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SAN DIEGO-The city continues to boast one of the top-performing multifamily markets in the Western US, as evidenced by recent research on the region.

The report, published by multifamily data specialist RealFacts, points out that the local apartment sector has experienced a considerable rise in occupancy levels during the past three months. The overall occupancy rate increased from 93.8% for the second quarter of this year to 96.5% for the third quarter, according to RealFacts’ research. As a result, RealFacts has given the San Diego MSA an average occupancy ranking of two (out of 25 metropolitan areas in the Western US) for the third quarter of 2003. For the three months prior, the San Diego MSA had been ranked as number six.

The city’s apartment rents have risen in lockstep with the city’s occupancy levels, with RealFacts reporting that the San Diego MSA is one of the leaders when it comes to rental increases in the Western US. The year-over-year average rent has increased 3.3% from $1,134 for the third quarter of 2002 to $1,171 for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2003. As a result, its ranking has crept up from five to four on RealFacts’ list of 25 Western cities and their year-over-year rent changes.

“Southern California markets remain the strongest in the Western region,” says the RealFacts report, although it does point out that “they have lost some of their luster.” However, RealFacts’ researchers do note that “the strong occupancy rates in all of Southern California suggests that more rent growth may be seen in the future.”

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