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Tom York on Business: San Diego Drops to Second Place in Tight California Rental Market

by Tom Tork

Times of San Diego

March 5, 2024

First, positive news for those seeking a place to rent here in San Diego. That process has gotten just a tad easier for locals.

Last year we were the most competitive market in the state, but now, we’re second, behind Orange County, which moved into first.

This is according to a just-out national study from apartment rental website RentCafe, which said we lost last year’s top ranking, thanks to a 0.24% uptick in the supply of new apartments and the fact that only 50% of current are renewing their leases.

‘More people moving around mean more options for prospective renters,” the study found.  

Naiontwide, San Diego was the 18th most competitive metro region for finding a place to rent.

Silicon Valley’s rental market ranked No. 3 in the state with nine renters competing for each unit that comes to market.

Elsewhere, East Los Angeles ranked No. 4 and the Central Valley No. 5.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranked only No. 8, perhaps a reflection of the economic downturn that has impacted the city’s notorious rental market.

The RentCafe study listed Miami as the most competitive rental market in the U.S., with its thriving economy intensifying the competition for apartments.

However, the competition can be found in most regions of the country.

The Midwest’s shift from its “Rust Belt” past to tech and manufacturing has heightened its rental competitiveness. Milwaukee was cited as an example.

The study said Midwest has emerged as the most competitive region for renting at the start of 2024 primarily due to its affordability and reinvented economy, which is attracting high demand for rental properties.

In fact, in addition to its cost-effectiveness, today’s Midwest has almost completely shaken off its “Rust Belt” label.

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