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San Diego seeing biggest apartment boom in years

In February, the County saw a record low vacancy rate of 2.2%, giving landlords the upper hand.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — With low supply and high demand, it’s no surprise to see sky high rents around San Diego.  

In February, the County saw a record low vacancy rate of 2.2%, giving landlords the upper hand. 

“It becomes a supply-demand issue, and the less supply there is, there’s more people demanding housing and needing housing, and it pushes prices up,” said Mike Mahoney, President of West Region for Ryan Companies. 

San Diego County is on course to have one of its biggest years for new construction of apartments in the last decade. With 4,600 new rental units coming online this year according to real estate analytics provider Costar.  

Renters hope the added inventory can help slow down rental prices. 

“I’d like to see that number grow over the coming years just for a healthy society where people can afford to live here.  We need more,” said Mahoney.  “Truly, the only way to solve this housing crisis is to add supply.  We have no other way for affordability.” 

Otay Ranch alone has 1,165 new apartments under construction with 480 of those units being built at the Avalyn in Millenia. 

“We have units that range from one-bedroom at 625 square feet all the way up to 2,000+ square foot 3-bedroom townhomes,” said Mahoney. 

The Avalyn development will include 8 separate buildings over 12-acres, and the first rentals will be available in April. 

Another housing project that will be yielding new apartment rentals this year is Valencia Pointe, an affordable housing project located on Division Street in southeast San Diego. 

With construction nearing the final stages, it’s expected to open in July. 

“Valencia Pointe is 102-unit family housing. The units are 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms and it’s going to be focused on incomes primarily between 30% and 80% of the area median income,” said Arnulfo Manriquez, President and CEO of MAAC. “This is all for working families.” 

MAAC is a nonprofit working to build more affordable housing in San Diego County.  For this project, they received state funding from the Mixed Income Program. 

“The average income for families at Valencia Pointe should be around $60,000 dollars a year.  It could go all the way as high as $86,000 or so,” said Manriquez. “We are accepting applications so our information is on our website. You can go in and apply and our goal is to be able to process families through to be able to move in as soon as we finish construction.” 

This year will be the second year in a row that new apartment construction exceeds 4,000 units, which does not solve the housing crisis, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

“It will unfortunately be a drop in the bucket for what the real housing need is,” said Mahoney. “But multiple projects like this throughout the county certainly will help and hopefully moderate the rental price increases.” 

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