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Where Can You Live for Around $1,400 a Month?

This week's local real estate news


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For what you’d pay to live in North Park, you could get an apartment in Oceanside that has more amenities and space. | Photo by OP Property Management LP/Screenshot from Zillow

When we saw the news that the average rent in San Diego County rose above $1,600 a month and that apartment vacancy rates are at their lowest in five years, we wanted to see what kind of dwellings are available at these prices. Would most apartments be alarmingly small, offer no amenities, and have only street parking?

For our county-wide search, we used the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, which is $1,411 a month. Here’s a sampling of what we found:

This East Village loft on E Street is priced at $1,495 a month. | Photo by Trilogy Real Estate Management/Screenshot from Zillow

For $1,495, you could move into a 760-square-foot studio in the Library Lofts in East Village. Or you could live in a two-bedroom, 550-square-foot cottage on Logan Avenue and be within walking distance of the neighborhood’s burgeoning arts scene.

This apartment complex in North Park has some designated parking spots for its residents—a rare find in this neighborhood. | Photo by Trilar Management Group/Screenshot from Zillow

If you want to be in the heart of North Park, a one-bedroom in this walk-up is listed for $1,450 a month.

The square footage for this apartment in Ocean Beach wasn’t listed. | Screenshot from Zillow

Over in Ocean Beach, we found only one unit close to this price range, going for $1,500 a month (the listing didn’t include square footage).

Most of these units don’t offer parking. And during our search, we noticed that listings for several units in North Park and Golden Hill had few or no photos of the apartment’s interior. Nor did we get any hits at this price range for certain neighborhoods, like Little Italy.

Here is a listing for that part of town:

Living in one of San Diego’s most desirable neighborhoods will cost you. | Photo by Alliance Residential Company/Screenshot from Zillow

The Broadstone complex on Kettner Boulevard, where studios start at $2,264 a month, and rent for one-bedrooms are priced at $2,989.

As expected, once you get outside of central San Diego, you start to get more bang for your buck.

For what you’d pay to live in North Park, you could get an apartment in Rancho San Diego that has more amenities and space. | Photo by R and V Management Corporation/Screenshot from Zillow

For the same cost of living in North Park, you could get a spacious one-bedroom in an apartment community that has a fitness center, pools, and clubhouse. But you’d have to be willing to commute east—way east, to Rancho San Diego. An extra $25 a month will get you a two-bedroom townhouse in La Mesa, and in Oceanside, which is getting a makeover with new developments, you could live in a complex that has three pools for $1,439 a month.

Going by the “40 times the rent” rule, an income of $56,000 to $60,000 a year is required to live in the average one-bedroom apartment in San Diego County, which is worrisome for a good portion of our population: millennials.

We have the second-highest percentage of millennials in the nation (27.2 percent of our population), but most millennials (ages 18 to 34) in San Diego are only making an average of $37,439 a year (according to a 2015 study by Bloomberg), and 41 percent of them are unemployed, according to a March 2016 report from JLL. So the demographic that needs an apartment the most in San Diego may be priced out of the market.

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San Diego real estate news and gossip, from businesses opening and closing around town, to the neighborhoods that are buzzing with construction and which homes and buildings are being sold and where. Parklets, placemaking, lofts, design, cool workspaces, cool living spaces, big buildings, and tiny homes are things we find fascinating, especially right now in San Diego. The cranes are back in the downtown skyline, and so are many of our sources in the real estate industry, so you might see a heavy bent towards the urban neighborhoods here. But we see you up there, Torrey Pines Mesa. We know about your new companies, institutes, and hidden foodtrucks in office parks and cool cafes on the bluffs. And Del Mar and Carlsbad and everywhere in between. If you see a “For Sale” sign or a “coming soon” sign that we should know about, or just have a question about a building or a place, send an email our way.

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