San Diego Neighborhoods Where Rent is Increasing the Most

San Diego offers year-round sunshine, rich culture and a laid back attitude, along with the ability to surf and snowboard in the same day, making it a popular place to live. However, those perks come with high prices, as rent in the city continues to skyrocket.

We’ve calculated the five neighborhoods that have seen the steepest rent increases over the past year so you can find the neighborhoods where you get the most bang for your buck.

5. Loma Portal

Loma Portal

  • Price increase over the past year: 4.55 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Loma Portal: $1,960
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Diego: $2,341

Loma Portal is located in the southwestern portion of the city, close to San Diego International Airport and Liberty Station. Once a Naval training center and barracks, this development has been built up with restaurants, art spaces, a movie theater and more, offering some of the best dining and entertainment options in the city. All of this is likely contributing to the up-and-coming nature — and prices — of the area.

4. Point Loma Heights

Point Loma Heights

  • Price increase over the past year: 5.27 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Point Loma Heights: $1,849
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Diego: $2,341

Point Loma Heights is situated directly next to Loma Portal, with some parts of the neighborhood just blocks from the beach. The southern part of the neighborhood is walking distance to Sunset Cliffs, where San Diegans enjoy some of the most gorgeous views of the coast in the whole city.

The northeast portion of Point Loma runs along the I-8 freeway, as well as a shopping center with some once-unsavory businesses. Recently, the area is clearing away the riff-raff and building more apartment developments to make the most of this beach-adjacent neighborhood, hence the rising cost of living.

3. Morena


  • Price increase over the past year: 6.05 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Morena: $2,279
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Diego: $2,341

Morena is a tiny neighborhood, sandwiched between Bay Park and Mission Hills. This unassuming neighborhood has a great location, with easy access to the I-5 highway and nearby Mission Bay, Fiesta Island and Sea World. This close access to so many desirable areas of San Diego could explain the increases we’ve seen.

At the Northeast corner of Morena is the University of San Diego, a small, private Catholic school. If you want to go for a walk, the campus offers stunning views of the bay.

There’s also Tecolote Canyon Natural Park in the north part of the neighborhood, offering hiking and running trails in a tranquil setting. All things considered, the location and proximity of this neighborhood make it ripe for rent increases.

2. San Carlos

San Carlos

  • Price increase over the past year: 6.46 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Carlos: $1,746
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Diego: $2,341

San Carlos is a smaller community, located next to Mission Trails Regional Park. This neighborhood is nearly bordering East County, but still only 20 minutes from downtown. That slight distance from the city center gives you more of an open and rural feel, without sacrificing a long commute, which can contribute to rising rents.

Not to mention, San Carlos is close to both Lake Murray and Mission Trails, making it easy for enjoying the San Diego sunshine on the trail. San Diego State University is also just down the road, which can cause an overspill of student renters, as well.

1. Serra Mesa

Serra Mesa

  • Price increase over the past year: 11.02 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Serra Mesa: $2,097
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in San Diego: $2,341

Serra Mesa is a neighborhood in the heart of San Diego, nestled in between four major highways, which makes it conveniently located for getting anywhere. Living here means a short 15-minute drive to the water (either Mission Bay or Ocean Beach) or downtown.

While this area is close to the nearby action of North Park, the trendy neighborhood to its south, Serra Mesa is also family-friendly. You’ll also find that you’re close to shopping centers, malls, hospitals, and schools.

Serra Mesa also borders on the newer community of Civita, which is an increasingly popular area with brand new apartments, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. This may be a potential factor for the increasing rent prices seen this past year.


We looked at all neighborhoods in San Diego with sufficient available inventory on Apartment Guide and and compared the average price from March 2018 to March 2019 to find the neighborhoods with the highest percentage increase in one-bedroom apartment prices.

The current rent information included in this article is based on March 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on and and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Header Photo by Andrew Stickelman on Unsplash
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Jessica ThiefelsJessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting and has been writing for more than 10 years. She's been featured in top publications like Forbes and has contributed to Lifehack, Reader's Digest, AARP and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.

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