San Diego rental vacancy rate hits 12-year low

San Diego County’s rental vacancy rate plummeted to its lowest number in 12 years, indicating that units are in high demand.

The rate fell to 2.8 percent this year, according to numbers from the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA). That is down from 4.5 percent in 2013. This is the lowest rate since 2002, when it was at 2.5 percent.

The rate measures the number of rentals that are vacant and available.

According to the SDCAA, the rate fell from 3.4 percent last year to 2.7 percent in the city of San Diego. South Bay had the highest rate, at 2.9 percent. East and North counties came in at 2.8 percent.

Meanwhile, average overall rent for a unit fell 5 percent, from $1,330 in 2013 to $1,260. The average rent for studio was $901, for a one-bedroom it was $1,092, for a two-bedroom it was $1,347, and for a three or more bedrooms it was $1,716.

SDCAA said the low rate illustrates the need for more urban and multifamily developments.  

"This clearly points to the need for government policies that embrace additional urban-infill and multi-family developments on a regional, state and national level," said SDCAA Executive Director Alan Pentico in a news release.

SDCAA found that while there is an increase in permits and construction of multifamily housing, the demand is still outpacing the supply.

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