Apartments in Mission Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

How much have local rents increased over the past year? The short answer is a lot, according to the apartment rental listing website Dwellsy.

The company said San Diego’s median asking rent was up almost 22% in 2021 — an increase of $419 to $2,368 from $1,949. The data is based on its own studies using data supplied from the U.S. Census Bureau.

That means San Diegans — with an average yearly income of $80,000 — have to spend close to 34 percent of their pay on rent.

The experts recommend not spending a greater percentage than that number on shelter.

The Dwellsy study found that the national median asking rent increased 2% over October to $1,630 from $1,600.

A few other stats are worth pondering:

  • Rents for the same period increased 104% in Naples. FL.
  • And speaking of Florida, Miami came in as the least affordable market in the country with an average rent of $2,575 in November and a median income of only around $60,000.
  • Meanwhile, Los Angeles wasn’t far behind with average rents hitting $2,358 in November, $10 less a month than San Diego.
  • Those would-be renters looking for a cheap place to live might consider Jefferson City, MO. Dwellsy found the average November rent in that metro region was just $550.

The good news? The year of record rent increases is easing.

The national median rent in October went down 3%, shifting to $1,600 from $1,649 in September.

This is a normal for this time of year but welcomed after months of record high rent increases.

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San Diego’s biotech startup Bloom Science has raised a $12 million Series A investment, funding led by pharmaceutical concern Bayer and the ALS Investment Fund, with participation from Apollo Health Ventures and Joyance Partners.

According to a release, Bloom will use the Series A financing to advance its pipeline including lead program BL-001 being developed for orphan, drug-resistant epilepsies.

Bloom is focused on treating ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and epilepsy.

Bayer spokesman Juergen Eckhardt said “We believe Bloom’s unique approach to leverage the gut-immune-brain axis for novel microbiota therapies will enable us to … improve the lives of many patients.”

The company said its team of scientists, “data-geeks and never-say-die entrepreneurs is rethinking how medicines are developed by taking advantage of our expanding insight into the role our gut microbiome plays in modulating key processes in the brain and immune system.”

* * *

The San Diego Angel Conference, a University of San Diego School of Business program that connects angel investors with “promising early-stage companies,” has kicked off its fourth angel conference series.

SDAC is looking for early-stage companies that have the potential for a 10x return on investment within five years.

The application deadline for entrepreneurs is Dec. 15 and investors begin reviewing deals in January.

According to a news release, SDAC expects 125 early-stage companies to apply.

SDAC has become the largest angel investor program in the country, with more than $2.8 million in funding awarded to 11 startups over the last three yearsSee a list of SDAC portfolio companies here.

* * *

The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors said it is giving money to Smart Coast California, a nonprofit launched in response to policies to combat rises in the ocean levels proposed by the California Coastal Commission.

The real estate group approved on Dec. 2 spending $495,000, making the total spent so far at $1 million.

The lobbying group was founded two years ago to monitor coastal policies and to advocate for protecting homeowner’s property rights.

SDAR’s top executive Carla Farley also serves as the 2021 president of Smart Coast California.

“Few individuals are aware of the controversial policies advanced by the Coastal Commission, including ‘managed retreat,’ requiring the removal of such devices as sea walls,” said Farley. “These policies … would prevent property owners from defending their homes … from rising seas.”

At issue, the Coastal Commission is working with coastal to update their Local Coastal Programs to account for rising tide and ocean levels.

The Commission has recommended “managed retreat,” which calls for relocating or removing structures, including homes, away from higher tides.

The controversy and proposal prompted the Del Mar City Council reject to CCC’s proposed policies. 

* * *

UnitedHealthcare of California said Dec. 13 it will “invest” $1.5 million in 17 local agencies to better healthcare for the underserved and narrow disparities in how care is managed.

According to America’s Health Rankings, a survey of the nation’s health conducted by the United Health Foundation, California ranks 48 of 50 states in access to doctors and other providers and 49 of 50 state for severe housing issues, including overcrowding.

Family Health Centers of San Diego is one example of how the funds will are being spent, according to a news release.

The agency received funds to purchase two electric mobile “Tiger Teams,” which will provide care and other medical services in underserved communities, especially among home-bound patients.

The agency said it cared for 285,000 patients last year, making it the largest provider of safety-net health care in the county.

* * *

Finally, this item of note.

The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 8 approved a master plan and 200-foot runway expansion for the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

According to a staff report prepared for the board, the FAA will pay $38 million of the $42 million required to implement the master plan and extend the runaway.

The future work would allow the airport to manage larger aircraft, to the dismay of residents who live in the area who fear added noise and congestion–and potential air pollution.

At the meeting, supervisors voted that the airport obtain a conditional use permit from the City of Carlsbad before approving use of larger aircraft. This was a stipulation required by a judicial order that also included additional noise studies.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

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