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San Diego rents are above the national average, but they're leveling out

The new report from Zumper puts the median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego at $2,460 a month. For a two bedroom, it’s $3,260.

Why it matters

Zumper’s Crystal Chen says, “Just to give a little bit of perspective, we also calculate national one and two beds as well. The national one bed’s at $1,511 and the national two beds are $1,865, so San Diego is considerably more expensive than the national median.”

Since the pandemic, Chen says San Diego rents have increased about 37%

By the numbers

Zumper reports there has been a slight drop in San Diego rental prices compared to last year.

“One beds are down 6% year over year and two beds are down about 5% year over year. So I think that rents are down to show that perhaps there was a rent ceiling that people were willing to pay to live in San Diego and that was hit,” Chen said.

Closer look

Lucinda Lilley is the past president of the Southern California Rental Housing Association.

“What we're seeing is a leveling off of the rents. The rents are not increasing at the rate that they were increasing last year and the year before. What I'm seeing is that people have kind of caught up a little bit,” Lilley said.

Chen says there is a record number of supply that’s supposed to hit the market this year, so that may also help the rental prices in San Diego.

Looking ahead

AB 12 is headed to Governor Gavin Newsom, it prevents landlords from charging two times or three times the monthly rent as a security deposit. If approved, landlords could only charge one month’s rent for a security deposit starting on July 1, 2024, but Lilley says this comes with consequences.

“What landlords use additional deposit for is typically if someone doesn't meet the full rental criteria if they have a lower credit score or if their income is borderline,” Lilley noted.