Vacancy rental rates drop to lowest in more than a decade

San Diego rental market is more competitive

SAN DIEGO - San Diegans are doing more to get the apartment they want to rent.

Lindsay Rybar recently rented an apartment in Pacific Beach.

"It was really frustrating to find a place to live," said Rybar.

She moved back to San Diego from Colorado at the end of March.

"I've never had this much difficulty in the years that I've lived in San Diego," said Rybar.

She stayed with friends and searched Craigslist every morning.

"Each day there were only about five, and it was the same five every day and so it was just really difficult to find something because there wasn't quite enough inventory," said Rybar.

The inventory shortage is driving up the San Diego rental market.

Rybar had to convince the landlord she would be a great tenant with good credit to bump someone else out of the running. She also showed up with the security deposit in hand.

A 10News viewer told 10News they even offered to pay an extra $50 in rent to get the place they wanted.

"It is a more competitive environment to rent apartments," said Robert Vallera, who is with Voit Real Estate Services. He tells 10News it is due to higher employment rates and more people moving to the county.

"People are able to rent more apartments," he said.   

According to the San Diego County Apartment Association, a one-bedroom runs for about $1,100. A two-bedroom goes for about $1,400, and a three-bedroom goes for almost $2,000. 

Vallera says this is the beginning of a cycle typically seen every decade and that we should see more construction.

"Where the vacancy rates tighten up, the rents move up some. Then, the developers respond by building new apartments, flattening out the rents," said Vallera.

He says this will have an indirect impact on the home and condo sales market.

"Because it does alter the rent versus buy decision for a lot of people," said Vallera.

Rybar was not ready to make that decision but she was ready to fight for the apartment she wanted and says others should be too.

"It's great to be here, but you definitely have to plan way ahead when you're looking for a new place to live," she said.

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