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San Diego Real Estate Investment: Should You Invest or Not?

Should you consider San Diego real estate investment? Many real estate investors have asked themselves if buying an investment property in San Diego is a good investment? You need to drill deeper into local trends if you want to know what the market holds for real estate investors and buyers in 2021 or 2022. Although this article alone is not a comprehensive source to make a final investment decision for San Diego, Nathan and his team of real estate professionals can help you analyze potential investment properties in a one-on-one consultation to ensure you make the right decision. Click here to schedule your one-on-one consultation today.



Let’s look at the state of the San Diego real estate market and the factors driving the property market short and long term. Affordability has become an issue for many homebuyers in the San Diego area. This is another housing market trend that is affecting many major cities across the country but particularly in the western coastal markets. How big is San Deigo's housing market? San Diego is a moderately walkable city in San Diego County with a population of approximately 1,305,700 people.


It is the second biggest California city and one of the ten biggest cities in the country. San Diego is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S, and its economy is strong. San Diego is often overlooked in favor of hotter real estate markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, that’s one of the reasons why you should consider investing in the San Diego real estate market. The city of San Diego continues to outpace California's job recovery, which is good news for San Diego’s housing industry.


The San Diego metropolitan area is known as the birthplace of naval aviation, serving as a major employment center in the nation for defense and in the Southern California region for scientific research, health care, education, trade, and tourism. The significant military presence supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, pays billions of dollars in wages, and has an overall annual economic impact on the San Diego metropolitan area of billions of dollars.


San Diego's housing market remains one of the hottest in the nation (ranked 10th by Zillow). Since home building takes time especially in a heavily regulated environment, there’s little chance of diminished demand. San Diego has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the country for many years. During the 20 years from 1998 to 2018, the median home value in San Diego rose by a whopping 217%. But the median household income only rose by around 77% during that same 20-year time frame.


San Diego has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. As per Neigborhoodscout.com, a real estate data provider, one and two-bedroom single-family detached are the most common housing units in San Diego. Other housing types prevalent in San Diego include large apartment complexes, duplexes, rowhouses, and homes converted to apartments.

There were 4,100 single-family homes and 6,400 multi-family homes built in 2017, compared to 2,200 single-family homes and 7,800 multi-family units in 2016. Today, the general trend for SFR construction in San Diego County is still far below the 2002-2004 numbers. The next peak in single-family residential construction will likely begin around 2021, but it is doubtful to return to the frenzied mortgage-driven numbers seen during the Millennium Boom.


The San Diego Housing Market Is a Relative Bargain


California is known for its insane real estate prices. San Diego stands out as a relatively affordable real estate market. The median home price is around $550,000. This sounds bad if you compare it to the national average of $300,000, but it is a bargain in California. You could snap up several San Diego rental properties for the price of one home in San Francisco.


The San Diego housing market is cooling. Home price appreciation fell below 5%, and home prices in some areas are declining due to decreasing demand. This is an improvement over the 6 to 8% appreciation San Diego had been seeing. The expanding inventory of houses on the market makes this a great time to invest in the San Diego housing market.

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