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Report: Less expensive to rent than five years ago

Average rents in the city of San Diego and across the county are down, according to a new analysis from the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA).

“It’s great news for renters and those interested in renting,” said Alan Pentico, SDCAA’s executive director. “Property owners and property managers have done a nice job of responding to the economic downturn and keeping rents affordable.”

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego is $1,193, according to SDCAA’s fall survey of rental units. That same unit rented for $1,211 a year ago and $1,285 five years ago. Here is a breakdown of average rents today versus five years ago:

* county of San Diego, 1 bedroom: $1,089 today | $1,177 five years ago – 7 percent decrease;

* county of San Diego, 2 bedrooms: $1,389 today | $1,476 five years ago – 6 percent decrease;

* city of San Diego, 1 bedroom: $1,193 today | $1,285 five years ago – 7 percent decrease;

* city of San Diego, 2 bedrooms: $1,563 today | $1,596 five years ago – 2 percent decrease.

Although rents in the city and county are down from last year and five years ago, they are expected to increase next year for a variety of reasons.

“The combination of new job formations, households undoubling and the negligible addition to the rental housing inventory will result in a very tight apartment market in 2013 with rising rents,” said Alan Nevin, an SDCAA member and principal with The London Group.

“It is true that there are several thousand apartment units in the planning/construction stage, but most will not be delivered next year and, together, they will not add more than 3 percent to the current rental apartment inventory,” Nevin said. “Further, most of the new units are aimed at the top end of the market, with most renting for more than $2 per square foot. In addition, a substantial percentage of the homes that were acquired by investors and are now rented will be put back on the market this year for sale to owner-occupants. That will add to the tightness of the rental market.”

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