year ago," Woo said. "But starting in the middle of 2016 and continuing through this past month, those actually dropped quite a bit."

The tight housing supply remains a contributing factor, according to Woo. Fewer than four in 100 apartments are available to rent.

A new Axiometric survey finds San Diego has the fifth highest rental apartment occupancy rate in the country.

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