What is The Average Rent in San Diego?

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Nov 9, 2023

San Diego, a city where the Pacific Ocean meets Californian charm, often captures the hearts of those who visit. With its enviable climate, captivating beaches, diverse cultural scene, and burgeoning tech industry, it’s no wonder that many dream of calling it home. 

But for those who are planning to make this dream a reality, the immediate question that often comes to mind is, “What is the average rent in San Diego?” As an integral part of the decision-making process, understanding the average rent in San Diego is essential for prospective residents. It not only helps in budgeting and financial planning but also in determining which neighborhoods align best with their lifestyle and monetary constraints.

Over the years, the average rent in San Diego has witnessed several shifts, influenced by various economic, social, and real estate trends. The dynamic nature of the rental market here means that figures can change from one year to the next. 

As San Diego continues to evolve and grow in popularity, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest rental averages and trends. And while many factors influence these numbers, one thing remains clear: people love moving to San Diego. The city’s allure, combined with its numerous offerings, makes it a magnetic destination for many.

Average Apartment Cost in San Diego, CA

In 2023, San Diego, CA, with its coastal charm and vibrant urban life, presents a range of rental prices for those seeking a place to call home. Depending on the type and size of the living space, the average rental costs can vary significantly. 

Specifically, for studio apartments, which are often sought by single professionals or students looking for a compact living space, the average rent sits at approximately $2,363. 

Those in search of a bit more room, particularly couples or young professionals, might gravitate towards 1-bedroom apartments. In San Diego, these spaces come with an average rent of $2,846, offering a balance of coziness and convenience. 

On the other hand, families or those desiring more space might opt for 2-bedroom apartments. These larger units, which provide ample room for households or roommates, carry an average rent of $3,735 in the city. This range ensures that regardless of individual needs or preferences, San Diego offers a diverse array of rental options, each reflecting the city’s unique blend of beachfront beauty and modern amenities.

Neighborhood-based Rent Breakdown in San Diego

The cost of renting in San Diego greatly fluctuates based on the specific neighborhood. If budget-friendliness is on your radar, neighborhoods such as Valencia Park, Skyline, Emerald Hills, Encanto, Jamacha-Lomita, Alta Vista, and Broadway Heights might appeal to you. 

Here, you can find apartments averaging around $1,050 monthly, which is notably less than San Diego’s general rent average. Other economical choices include Southcrest, Shelltown, and Mountain View, where the typical home rental hovers around $1,250 monthly.

For those seeking middle-tier rent options, areas like Rancho Bernardo, Pacific Highlands Ranch, University City, Mira Mesa, Columbia, Cortez, East Village, Downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla fall within this category. 

Rentals in these locales generally range from $2,100 to $2,600 monthly. It’s worth noting, however, that La Jolla’s apartment rents have been on a noticeable rise. For instance, 2020 recorded a 5% increase in the average rental cost compared to the previous year.

Comparing Rent in Different San Diego Neighborhoods

Downtown San Diego

Nestled in the heart of the city, Downtown San Diego offers proximity to bustling cafes, high-end shops, and vibrant nightlife. Living here means you’re in the epicenter of action. While the convenience is unparalleled, the average rent in San Diego’s downtown area leans on the higher side, reflecting its prime location.

La Jolla

Known for its pristine beaches and upscale vibe, La Jolla is often considered one of San Diego’s jewels. While the views and ambiance are undeniably top-tier, it’s also reflected in the rental prices. Many argue that the average apartment cost in San Diego’s La Jolla area is worth every penny, given the unmatched lifestyle it offers.

Pacific Beach

A blend of sandy shores, lively bars, and a laid-back vibe defines Pacific Beach. Popular among the younger crowd, this neighborhood offers a mix of affordability and beach life. However, the closer you get to the shoreline, the steeper the San Diego average rent might become.

North Park

With its eclectic mix of vintage shops, craft breweries, and a vibrant arts scene, North Park exudes a hipster charm. Renting here can be more affordable than some of San Diego’s coastal areas, but it still offers that quintessential San Diego feel. Plus, the culinary scene here is a significant draw.

Over the decades, the average rent in San Diego has seen considerable fluctuations. Economic booms, housing crises, and population growth have all played their parts. Recently, there’s been a noticeable uptick, with the city’s growing allure pulling more people in.

Future Projections

While predicting exact numbers can be tricky, current trends suggest that the San Diego median rent will continue its upward trajectory. The city’s desirability, combined with limited housing stock and increasing demand, points to a steady, albeit potentially slower, growth in rental prices.

How San Diego Compares to Other California Cities

While cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles often make headlines for their soaring rents, how does San Diego stack up? The average rent in San Diego offers a more balanced proposition. You might find it’s not as wallet-draining as SF but not as budget-friendly as some inland California cities either.

Tips for Renting in San Diego

If you’re considering a move to San Diego, it’s wise to do thorough research. Several platforms offer insights into the San Diego median rent across various neighborhoods. Additionally, consider consulting local movers to help with the transition. 

They can provide valuable insights and make your move seamless. Lastly, always negotiate. Some landlords might be flexible, especially if you present yourself as a reliable tenant.


San Diego, with its fusion of urban sophistication and beach town charm, remains a sought-after living destination. The average rent in San Diego can be a challenge for some, but the experiences and lifestyle on offer often justify the costs. With the right approach and research, finding your dream spot in this sunny Californian city is entirely possible.

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