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Quality of Life

San Diego County Rents Rise As Vacancies Fall

A sign points to the leasing office at the newly-constructed 444-unit Verge apartment complex on Mission Gorge Road in San Diego, Sept. 16, 2016.
Susan Murphy
A sign points to the leasing office at the newly-constructed 444-unit Verge apartment complex on Mission Gorge Road in San Diego, Sept. 16, 2016.

The average cost to rent in San Diego County has risen nearly 8 percent since March, while vacancy rates for apartments have dropped to 2 percent, according to a MarketPointe Realty Advisors report presented Thursday to 200 apartment industry leaders and realtors.

MarketPointe Realty Advisors Report
MarketPointe's Fall 2016 rental trends overview.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

The average monthly cost to rent is $1,743 and two-bedroom apartments average $1,821 per month, according to the report. The numbers represent a 33 percent increase since 2010.

The rise is attributed to a lack of new housing development, said Alan Pentico, executive director of the San Diego County Apartment Association.

“We’re not building. We’ve been neglecting that for a very long time, which is why we’re where we’re at,” Pentico said.

Just 3,818 apartment units entered the market last year, according to the report.

“We’re not even keeping up with birth rates,” Pentico said. “We don’t have enough housing for half the population of California. That’s a pretty bad situation.”

The highest rents are in the North County coastal region, where monthly rents average $2,152.

Pentico said developing a new apartment complex from conception to completion takes an average of seven to 10 years because of environmental and community opposition.

The supply and demand problem has hit East County the hardest as vacancy rates for single-bedroom apartments have dropped to 1 percent.