The multifamily market in San Diego: Here’s what’s happening!

Posted on:
August 24, 2022

Living in San Diego is expensive, and everyone finds it depressing to hear about inflation and economic downturns. San Diego's economy depends heavily on the housing sector, and some people are concerned about what the future may contain. We are investigating what the present can tell us about the future while gazing into our crystal ball!

The pipeline for new apartment construction in San Diego has not kept up with demand for the previous few years, especially in highly desirable areas like North Park. The restricted amount of new construction is primarily a result of the lack of available land for new development. However, apartment investment has ferociously resumed, demonstrating investor confidence in the niche. If this continuously expanding bull market has caught your attention, here are some recent developments to look out for!

  1. Mergers, Acquisitions and Everything In Between
  2. An upgraded affordable community, thanks to PEF
  3. Titan Developer’s Remarkable Entry in San Diego
  4. MG Properties Acquires Two Sacramento Communities
  5. Developments On Our Radar
  6. CEDARst Cos. JV saving the underserved community
  7. Champion Real Estate Co. Championing student housing
  8. Toll Brothers Apartment Living
  9. San Diego’s Performance at a Glance

1. Mergers, Acquisitions and everything in between

An upgraded affordable community, thanks to PEF

With San Diego metro’s economy improving and unemployment decreasing to 3.4 percent, the preservation equity fund, PEF Advisor has acquired the 144-unit Lexington Green in El Cajon. Western Community Housing bought the 18-building complex for $17.8 million from WNC & Associates, and used LIHTC and bond financing to restore the 1970-era structure in a community offering bustling several dining, retail and entertainment options are also available within a 1-mile radius.  

The soon-to-be revamped building is a stabilized project aimed at middle-income families between 50% and 60% of the median income in the region. A major step towards shaking up the region’s demographic!

Titan Developer’s Remarkable Entry in San Diego

Titan Development, Malick Infill Development, and Thornburg Real Estate Ventures have set out to build a 94-unit boutique apartment complex in San Diego. Titan's entry into the market is symbolized by the project.

The 53,805-square-foot building situated in North Park really wins in the location department with tennis courts, soccer fields, a softball field, basketball courts, and picnic areas for locals and other members of the community. The neighborhood is accessible to eateries, pubs, breweries, farmers' markets, and coffee shops.

MG Properties Acquires Two Sacramento Communities

A Private San Diego-based real estate investor and operator, MG Properties is further expanding its Sacramento presence, with the acquisition of Eleanor and H16 Midtown Apartments. The two newly combined communities are located along the 16th street corridor in the Midtown submarket of Sacramento. Commenting on this great addition to their portfolio Jeff Gleiberman, President of MG Properties believes that "Both Eleanor and H16 allow us to further scale our regional portfolio while investing in a submarket that we believe has substantial growth potential."  

Each neighbourhood features a lovely contemporary design, where homeowners enjoy a full complement of amenities in the common areas and have easy access to a wide range of nearby food and entertainment options.

2. Developments On Our Radar

CEDARst Cos. JV saving the underserved community

CEDARst Cos., together with equity partner Bridge Investment Group, plans to break ground with a 190-unit community in San Diego. Aided by a $43.5 million construction loan from BMO Harris Bank, the $74.4 million project will be up and running in 2024. The development site really secured an optimum location. Bordering North Park, Hillcrest, and University Heights, along with a Sprouts Farmers Market just a stone's throw away and within one mile of a wide variety of restaurants.  

By investing funds into developing a sustainable neighborhood, the joint venture focuses on transit-oriented multifamily developments with the goal of reviving underrepresented communities in Opportunity Zone markets.  

With the level of investment and attention this project has gotten, it has made decision makers of the industry rethink their approach towards making a name in the industry not only by focusing on profit but also a well thought out CSR.

Champion Real Estate Co. Championing student housing

With the increasing San Diego student population, life science and technology firms have expanded into the area bustling with a STEM labor demand. While other multifamily companies may still be speculating over student housing, Champion Real Estate Co. took a golden opportunity of transforming the region's living experience for students.

Champion Real Estate Co. has acquired a former fraternity house adjacent to San Diego State University for $12.7 million. As the company ventures into its first student housing property in San Diego, it is ready to be the talk of the town with 226 beds, a study and recreation center, roof decks, a pool and additional amenities.

Champion aims to “continue to look for more opportunities to convert aged student housing properties at other Tier 1 universities providing a premium in-unit living experience at a discount to newer Class A properties”

Toll Brothers Apartment Living

Toll Brother’s new flagship multifamily development, Toll Brothers Apartment Living has clearly knocked it out the park with its prime location and several unique selling points.

The 37-story apartment high-rise will be one of the largest multifamily projects ever developed by the firm and will include over 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 222 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and an abundance of amenities.

While promising its completion in late 2024, Charles Elliott, president of Toll Brothers Apartment Living shared the driving force behind the project, that is “to embody a new standard of luxury development in the city”.  

3. San Diego’s Performance at a Glance

San Diego's multifamily fundamentals kept becoming stronger with asking rents pushed higher and the vacancy rate tightened and nearly 5,900 units are currently under construction.

  • Occupancy improved over the past 12 months with rent growth sitting at 20.8 percent, outpacing both the national average and the local economies of Orange County, the Inland Empire, and Los Angeles.
  • Asking rents increased by 2.2 percent to $2,275 per month.  
  • The vacancy rate dropped 30 basis points in the first quarter, ending the period at 4 percent.
  • New completions are likely to be higher in 2022 than 2021, modeling a 13% increase.
  • Median sales price thus far in 2022 rose to $357,000 per unit

Rented Apartments Estimate August 2022

Analysts predict that this rent growth will eventually come to an end as quality spaces become unaffordable. As a result, industry leaders are narrowing their focus and avoiding cities where rents are already high or planning to bring forward sustainable and convenient projects to the forefront.

Amidst these developments and the constant chasing of higher ROIs, the tech race in the multifamily space is worth mentioning.

The backdrop for technology for the last several years has been the “duopoly” of major property management platforms but even then, Leasing Tech is unsurprisingly still the top priority for the movers and shakers of the multifamily. 57% of multifamily companies are actively working towards optimizing their lead-to-lease cycle with the help of AI. New and improved platforms like LetHub are shortening the lead to lease cycle by half and reinventing an easier and more user-friendly interface than its competitors. Let's help you climb the top of this bull market!

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