Rents Increased More Than 12% in San Diego

Rents in the Chula Vista/Bonita area and other portions of southern San Diego County increased an average of 12.15% in the past year, according to a recently completed survey.

One hundred of 110 apartment owners representing projects with between nine and 352 rental units were interviewed by Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services in San Diego, for a total of 8,414 units.

The study found an 8.1% rent increase in an eight-month period, which projected to 12.15% on an annual basis. (The survey was to have been completed in January but the volume of brokerage business delayed it.) The last previous survey, in July, 1984, found a 5.6% increase for six months, or 11.2% for a year.

Exceptional Return

Coldwell Banker staff members noted that South Bay rent increases averaged about 12% a year and added, "Many landlords historically anticipate a 5% annual climb in rents, so 12% represents an exceptional return on their investments."

The South Bay has a less-than-3% vacancy rate, the survey found. Monthly rents averaged $402 a month for one-bedroom apartments, $488 for two bedrooms and one bath, $534 for two bedrooms and two baths, and $614 for three bedrooms and two baths.

The Coldwell Banker staff members saw a danger in the Chula Vista School District's raising of fees imposed on developers from about $100 a dwelling to $1,690. A similar proposal by the Sweetwater High School District, due to take effect July 1, would raise fees from $750 per dwelling unit to $3,700.

"The sudden and incredible increases--in excess of 560%--will increase the cost per apartment unit by at least $5,290," they said, "and will halt many projects already planned in the South Bay area, adding to an already critical housing shortage in San Diego County."

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