San Diego real estate sales climb as rentals become more expensive | Liz Nederlander Coden
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San Diego real estate sales climb as rentals become more expensive

It’s no secret that rent in San Diego is expensive — the area routinely leads the country for the most expensive rental prices as higher rents have turned many renters into homeowners. But how expensive is it to rent in San Diego County when compared against a person’s income? 12549-a-calculator-and-a-stack-of-gold-coins-pv

It’s quite expensive, a new study has found. San Diegans paid higher rent-to-income ratios for rentals than did residents of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, according to a new real estate report commissioned by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The report found that renters in San Diego County spent approximately 35 percent of their income on rent as compared to roughly 29 percent for San Francisco residents. The report compared rents in 15 California counties with the highest incomes and rental prices in coastal communities in the state.

As expensive as San Diego may be, it’s rent-to-income ratio is not the highest in California. Santa Barbara County residents spent a whopping 48 percent of their income on rent, the report found. Overall, there were 20 counties in California that beat San Diego for higher rent-to-income ratios including Imperial, Mendocino, Humboldt, Shasta, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo counties.

Rental prices boost San Diego real estate market
The discussion about rental prices comes at a time when the real estate market in San Diego grapples with affordability and a housing shortage. It’s also causing some concern because housing prices have made it harder for employers to recruit new employees. Even so, San Diego leads the state in real estate growth. The median price of homes for sale in San Diego County county grew 6.3 percent in the last 12 months, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Case-Shiller measures and compares big-city housing markets by tracking repeat sales of identical single-family houses.

The median price of a home for sale in San Diego County reached $495,000 in June, CoreLogic reported. Those median prices have made housing prices a sore sticking point, as the region competes with cities across the country for corporate investment. A survey of 202 local employers by BW Research Partnership earlier this summer found finding “reasonably priced” housing nearby made recruiting and retaining employees more difficult.

Housing is not expected to free up soon. New construction cannot keep up with the demand for housing, and the county is expected to add more than 450,000 jobs by 2050. Some San Diego real estate experts are also concerned because the higher the housing prices, the less residents have to spend on the local economy.



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