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

It’s been widely reported that the San Diego rental market has become the most expensive in the state. Now comes a new affirmation of that dubious achievement.

According to apartment rental website RentCafe’s latest report, San Diego also ranks as the second most competitive rental market in the state.

The ranking is attributed to its high occupancy rate of 95.9%, a short vacancy period of 38 days, and the fact that 14 prospective renters fight for every vacant unit. All factors show “a robust demand for rentals,” the report said.

Along with competition, the lease renewal rate stands at 49.4%, suggesting a near-equal split between existing tenants choosing to stay and new tenants moving in.

The market also features a small share of new apartments, at 0.17%, showing that most of the housing stock consists of existing units.

Orange County leads with the highest competitive score in the state, due to its strong occupancy rate and high lease renewal rates. San Diego is second, followed by the Central Coast.

San Francisco’s North Bay (think exclusive Marin County) and the East Bay regions are California’s least competitive markets.

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San Diego hotel occupancy rate is hot—just in time for the end of a seemingly interminable June Gloom and the arrival of sunshine for summer.

The San Diego Tourism Authority reported county hotels sold a total of 359,835 room nights during the week of Independence Day, up 14,000 from the same week last year.

County hotels had an average occupancy rate of 80.0%, ranking second in the nation behind Oahu Island.

Mission Valley hotels had the highest average occupancy rate at 82.8%, followed by Mission Bay at 81.4% and downtown at 80.8%.

The countywide average daily rate, or ADR, continued its upward climb, reaching $244 last week. The ADR was expected to peak during the annual run of Comic-Con, which will take place July 20-23.

More hospitality statistics are available on the Tourism Authority’s website.

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Speaking of hotels…The venerable 139-room Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights, which played host to such Hollywood stars as crooner Frank Sinatra and actress wife Ava Gardner, reopens after a $31 million facelift. 

Local hospitality operator Consortium Holdings, which runs 17 local bars and restaurants, is behind the renovation.

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More hospitality news. Colorado-based recreational real estate developer Meriwether Cos. is investing $25 million to renovate the venerable Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe. The developer announced the purchase of the property earlier this summer.

According to a release, the resort will undergo renovation over the next two to three years.

The 76-room resort features a 27-hole golf course, 10 tennis courts, and restaurant with indoor/outdoor dining, as well as 17,000 square feet of private event space.

Rendering of FrontWave Arena
An architect’s rendering of FrontWave Arena.

Silicon Valley-based general contractor Level 10 Construction has been selected to complete construction of Oceanside’s Frontwave Arena.

The future 170,000-square-foot arena, which will hold 7,500 fans when completed, is expected to in mid-2024.

The facility will be constructed adjacent to the SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside’s El Corazon district.

The naming rights with local institution Frontwave Credit Union reflects the member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution’s commitment to the community, according to a news release.

According to that release, Level 10 has been involved with several athletic complexes in San Diego, including the University of San Diego Hogan West Tennis Center.

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San Diego-based Allegra Marketing Print Mail has launched a nationwide sweepstakes to support local businesses.

The sweepstakes, titled Funding Five, will provide five businesses less than 5 years old with $500 in print and marketing services.

Applications for the Funding Five will close Aug. 14. To enter, visit the Allegra website and complete an entry form. 

Owners must supply details on how Allegra services, including mailers, email design, marketing services and promotional items, help their business. 

Allegra Marketing is a unit of Alliance Franchise Brands, which is the franchisor of more than 600 locations.

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Soft drink maker PepsiCo says it has selected two local Hispanic businesses, Chuza and I Eat My Greens, as two of the 10 finalists to take part in this year’s Greenhouse Accelerator: Juntos Crecemos Edition, which is Spanish for “together we grow.”

The program is dedicated to helping Hispanic-owned food and beverage companies. This is the first year the program has been offered.

Chuza makes spicy snacks using natural fruit and 100% Mexican spices made with no artificial colors or flavors.

I Eat My Greens provides plant-based soups.

According to a news release, the finalists will undergo a six-month, mentor-guided program to accelerate their business to new heights.

The program provides the finalists with access to PepsiCo’s resources and expertise, as well as mentorship from industry leaders.

In November, the finalists will compete for an additional $100,000 in funding to continue expansion and the possibility of continuing to work with PepsiCo.

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