Thinking of owning property in San Diego? If you decide to take the plunge, you can look forward to being part of one of the nation’s most attractive housing markets. This city offers vacation-style living with something for everyone both downtown as well as along its many beaches. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to living in any city. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of buying a home in San Diego:
Pro: San Diego is a hub of employment opportunities
Since unemployment in San Diego is .8% lower than in the rest of the state and .4% lower than in Seattle, the region is an attractive place for those wanting a strong economy. Opportunities for employment might be one of the reasons why many millennials are moving to San Diego from LA, where unemployment is higher. Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that San Diego was #2 in the nation for job growth. The city has experienced 8.3% growth in the last 12 months and BLS ranks San Diego #23 in the nation for a combination of factors including job growth, job competition, and housing affordability.
Pro: San Diego is consistently ranked one of the best cities in the country for its economy and lifestyle
- In October, Wallethub.com named San Diego the Greenest City in the U.S. for its environment, energy, transportation, and lifestyle policies.
- Money.com included San Diego in its 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for 2022-2023—ranking it #22, and mentioning its housing market specifically, stating: “home prices in San Diego are more affordable than in other large cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.”
- A 2022 Homebay.com survey found that San Diego ranked #3 as the most desirable city in the United States, according to respondents drawn to its “attractions and amenities.”
- Bankrate.com names San Diego #7 on its list of best cities for families citing its weather, low unemployment, and low crime.
- FierceBiotech.com placed San Diego as the #3 biotech hub in the nation pointing to firms such as Neurocrine Biosciences and Bristol Myers Squibb all recently leasing new research and development campuses here.
- Additionally, Dealmachine.com names San Diego the #5 city in the nation for maximizing profits in house flipping and wholesaling.
Pro: San Diego’s population is growing
Due to San Diego’s many employment opportunities, welcoming community, and exceptional quality of life, the city has been attracting an influx of new residents—many of those coming from Los Angeles. In fact, between August and October 2022, Los Angeles homebuyers searched to move into San Diego more than any other metro. Other top metros that demonstrate an interest in moving to San Diego include San Francisco and Chicago. What does this inflow of new residents mean for San Diego homeowners? As San Diego grows in popularity, home values will rise until the supply of new homes can keep up with demand. As of September 2022, home values in San Diego rose 8.5% year-over-year.
There are other benefits to San Diego’s growing population: it will make more funding available for local arts and civic activities, infrastructure improvements, educational opportunities, and other amenities that improve the life of residents.
Con: Climate change’s impact on coastal neighborhoods
Nasa.gov states that “Global sea level has risen an average of 0.13 inches (3.3 millimeters) a year since satellites began precisely measuring sea surface height” back in 1992. Starting around “2010, sea level along the U.S. West Coast began steadily increasing.” This means that properties near the Pacific coastline may face increased erosion, flooding, and other climate-change-related destruction. Ben Hamlington, a NASA Jet Propulsion scientist says, “Based on historical data, there are indications that elevated sea level rise rates could persist much longer. We could see 20 years of elevated rates.” Hamlington adds that if the Antarctic ice sheet melts, that could lead to a West Coast sea level rise greater than the global average.
A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that by the middle of the century, we’ll likely see a big impact from sea-level rise in coastal regions like San Diego. The city of San Diego's website has a wealth of information on climate change and its impact. And they’re also developing Climate Resilient SD which is described as “a plan to ensure residents will continue to thrive in a changing climate.”
Con: San Diego has high housing costs
Alan Gin, associate professor of Economics at USD warns, “Our region is increasingly inhospitable to families of moderate income.” He adds that a thriving local economy requires accessibility and opportunities for those of diverse backgrounds and income levels and so affordable housing will be needed in the near future to accommodate those working in the retail, service, and hospitality industries.
Since the Median Sale Price of San Diego homes is currently at $841,000, that means a household would need a yearly income of $239,376 to qualify for a loan for a median-priced home. Rents are similarly pricey. According to Zumper.com, as of October 29, 2022 the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Diego, CA was $2,495. This is a 14% increase compared to the previous year. Most landlords require tenants to make three times their monthly rent to approve an apartment rental. This means a household would need to make $89,820 to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in the city. According to the census, the median household income in San Diego is $83,454—that’s $6,366 less than needed to afford rent on a typical 1-bedroom apartment, and a whopping $155,922 less than needed to buy a median-priced home.
Is anything being done to bring more affordable housing to the San Diego area?
In early November, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously on a resolution declaring housing a human right. Councilmembers hope the resolution will lead to policies that bring affordable homes to the city. Additionally, San Diego Unified’s latest bond proposal would allocate over $206 million of Measure U funds to “acquire and construct teacher and workforce housing.” This could make SDUSD one of the first districts in the county to create housing for its employees. Voters favored the measure in the recent election and so 500 affordable housing units will be constructed on district-owned land. Similarly, in Carlsbad, a new affordable housing development recently opened making units available to veterans and households earning between 20% and 60% of the area's median income. The county said it will be supporting more than a dozen similar projects across the region to add more affordable housing and provide additional resources to those in need.
Some attractive San Diego homes available now:
1) 2101 Judith Ave, San Diego, CA 92154 - $689,900
4 beds, 2 baths, 1,515 sq. ft.
Listed by Michael Najar • DRE #01938500 • Keller Williams Realty
Listed by Sylis Pacheco • DRE #02054217 • Keller Williams RealtySDMLS
2) 10167 Drumcliff Ave, San Diego, CA 92126 - $869,900
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,777 sq. ft.
Listed by Logan Henry • DRE #01948799 • Coldwell Banker Realty
Listed by Afton Miller • DRE #00893161 • Coldwell Banker RealtySDMLS
3) 4525 Mount La Platta Ct, San Diego, CA 92117 - $1,329,000
5 beds, 3 baths, 2,530 sq. ft.
Listed by Leon Dienes • DRE #01473065 • Leon Dienes & Associates
4) 13885 Paseo Cevera, San Diego, CA 92129 - $1,099,000
5 beds, 1 baths, 836 sq. ft.
Listed by Rachel Gardner • DRE #01854523 • Redfin Corporation
5) 17568 Ralphs Ranch Rd, San Diego, CA 92127 - $1,995,000
6 beds, 5 baths, 3,294 sq. ft.
Listed by Christine Diveley • DRE #01871287 • Compass
6) 4623 Kleefeld Ave, San Diego, CA 92117 - $1,198,000
4 beds, 2 baths, 1,599 sq. ft.
Listed by Erick Gydesen • DRE #01945932 • Big Block Realty, Inc.
Listed by Molly Paulo • DRE #02034245 • Big Block Realty, Inc
7) Coming soon: 4712 Panorama Dr, San Diego, CA 92116 - $1,395,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 1,010 sq. ft.
Listed by Bo Bortner • DRE #01491296 • Team Metro
8) 1763 Sunset Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103 - $2,099,000
4 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,860 sq. ft.
Listed by Memo Cardona • DRE #01706132 • eXp Realty
9) 3314 Macaulay St, San Diego, CA 92106 - $1,700,000
5 beds, 2 baths, 1,407 sq. ft.
Listed by Corey Wyatt • DRE #01483827 • Big Block Realty, Inc.
Thinking of buying or selling in San Diego?
Ready to find your dream home in San Diego or another nearby city? We’re here to help! The Cassity Team knows the ins and outs of every corner of the region and we’re ready to help you explore. Reach out!
All listings provided courtesy of SDMLS.
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