Department of Numbers

San Diego County California Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in San Diego County CA was $1,598 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in San Diego County was $1,629 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 San Diego County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for San Diego County rental vacancy rates, San Diego County rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in San Diego County.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in San Diego County California (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
California Median Gross Rent $1,447 +3.65% +11.48%
San Diego County CA Median Gross Rent $1,598 +4.65% +13.66%

San Diego County CA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,598, real median gross rent in San Diego County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,629, real average gross rent in San Diego County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: San Diego County CA Median, San Diego County CA Average, California Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for San Diego County

Date US
Median
California
Median
San Diego County CA
Median
San Diego County CA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,447 $1,598 $1,629
2016 $996 $1,396 $1,527 $1,568
2015 $987 $1,349 $1,468 $1,527
2014 $956 $1,298 $1,406 $1,478
2013 $924 $1,250 $1,316 $1,397
2012 $912 $1,238 $1,293 $1,373
2011 $912 $1,230 $1,296 $1,355
2010 $927 $1,260 $1,354 $1,421
2009 $931 $1,277 $1,353 $1,425
2008 $947 $1,304 $1,386 $1,452
2007 $899 $1,228 $1,331 $1,390
2006 $909 $1,225 $1,347 $1,402

San Diego County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for San Diego County California was 3.48% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in San Diego County California

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
California 3.49% +0.18% -0.41%
San Diego County CA 3.48% -0.31% -0.14%

Trends in San Diego County CA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in San Diego County peaked in 2011 at 5.54%. Since then it has fallen by 2.06% to 3.48%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 3.25%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.23%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: San Diego County CA, California, US

Rental vacancy rate in California

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for San Diego County

Date US California San Diego County CA
2017 6.18% 3.49% 3.48%
2016 5.89% 3.31% 3.79%
2015 5.85% 3.33% 3.25%
2014 6.32% 3.90% 3.62%
2013 6.49% 4.22% 4.05%
2012 6.77% 4.51% 4.46%
2011 7.40% 4.94% 5.54%
2010 8.17% 5.86% 5.43%
2009 8.43% 5.76% 5.05%
2008 7.86% 4.71% 4.91%
2007 7.87% 4.72% 4.57%
2006 7.70% 4.67% 5.11%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for San Diego County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For San Diego County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 25.16% in 2017 according to the ACS.

San Diego County California Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
California 24.18% -0.18% -0.39%
San Diego County CA 25.16% -0.32% +0.27%

Trends in San Diego County CA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median San Diego County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2016 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 25.48%. Since then it has fallen by 0.32% to 25.16%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: San Diego County CA, California, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in San Diego County California

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in San Diego County California

Date US California San Diego County CA
2017 20.13% 24.18% 25.16%
2016 20.43% 24.36% 25.48%
2015 20.63% 24.39% 25.44%
2014 20.89% 24.57% 24.89%
2013 20.78% 24.40% 25.18%
2012 20.65% 24.69% 24.92%
2011 20.70% 24.59% 24.96%
2010 20.50% 24.18% 25.01%
2009 20.12% 23.52% 24.39%
2008 19.00% 22.32% 22.98%
2007 18.66% 21.58% 22.68%
2006 18.90% 21.80% 22.78%

Renter Fraction in San Diego County California

You can calculate the renter fraction in San Diego County in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in San Diego County as a fraction of total San Diego County households. In 2017 46.51% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

San Diego County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
California 45.21% -1.15% -1.06%
San Diego County CA 46.51% -1.42% -1.32%

Trends in the San Diego County CA Renter Fraction

The San Diego County household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 47.97% and is now 1.46% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: San Diego County CA, California, US

Fraction of renters in San Diego County

History of San Diego County Renter Fraction

Date US California San Diego County CA
2017 36.13% 45.21% 46.51%
2016 36.88% 46.36% 47.93%
2015 36.97% 46.41% 47.97%
2014 36.90% 46.27% 47.83%
2013 36.50% 46.21% 47.23%
2012 36.09% 45.97% 46.88%
2011 35.42% 45.12% 46.71%
2010 34.65% 44.36% 46.06%
2009 34.13% 43.43% 44.82%
2008 33.36% 42.95% 43.61%
2007 32.80% 42.00% 44.11%
2006 32.73% 41.55% 42.36%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.