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San Diego

San Diego is a major city on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, along the border of Mexico. With a population of nearly 1.5 million people, it is the second-largest city in California and the eighth largest in the country. Despite having one of the highest costs of living in the US, the city has a good demographic outlook for the coming year. The population growth rate is expected to be near the national rate, which is a good sign for current and future San Diego real estate investors since with this growth comes an increased demand for housing, on both the rental and purchase side. According to NeighborhoodScout, more than 54% of residents in the city live in rental properties as opposed to owning their own homes, meaning the tenant pool for rental properties is already large. 

America's Finest City has one of the most diverse and dynamic economies in the US, with a highly-skilled workforce and strong job growth. The defense industry has long been (and still is) a pillar of the local economy. The city is home to the largest concentration of military in the world. Along with being the headquarters of several major national defense contractors, it also hosts the largest naval fleet in the world. 

Due to its strategic location on both the US-Mexico border and on the Pacific Rim, San Diego is an important center of international trade. It is home to the world’s busiest international border crossing, and to one of America’s top 30 containership ports. 

San Diego is also a leading hub for manufacturing and innovation companies, spanning across many different industries including aerospace, shipbuilding and repair, biotech and medical treatment, telecommunication, craft brewing, and biofuel production.  

Tourism is a major industry in San Diego and accounts for one-in-eight local jobs. San Diego is one of the nation’s top-ranked tourist destinations, owing to the city’s year-round hot weather, miles of beaches, and countless tourist attractions such as Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld San Diego. Nearly 35.8 million people visited the city in 2018, spending an estimated $11.3 billion. 


The San Diego real estate market was named one of the Top 30 US Markets to Watch by PWC in its annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate: United States and Canada 2019 report. Although housing is expensive in San Diego, strong employment and income growth are generally able to drive demand for it. It is worth noting that San Diego home prices are relatively affordable compared to other top markets in the state of California. That’s why if you can afford to buy an investment property in the city, then the San Diego market can be a great place to invest in real estate. According to the PWC report, the San Diego housing market benefits particularly from growth in the technology industry, and consequently, development trends are changing in order to adjust to technical requirements. In an attempt to solve the issue of affordability, developers are in the process of building additional types of housing as well as more housing and relaxing some rules that allow for variances in construction.

San Diego Realtors and Real Estate Agents


San Diego  Real Estate Investment Performance
Facts and Market Trends in San Diego
Homes For Sale777
Airbnb Properties3,164
Rental Properties4,690
Traditional Vacancy rate3.90%
Airbnb Occupancy Rate61.72%
Mashmeter66.45%
Median Price$809,722
Median Rent Price$2,647
Price/sqft$509
Median Days on Market49
Price to Rent Ratio24.3
Average Cap Rate
Airbnb2.40%
Traditional1.39%
Average Rental Income
Airbnb$3,657
Traditional$2,777
 
Median Household Income$76,662
Population3,317,749
Transportation in San Diego
51 / 100
Somewhat Walkable
37 / 100
Some Transit
39 / 100
Somewhat Bikeable
San Diego  Rent Prices
RENTAL STRATEGY STUDIOS 1 ROOM 2 ROOMS 3 ROOMS 4 ROOMS
Airbnb$2,190$2,183$2,746$4,008$5,132
Traditional$1,377$1,449$2,057$2,948$3,397
San Diego, CA - Homes for Sale - Newly Listed
Investment Properties for Sale
$449,000
MLS 190061504
6338 Caminito Basilio
San Diego, CA 92111
Mission Valley West
Townhouse
2 beds2 baths948 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.69%Airbnb 0.64%
Investment Properties for Sale
$485,000
MLS 190061848
3985 C Street
San Diego, CA 92102
Mt. Hope
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths912 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.10%Airbnb 1.51%
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,449,900
MLS 190061852
4389 Calle Mejillones
San Diego, CA 92130
Torrey Preserve
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,630 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.48%Airbnb 1.35%
Investment Properties for Sale
$999,000
MLS 190061764
6632 Wandermere Dr
San Diego, CA 92120
San Carlos
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,382 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.37%Airbnb 2.84%
Top Performing San Diego Properties
Investment Properties for Sale
$369,000
MLS 190057785
3992 60th St #112
San Diego, CA 92115
Redwood Village
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,192 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.81%Airbnb 7.84%
Investment Properties for Sale
$659,000
MLS 190061844
16320 Roca Dr
San Diego, CA 92128
Rancho Bernardo
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,680 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.90%Airbnb 7.79%
Investment Properties for Sale
$625,000
MLS 190061176
16170 Avenida Venusto #44
San Diego, CA 92128
Rancho Bernardo
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,556 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.55%Airbnb 7.76%
Investment Properties for Sale
$185,000
MLS 190034671
540 65Th St #204
San Diego, CA 92114
Encanto
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths740 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.58%Airbnb 7.60%
Recently Sold Homes in San Diego, CA
Investment Properties for Sale
$998,500
MLS 190061754
5024 W Point Loma Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107
Ocean Beach
Multi Family
2 beds3 baths0 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$679,000
MLS 190001087
2620-2624 E Beyer Blvd
San Diego, CA 92173
Border
Multi Family
3 beds3 baths0 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,599,000
MLS 190045948
3357 State Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Midtown
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,789 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$269,000
MLS 190060501
5962 Rancho Mission Rd #220
San Diego, CA 92108
Adams North
Single Family Residential
1 beds1 baths530 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Property Value Changes and Real Estate Appreciation in the San Diego Housing Market

The San Diego real estate market has witnessed a strong real estate appreciation in recent years. According to NeighborhoodScout, since Q1 of 2000, San Diego property values have increased by 145.43%, which is an average annual appreciation rate of 4.77%. According to Zillow, the median house price within the city climbed by a modest 1.8% over the past year, and even smaller gains (0.5%) are predicted through the summer of 2020.


Zillow lists the current market temperature as “neutral”, with the median San Diego home value standing at $634,100. After several years of being a very hot seller’s market, it now seems that the San Diego housing market is cooling off and shifting towards a balanced market, with an equal number of buyers and sellers. Home prices in the area are rising more slowly today than in past years. That’s why buying an investment property in San Diego makes for a good real estate investment.

San Diego, CA Top Multi Family Homes
Investment Properties for Sale
$3,500,000
MLS PW19259834
4382 53rd Street
San Diego, CA 92115
Colina del Sol
Multi Family
16 beds15 baths6,900 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.44%Airbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$569,000
MLS 190053681
3268-70 J St
San Diego, CA 92102
Stockton
Multi Family
4 beds2 baths0 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.37%Airbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$499,000
MLS CV19221150
4066 Cherokee Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104
Corridor
Multi Family
0 beds0 baths0 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.21%Airbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,633,333
MLS SW19235791
3659 Lemona Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
Chollas Creek
Multi Family
0 beds0 baths4,639 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.14%Airbnb N/A
Homes Below Median Price in the San Diego, CA Real Estate Market
Investment Properties for Sale
$369,000
MLS 190057785
3992 60th St #112
San Diego, CA 92115
Redwood Village
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,192 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.81%Airbnb 7.84%
Investment Properties for Sale
$659,000
MLS 190061844
16320 Roca Dr
San Diego, CA 92128
Rancho Bernardo
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,680 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.90%Airbnb 7.79%
Investment Properties for Sale
$625,000
MLS 190061176
16170 Avenida Venusto #44
San Diego, CA 92128
Rancho Bernardo
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,556 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.55%Airbnb 7.76%
Investment Properties for Sale
$185,000
MLS 190034671
540 65Th St #204
San Diego, CA 92114
Encanto
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths740 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.58%Airbnb 7.60%
San Diego Airbnb Growth and Regulations

With tourists visiting in record-breaking numbers, San Diego is the 2nd most popular destination in California for Airbnb users after Los Angeles. Some 1 million guests stayed in Airbnb rental properties throughout San Diego County in 2018, bringing hosts a total of $213 million in income, the second-highest Airbnb income in California after LA.

San Diego’s City Council is in the middle of a long and ongoing battle between supporters and opponents of vacation rentals. It spent much of 2018 arguing over proposed short-term rental regulations, especially after it enacted a new law sharply curtailing Airbnb rentals in the city. However, a successful referendum petition drive led by Airbnb supporters forced the City Council to repeal the new law. The law in question, which was to go into effect in July 2019, would have limited short-term rentals in all parts of the city to owners’ primary residences (i.e. barring the use of non-owner occupied short-term rentals), and only for 6 months of each year while hosts are not present. Under this ordinance, all San Diego Airbnb operators would have been required to obtain a Short-term Rental License annually for a fee of $949, as well as a San Diego transient occupancy tax (TOT) certificate. 

In May 2019, a new bill to regulate short-term rentals in San Diego County’s coastal communities won approval in the state Assembly. The bill takes aim at vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Under this assembly bill (AB-1731), vacation rental platforms are restricted to listing a residential property for no more than 30 days a year unless the host was on site. Nevertheless, the bill allows year-round rentals for traditional home-sharing in which hosts rent out a spare bedroom or a granny flat on their property. The listing of any other home or investment property is banned.

This bill received mixed reactions and divided local jurisdictions in San Diego County’s coastal zone. As for the Airbnb platform, it voiced strong objection to it.

The future of Airbnb in San Diego is uncertain given the years-long delay in getting any firm regulations adopted. The AB-1731 bill is supposedly a pilot program that shall expire in five years, and that shall be studied to determine the effectiveness of the tighter controls.

San Diego, CA Top Airbnb Homes
San Diego Airbnb
$94 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
"Granada House" North Park Urban Cottage
663
San Diego Airbnb
$78 per night
San Diego Airbnb
$113 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Pacific Beach Fun Surf Bike Cottage
565
San Diego Airbnb
$130 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
MIKE'S PLACE - A PRIVATE COTTAGE
565
San Diego, CA Homes for Rent
Investment Properties for Sale
$2,350
MLS 190061652
889 Date St #239
San Diego, CA
Cortez Hill
Single Family
1 beds2 baths971 sq.ft.
Investment Properties for Sale
$3,000
MLS 190061680
18950 Caminito Cantilena #22
San Diego, CA
Rancho Bernardo
Single Family
3 beds3 baths1,861 sq.ft.
Investment Properties for Sale
$7,500
MLS 190061600
700 W Harbor Dr #804
San Diego, CA
Marina
Single Family
2 beds2 baths1,545 sq.ft.
Investment Properties for Sale
$3,000
MLS 190061705
2826 Escala Cir.
San Diego, CA
Mission Valley East
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,400 sq.ft.
San Diego, CA Open Houses
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 11 AM to 3 PM
$549,900
MLS OC19265144
801 W Hawthorn Street #202
San Diego, CA 92101
Little Italy
Condo/Coop
2 beds2 baths840 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. -2.24%Airbnb -1.56%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 11 AM to 1 PM
$549,700
MLS OC19257765
829 15th Street
San Diego, CA 92154
Egger Highlands
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,886 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.24%Airbnb 4.50%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 1 AM to 4 PM
$609,999
MLS 19525818IC
10500 VILLA BONITA
San Diego, CA 91978
Jomacha-Lomita
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths1,882 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.25%Airbnb 2.01%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 11 AM to 3 PM
$534,900
MLS SW19254894
1341 Ilexey Avenue
San Diego, CA 92154
Otay Mesa West
Single Family Residential
4 beds2 baths1,790 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.08%Airbnb 3.91%
Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Buying Investment Property
82%
Mashmeter
property price
$557,000
Median
cap rate
7.53%
Traditional
8.20%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,493
Traditional
$3,806
Airbnb
homes for sale
6
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
86%
Mashmeter
property price
$544,500
Median
cap rate
9.11%
Traditional
8.22%
Airbnb
rental income
$4,135
Traditional
$3,728
Airbnb
homes for sale
14
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$1,325,000
Median
cap rate
6.21%
Traditional
3.61%
Airbnb
rental income
$6,857
Traditional
$3,982
Airbnb
homes for sale
11
occupancy rate
64%
Airbnb
56%
Mashmeter
property price
$359,000
Median
cap rate
9.46%
Traditional
9.56%
Airbnb
rental income
$2,829
Traditional
$2,861
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
68%
Airbnb
67%
Mashmeter
property price
$1,685,000
Median
cap rate
1.62%
Traditional
2.28%
Airbnb
rental income
$2,270
Traditional
$3,207
Airbnb
homes for sale
1
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
All San Diego Neighborhoods