Feb 7, 2024 - News

San Diego's low home vacancy rates explained

Data: Census Bureau; Note: Only includes vacant housing units that are for sale; Chart: Axios Visuals

San Diego metro area home vacancies are near all-time lows, per the latest quarterly census data.

Why it matters: The percentage of vacant homes is one way to gauge the tightness of the housing market, Axios' Matt Phillips writes. And San Diego's housing market is extremely tight.

By the numbers: San Diego homeowner vacancies in the second quarter of 2023 reached 0.3%, close to the lowest on record.

  • In the final two quarters of last year, they slipped below 0.05%, the lowest percentage according to census reports.
  • Nationally, home vacancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2023 were 0.9%.

Big picture: That low inventory is enticing U.S. homebuilders to ramp up new construction, Axios' Nathan Bomey reports.

Zoom in: Mayor Todd Gloria, in his state-of-the-city speech last month, said preliminary data suggested developers pulled permits for 8,000 new homes last year.

  • If that total holds, it would be the city's largest since 1990, per HUD data.

Yes, but: That number is far short of the roughly 13,000 homes the city said it needed to build every year from 2021 through 2029 to meet demand.

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