The San Diego market is among the top cities for renter satisfaction in Southern California. According to a new survey from Apartment List, San Diego scores an A- for renter satisfaction, with top scores in almost every category. The high scores for the market will likely translate to strong multifamily activity and less renter attrition in the long-term. San Diego’s score is a standout in Southern California, where Los Angeles received the a C+ in the same survey and Orange County markets like Santa Ana and Anaheim received a D and C in the survey.

“It is definitely a strong sign for the market that people want to live there. If the city is getting high scores like these, it will attract new renters to the area, and it also indicate that people are likely to stay even if there are increases in rents,” Sydney Bennet, senior research associate at Apartment List, tells “Affordability is really the main area where renters are unhappy, but if you like everything else about the area, you are more likely to put up with higher rents in exchange for the weather, social scene and everything else in the area.”

The highest ranked categories, all receiving an A grade, include safety and crime, recreational activities and weather, while quality of schools and social life received a B grade. The city of San Diego is already starting to see the impact of strong renter satisfaction. The renter pool is growing and apartment development activity increased more than any other Southern California market. “San Diego has always performed well, but people are starting to rent longer in the market. There is also a larger renter pool than there once was,” says Bennet. “San Diego had the biggest increase multifamily construction in Southern California, so you are seeing a big increase in renting. That is really because home prices are so high, and people that might have purchased homes before are still renting. There are a lot of renters with kids that are really happy that San Diego has pretty good schools and other features than younger renters do.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

More from this author



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.