San Diego real estate market
A rental sign outside a North Park apartment complex. Photo credit: Staff photo

San Diego ranked as the fifth most expensive rental market in the nation in September, though there are signs the rapid rise in costs is slowing, according to housing analysts., an online apartment search service, placed the median prices of one and two bedrooms in San Diego at $2,620 and $3,420, respectively.

Overall, Zumper estimates that the price of two bedrooms in the area is up 26.2% since the same time last year.

Both Zumper, and another analysis, by, however, noted the first signs of slowing in the meteoric recent rise in costs for renters.

ApartmentList placed the month-to-month drop in rent in San Diego at 0.2% in September. Year-over-year rent growth in San Diego stands at 10.5%, compared to 18.7% at this time last year. 

Zumper noted that half of the 100 cities they track showed month-to-month decreases, “a signal that prices are slowly beginning to moderate.”

ApartmentList cited a drop in 69 markets, but added that “a modest decline in rents at this time of year is consistent with the normal seasonal trend that we typically see in our rent index.”

In the ApartmentList local analysis, the highest rents for two-bedroom apartments in the region are in Carlsbad, at $2,900, Oceanside, at $2,630, San Diego, at $2,600 and La Mesa at $2,500.

Meanwhile, six of the most expensive rental markets in the country are in California, according to Zumper, with San Francisco trailing New York City as the most expensive in the country.

San Jose comes in at No. 4, ahead of San Diego, while Los Angeles, Oakland and Santa Ana all hold a place in the top 10.

The report cites a number of factors, such as recession worries and rising interest rates forcing potential buyers out of home purchases, as reasons for the tight rental market. Nationally, median one-bedroom rent reached a new high of $1,503, Zumper said, with two-bedroom rent at $1,845, also an all-time high. 

“The rental market has been very supply constrained for the past five quarters, but there has been a significant shift back towards equilibrium in the past quarter,” explains Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades. “Occupancy rates and the pace of rent increases are now falling in many major metros as renter demand softens and fear of recession kicks in, with many renters deciding to stay put or trade down on the most expensive options.”