San Diego's new aircraft carriers to infuse $1.6 billion in region but could pressure housing market

USS Abraham Lincoln arrived in San Diego Monday
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 12:10:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier arrived in its new home port of San Diego Monday, bringing thousands of sailors and hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated annual economic impact for the region.

The Navy will relocate another carrier strike group, the USS Carl Vinson, to San Diego this summer, giving the city three carriers for the first time in a decade. Each carrier has about 3,000 sailors attached to it.

RELATED: USS Abraham Lincoln returns from around-the-world deployment

The two new carriers are expected to boost San Diego’s economy by $1.6 billion each year, according to a 2019 study by the San Diego Military Advisory Council. The study found that each carrier generates about $800 million in annual economic impact.

The USS Roosevelt left for a seven-month deployment last week.

RELATED: Thousands of sailors leave for 7-month deployment on USS Roosevelt

Although the Navy will house some of the roughly 6,000 new sailors and their families in military housing, many will be looking for places to stay in San Diego’s rental market, said real estate economist Gary London.

“It will tax our housing system,” he said. “The amount of people that are coming off those carrier groups that get infused into the San Diego housing market is roughly the equivalent of the number of units that we built all of last year in San Diego County.”

London estimated that San Diego’s rental market is about 95 percent occupied, and said the supply of moderately priced housing is thin.

“This is a supply constrained housing market, particularly on the rental side,” he said. “Whenever you’re infusing on the demand side, more people needing housing, you are in effect bidding up the rental rates for all housing in San Diego.”

“It’s going to increase the rental rates in San Diego,” he said.