Apartments in San Diego

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San Diego:
A Local Perspective

In California, only L.A. is larger than this city of 1.3 million people. San Diego has been famous for many different reasons over the centuries. It was settled by Europeans in 1769, and formed the point from which the rest of California would spring. Right on the border with Mexico, the city was in fact the property of the southern country until the Mexican American War.

San Diego is a city with beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, arts and culture and a rich educational tradition. It has one of the highest rates of higher education in the country, and in large part that is due to the availability of higher education within the city itself. The University of San Diego and San Diego State University are just two of dozens of private and public universities, community colleges and professional colleges within the city.

San Diego CA

Finding a San Diego Apartment

When to search

A very good time to look for an apartment in San Diego is in the winter, between about December and March. This tends to be the time when rents hit their lowest points. This gives you a great opportunity to find a quality place and lock into a decent rate over the duration of your lease.

How to Search

Finding an apartment can be hard, especially when there are so many choices. Adding a filter can help narrow your search. With our Quick Filters below, you can search by a price and amenities. After following one of these links, be sure to check out the advanced search filters and then sign up for an Email Alert so you can receive new listings that match your needs.

Staying in the know

San Diego is a city with a year-round fairly stable population, which means that there aren't really any best times to look. However, anecdotal reports by people who have lived there for years suggest that December through February is the best time to look. By the time summer rolls around, you'll find that things get a little tighter, and you may have a more difficult time finding a suitable place.

Life in San Diego


San Diego is set up like most of southern California, which is to say that driving is a better way to get around than public transportation. There are bus routes, and a light rail transit system, but the coverage is not as comprehensive as in cities where the majority of citizens rely on the public transit systems. If you don't have a car, check ahead to find out if and where the public transportation runs to ensure you can get to your destination.

Where to play

San Diego has several world-class tourist attractions that are well worth visiting when you're new to town. The San Diego Zoo is widely acclaimed as one of the best in the world, and Sea World is a globally recognized maritime experience. If you enjoy the beach life, the surfing, swimming and boating around San Diego are enjoyed year round by the locals. The city's NFL and MLB teams also put on a great show.

San Diego:
August Rent Report

Welcome to the August 2020 San Diego Apartment Report. In this assessment of the local rental market, ABODO data scientists and rental experts break down the August 2020 key findings and figures for the San Diego rental landscape.

Our experts analyze the pricing trends — one-bedroom, two-bedroom, year-over-year and month-over-month — in San Diego and surrounding areas and provide comparisons to the entire metro area, nearby cities and some of the most desirable and expensive cities in the United States. Take a look at the last 12 months of San Diego rent prices in the chart below.

Monthly Rent Report

San Diego Rent Prices Increase From July to August

San Diego rent prices increased over the last month. From July to August, the city experienced a 1.43% increase for the price of a one-bedroom apartment. The rent price for a San Diego one-bedroom apartments currently stands at $1,844.0.

When we take a look at the two-bedroom comparison from July to August, San Diego experienced a 0.17% increase for the price of a two-bedroom apartment. The rent price for a San Diego two-bedroom apartments currently stands at $2,356.0.

August Prices: San Diego vs. Surrounding Areas

Rent Prices in San Diego and Surrounding Areas

Rent prices have increased in San Diego over the last month. But how have the surrounding areas fared when it comes to the recent volatility in apartment prices? Rent prices in 4 of the San Diego suburbs increased last month. On the other hand, 3 local areas experienced a decrease in the price of a one-bedroom apartment.

More key findings include:

  • Rent increased in Chula Vista, CA, El Cajon, CA, La Mesa, CA, Escondido, CA .

  • Rent decreased in San Marcos, CA, Coronado, CA, Poway, CA.

  • 2 suburbs are currently priced higher than the city of San Diego.

  • 5 suburbs are currently priced lower than the city of San Diego.

August 2020 Pricing Trends: San Diego vs. National Comparisons

San Diego Rent Prices More Affordable Than Major Cities

Rent growth in San Diego over the past year has been on the rise. When compared to major cities nearby, along with some of the most expensive cities in the country, San Diego rent prices appear to be relatively affordable for local residents.

The price for a San Diego one-bedroom apartment remains vastly more affordable than four of the largest cities in the United States — New York City, Washington, D.C. San Francisco and Los Angeles. And pricing compares quite similarly to nearby Midwest cities.

You can view the full rundown of ABODO's August 2020 National Apartment Report and data set here.

For more information about San Diego and surrounding area rent prices, take a look at the complete data set below.

Data set for San Diego and suburbs

1 BR August 1 BR M/M % Change 2 BR August 2 BR M/M % Change
San Diego, CA $1,818.0 0.72% $2,352.0 -0.21%
Chula Vista, CA $1,704.0 3.71% $2,189.0 1.91%
El Cajon, CA $1,322.0 0.23% $1,619.0 0.31%
La Mesa, CA $1,644.0 1.73% $1,900.0 4.40%
Escondido, CA $1,505.0 1.35% $1,858.0 1.09%
San Marcos, CA $1,792.0 -1.32% $2,146.0 2.05%
Coronado, CA $2,350.0 -2.85% $3,180.0 2.68%
Poway, CA $3,277.0 -7.19% $2,160.0 -0.42%


Each month, using over 1 million ABODO listings across the United States, we calculate the median 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rent prices by city, state, and nation, and track the month-over-month percent change. To avoid small sample sizes, we restrict the analysis for our reports to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.