U.S. Census Report: San Diego lost more residents than it kept | Liz Nederlander Coden
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Real estate values in San Diego are increasing.

U.S. Census Report: San Diego lost more residents than it kept

Higher rents and increasing prices of homes for sale in San Diego may make it tougher for the region to keep and attract new residents. That’s according to new population data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. From July 2014 to July 2015, about 9,730 more residents packed it up and moved than new residents who moved to San Diego County. That resulted in negative net migration — the difference between those who moved to San Diego compared to those who moved away — and is at a new low. Previously, net migration was relatively miniscule, at a loss of 790 people, in 2010. Real estate values in San Diego are increasing.

Some worry San Diego’s growing housing prices could have the opposite effect on San Diego real estate  — causing more residents to move out in search of cheaper places to live, and prevent others from moving in. It’s having a ripple effect on San Diego real estate, with fewer builders building entry-level homes for the low-to-middle class, said local building experts. At the same time,  the lack of new housing increases home prices and rents.

Last year, only 229 single-family homes built in the county were less than $500,000, building experts said. That alone has forced some families to say put in their current home and not move up or find less expensive housing in other areas. At the same time, higher housing prices are putting the pinch on San Diegans’ incomes; per capita income in San Diego County is $51, 459, according to 2014 Census figures. More than a quarter of the population spends half their income on rent, a recent study found. In San Diego, the average rental price is $1,618 a month.

San Diego real estate on the rise

Still, San Diego real estate executives remain optimistic. The area has a population of more than 3.3 million and it is still the fifth most populated area in the country. Population increased 1.3 percent from 2014 to 2015 — about the same as the previous year. Further, one year’s worth of figures do not reflect a long-term trend and they point to the county’s burgeoning growth and higher than national average housing prices as proof. After record growth, home prices fell in February in the county to $455,000 — down 1.7 percent from January, but the median price is still 3.5 percent higher than the same time last year, according to CoreLogic data. Sales rose, with 2,648 recorded home sales in February, up 11.7 percent from January and a 2 percent increase from February 2015, figures showed.


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