The region’s overall apartment rental vacancy rate stands at 2.6 percent, slipping back to lows last seen a year ago, according to the latest twice-yearly survey by the San Diego County Apartment Association.
A statement from the nonprofit organization, which serves the rental housing industry, said the current rate is above the 4.1 percent in its spring 2015 survey, but close to rates reported in the spring and fall of 2014. The latest rate is also more in line with vacancy rates currently being seen in high-demand metro markets around the nation.
“Despite a fair amount of new multifamily construction, we’re still experiencing the effects of a severe deficit of housing units in the San Diego region,” said Alan Pentico, the association’s executive director.
Officials said the rental survey is conducted twice a year, in spring and fall, to provide a snapshot and is not a scientific study of industry conditions. The fall 2015 survey was mailed in September to nearly 6,000 rental property owners and managers in San Diego County, and responses received represent a total of 19,768 rental units in the region.
The latest survey found the region’s weighted average rent was $1,046 for studio units, $1,327 for one-bedroom units, $1,634 for two-bedroom units, and $1,887 for units with three or more bedrooms. Studio units saw the highest rate of increase since the last survey, at about 7 percent.
“As the local economy continues to improve and jobless rates decline, the demand also grows for non-roommate living situations, which may explain the rise in rents for studio units,” Pentico said. “This places additional pressure on the market beyond population growth.”
The latest vacancy rate in the fall survey was 2.8 percent for the city of San Diego, and 2.5 percent for the rest of the region.