New home under construction
New homes under construction in Carlsbad. Photo by Mike Blake via Reuters

Another dubious achievement for San Diego’s high-priced housing market?

We apparently rank No. 10 on the Top 10 list of the cities least affordable for single buyers. This according to a recent survey undertaken by real estate data provider PropertyShark.

The report says single women would have to spend 60% of the local female median income to buy a starter home in San Diego, up from 51% in 2017. (Financial gurus says buyers should spend 40% or less of their income on housing.)

Single men would have to spend 43% of their local median income to secure a starter home here, compared to the 35% that would have been needed five years ago

Women can do better in other markets. They can afford to make solo purchases in 17 of the country’s 51 most populous cities, while men can afford to buy starter homes in 29 locations, the survey found.

Nationwide, single women have been priced out of 34 of the largest U.S. cities, 10 more than five years ago.

Detroit, Tulsa and Oklahoma City are the three most affordable urban centers for single female buyers, the study found. 

As it turns out, since 2017, the number of cities where neither men nor women can buy a home independently has grown from 14 cities in 2017 to 22 today. Additionally, women are now priced out of 12 locations, two more than just five years ago.

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And speaking of housing…The Oakland-based parent of regional health care provider Kaiser Permanente says it’s doubling the capital committed to its Thriving Communities social impact investment fund to $400 million. Kaiser said the decision comes as part of efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 in underserved communities.

Kaiser said the fund, launched in 2018 with $200 million, is on track to build and preserve 15,000 units of affordable housing over the next three years. Doubling the fund to $400 million will double the impact to create or preserve 30,000 units before 2030, Kaiser said in a statement.

San Diego is among the regions benefiting from the fund, which features preserving or building 7,000 affordable housing units countrywide, according to a news release.

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Good news for the industrial property sector. Chicago’s JLL Income Property Trust recently announced the $158.5 million purchase of South San Diego Distribution Center, a three-building, 665,000-square-foot industrial portfolio. The three properties are currently 96 percent leased to eight tenants.

“Industrial properties continue to be a target overweight for our portfolio given sustained tenant demand and strong, long-term outlook for the sector,” said executive Allan Swaringen in a news release. “The distribution center aligns well with our strategy, given its location near irreplaceable transportation infrastructure and San Diego’s strong industrial rent growth.” 

He said the local industrial market comprises 200 million square feet but is constrained in terms of growth due to Camp Pendleton on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the west, mountains and desert to the east and Mexico’s border on the south. 

These purchased buildings, located in the Otay Mesa industrial submarket, are located 1.5 miles from the border with Mexico and close to Otay’s Mesa Port of Entry, the most active truck border in California and the second most active crossing after Laredo, Texas. 

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San Diego faux meat maker Planet Based Foods says it has launched an e-commerce platform that features a selection of company’s products.

The products can be purchased through the new website.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our new e-commerce platform, which allows our diverse portfolio of healthy plant-based food products to be more accessible to customers than ever before,” said top executive Braelyn Davis

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North County virtual diabetes clinic 9am.health says it has received a $16 million series A funding round, bringing VC funding to date to $20 million. 

The round was co-led by 7Wire Ventures and Human Capital with participation from new investors StartUp Health and Leaps by Bayer and existing investors Define Ventures and Founders Fund

Since launching last year, the company says patients can find its health care, lab diagnostics and medication online in 47 states.

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Southwest Airlines, the Texas-based air carrier with the largest number of departures and arrivals serving San Diego International, says it is adding even more flights to its schedule beginning in early June — with a focus on travel within California.

Beginning June 5, the airline says it will offer up to 20 flights a day between San Diego and Sacramento, up to 20 times each way between San Diego and San Jose and up to 14 each way between San Diego and Oakland.

According to one published source Southwest commands more than 40% of the market in San Diego.

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Chic women’s handbag maker Louis Vuitton has unveiled its new store at La Jolla’s Westfield UTC. The location offers a diverse selection of the maison’s métiers for women, including accessories, fragrance, jewelry, leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, travel and watches.

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Baking entrepreneur Maya Madsen, owner of Maya’s Cookies appeared live on the Home Shopping Network on Good Friday

The channel featured her award-winning cookies in its exclusive collections segment. You can purchase or preview the collections here

Founded in 2015, Madsen claims that her cookie brand is the No. 1 Black-owned gourmet vegan cookie business in the country. 

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Finally…Time for a toast!

San Diego County’s Vintners Association, a local trade group involved in winemaking, releases its annual economic impact report. The findings? Good times, but not the best.

The county’s 150 or wineries rang up $44 million in sales last year, almost 20% over 2020. But sales didn’t reach the pre-COVID 19 pandemic mark. That was achieved in 2019 when they sold $46 million in wine. 

Vintners harvested 1,370 acres in the region, producing 3,000+plus tons of grapes valued $5.2 million. The total was down from pre-pandemic 2019 when vineyards harvested 3,500 tons of grapes valued at $5.6 million, with a sales price of $1,550 per ton, a record. 

More than 80% of growers surveyed reported good harvest to excellent quality — the best since 2016.

The top three varietals retained their rankings from prior years — Cabernet sauvignon, Syrah and mangroves, with grenache and merlot tied for fourth. And chardonnay and petite Syrah tied for fifth. “Our wine industry continues to make great strides, especially in North County,’ said Supervisor Jim Desmond, who represents the north country. Local wineries are thriving despite the last few years of uncertainty, creating jobs, attracting tourism, and providing an important cultural industry in the county. It’s impressive.”

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.