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

Rents continue to slip following nearly two years of growth that have seen monthly housing costs rise sharply for non-homeowners.

Despite the decrease in San Diego, 0.7% month-over-month in January, year-over-year rent growth in San Diego currently stands at 3.8%, according to an analysis by

The downward arc began in the summer, with rents up nearly 10% for the year through August, then leveling off from September through the year’s end.

Nonetheless, local rent growth over the past year has outpaced the state average of 2.3% and the national average, 3.3%, as well.

Overall, though, rents in San Diego are up by 24% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

San Diego’s December to January slowdown, though, was more than double the 0.3% drop nationally, and the analysts said, it has been a particularly slow winter season in which rent prices were subject to further slides than in than previous years. 

Median rents in San Diego currently stand at $1,915 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,468 for a two-bedroom.

That makes the city the fourth most expensive in the nation, with the top five all in California. Irvine leads at nearly $3,000 a month, followed by Fremont, San Jose, San Diego and Chula Vista.

San Francisco and New York City, long considered the nation’s most expensive markets, according to the analysis, are far off that pace. The Bay Area barely makes the top 10, in ninth place, and New York has fallen to 14th for median rents.

Across the nation, median rent is $1,148 for a one-bedroom and $1,316 for a two-bedroom. The lowest-priced market among the largest cities in the U.S. is Cleveland, at $773.