Tom York on Business: New Report Finds San Diego Rents Second-Highest in Nation

Apartments in Mission Valley. Photo by Chris Stone
Apartments in Mission Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

Residential real estate continues to make headlines in San Diego.

According to a new report from Irvine real estate data collector CoreLogic, San Diego rents are the second highest in the nation. 

The highest is Los Angeles with a $4,750 median monthly rental cost, followed by San Diego with a $4,500 cost. 

San Francisco Bay Area rents lag a little behind those in Southern California, with San Jose and San Francisco showing $4,300 and $4,200 monthly rental costs.

At the other end of the spectrum, big cities such as Cleveland, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Detroit and New Orleans have much lower prices and thus more affordable monthly rent payments.

San Diego was the second high city in the nation in terms of a rent-to-income measure in 2022, coming in just behind Los Angeles and Long Beach.

It took 48.5% of the median household income to afford the monthly median rental rate in San Diego, an astonishing stat.

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Meanwhile, in the quarter ending Oct. 31, San Diego was among the top five U.S. cities where home sellers are giving concessions to buyers. 

This according to a new report from residential real estate web platform Redfin

San Diego sellers gave buyers some concessions in 61% of all deals in those three months.

Salt Lake City sellers led the parade when it came to making concessions to sell their homes.

That city gave concessions to buyers in 63.3% of home sales, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. 

Rounding out the top five are the following: San Diego at 61%, Denver at 57%, Las Vegas at 54% and Raleigh, North Carolina, at 51 %.

And the other side of the coin? Sellers in Boston gave the fewest concessions, doing so in only 11% of home sales, the lowest share of metros in Redfin’s study. 

“House hunters are pickier than ever before. It’s really expensive to buy a home today, so they want to make sure they find the right one,” said a Refin executive in a news release. “Buyers have become increasingly likely to terminate a deal if they don’t get the concessions they want.”

About 53,000 contracts were killed nationwide in September, about 16% of homes for sale that month—the highest percentage since October 2022 when mortgage rates surpassed 7% for the first time in two decades.

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Back to CoreLogic. The company released its September Southern California home sales report recently which, of course, included San Diego. 

This report found this region of the nation grappling with diminished inventory and little new construction, which accounts for riding sale prices. 

September saw an overall -22.5% plunge in home sales volume across the region compared to the previous year, according to the company.

The lack of inventory coming to market is pushing up the prices of the few homes that are available for sale, a news release said.

Neighboring Orange County led with the highest home sales price at $1 million and an annual growth rate of 10%. 

San Bernardino and Riverside counties faced a decline in median sales prices of -3% and -2.2%, respectively. 

The data is based on county records, not local multiple-listing services.

The median home sales price in SoCal reached $725,000, a 2.8% annual increase, the report said. 

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Yet another item of stressful news for would-be homebuyers.

Statewide housing affordability has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, according to a recent report issued by the industry trade group California Association of Realtors, or CAR.

Fewer than one in five buyers could afford to purchase a median-priced home in California in the third quarter, according to the CAR report.

An annual income of $221,200 was needed to qualify for the purchase of a $843,600 home statewide in the third quarter.

However, the market was bleaker locally. San Diego’s housing affordability came in at 11% for the third quarter compared to a year ago when the number was 15%.

The median sales price here was listed at $878,500. CAR said buyers would have to have an annual income of $256.400 with a 20% downpayment to afford that home.

Some recent surveys have priced the average sales prices in San Diego even higher, checking in at more than $1 million.

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San Diego digital health company CARI Health has announced the formation of an advisory board to support development of its wearable remote medication device.

The company said the experts and industry leaders “will provide valuable clinical, scientific, regulatory, technical, and commercial market guidance to CARI Health’s strategic initiatives.” 

The panel includes a patient advocate to ensure the patient’s perspective is a primary consideration.

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San Diego-based Hispanic snack startup Chuza was selected as the winner of the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program and won a $100,000 business grant. 

According to a publicist Chuza “offers an assortment of spicy fruit and vegetable snacks, all infused with 100% Mexican spices and no artificial flavors or colors.”

The business picked the winner from a pool of 10 other startups.

The six-month, mentor-guided program supports the growth of emerging Hispanic-owned businesses across the food and beverage industry.

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San Diego rental property manager Rick Snyder will be installed as the chair of the National Apartment Association Nov. 16 at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego

According to a news release, he begins his yearlong term as chair starting in January. 

“Snyder takes the helm as the industry faces new regulatory challenges at the national level and in a time of historical rental demand,” the release said. No doubt.

Snyder has more than 30 years of real estate experience, with a specialization in property management as the head of R.A. Snyder Properties, which manages 6,000 units in the region.

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Smartville, an EV battery-repurposing company based here in San Diego, says it has secured an additional $2.65 million in federal and state funding. 

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a $1.15 million grant for developing a battery energy storage system using second-life EV batteries charged by solar generation. 

They also received $1.5 million from the state Energy Commission to complement a previously announced $5.9 million federal grant.

The funding bolsters Smartville’s approach to restoring and reusing EV batteries, according to a news release. 

By utilizing solar energy stored in second-life EV batteries to charge first-life EV batteries, Smartville advances technologies supporting nationwide EV battery reuse and accelerates the commercialization of Smartville 360.

Company CEO Antoni Tong said the significance of repurposing EV batteries, stating that it sustains communities, reduces external energy dependence, and enhances energy security during emergencies.

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San Diego DNA sequencing equipment maker Illumina says it has launched what it calls the Global Health Access Initiative to help public health in low- and middle-income countries.

This program will offer discounted sequencing tools to global health funders and tackle supply chain issues. 

The effort was developed with input from customers, funders and the nonprofit FIND.

 “Pricing for sequencing instruments and consumables can vary by country or region, which is challenging for funders and donors and can limit broad implementation,” according to an Illumina executive.

“The countries or regions whose public health preparedness would most benefit from genomics often lack the resources to sustainably implement it,” he said.

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Finally, this fun note. The North Park Main Street organization will celebrate Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 with a 5k turkey trot, art exhibition, live music, complimentary food samples, and sales from local businesses. 

The opening ceremony, featuring remarks from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Main Street Executive Director Mark West, kicks off at 11 a.m. at Mila Vintage + Modern on University Avenue.

The 5K Turkey Trot starts at 10:00 a.m. at Coach B SD on Lincoln Ave), with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

Participants will receive post-race donuts, and those 21 and up can enjoy complimentary beer.

Click here for a complete of activities and events. 

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected].