SAN DIEGO -- It's expensive to rent in San Diego - especially if you want to live by the beach.
But a new study from real-estate tracker Trulia is warning that rents are rising the fastest in more affordable areas.
For instance, rent is dropping in higher priced areas like Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas, but it's up between 7 and 9 percent over the year in more affordable areas, like La Mesa, Clairemont, and Mission Valley.
The median for San Diego County, which includes single-family homes and apartments, is now $2,600, up 4 percent annually.
“We’ve started to see cooling in a handful of pricey North County markets – where rents aren’t rising as fast as they were in the past, though they are still expensive," said Trulia economist Ralph McLaughlin. "Meanwhile, the year-over-year increases in rural and lower income ZIP codes is likely a sign these cheaper areas are catching up to their more expensive coastal counterparts.”
Caroline Addison-Torres is paying $800 a month for a single-room in a home in Clairemont.
"When I moved out here I couldn't afford to live anywhere without a roommate," said Addison-Torres, who is from Denver. "It's just really frustrating."
Rents rose the fastest over the year in Borrego Springs, up 12 percent to a median $2,131.
Median Rent in Mission Valley is now $2,063, up 8.8 percent; up to $2,424 in Imperial Beach, 7.3 percent more than a year ago; $2,698 in La Mesa, up 6.6 percent, and $2,725 in Clairemont, up 8.8 percent.
Trulia says January is a good time to find a deal on rent because it's a slower season. Landlords may also be willing to sign leases longer than a year. That locks in the rent for the tenant, but can make sure the unit comes back open during the summer peak season.