OCEANSIDE — It’s no surprise that rent in California and particularly San Diego County is expensive, especially for cities with beaches. Though many still find Oceanside’s cost to be pricey, it remains on the more affordable side when compared to the other coastal cities.
According to a recent report from Zumper, an online apartment search platform, Oceanside is the eighth most expensive place to live in San Diego County in October. On average, it costs approximately $1,620 per month to rent a single-bedroom apartment in Oceanside.
The Zumper report looked at 12 cities in San Diego County and ranked them in order of how expensive their rent prices are. The most expensive was Coronado with a rent average of $2,900 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Oceanside’s neighbor Carlsbad was the second most expensive at $1,970 per month, and Vista was sixth at $1,680 per month.
The California one-bedroom median price was $1,811 last month.
Oceanside City Councilman Chris Rodriguez pointed out that if the word “expensive” were replaced with “cheapest,” the city’s affordability would stand out a little more for potential renters.
“We can look at this from a glass half empty or full standpoint,” he said.
According to the report, the price of one-bedroom units in Oceanside actually fell 4.7% to $1,620, while two bedrooms grew 3.1% to $1,970.
According to Crystal Chen, a writer for Zumper who put together the report, rent prices in Oceanside have been trending upward over the last couple years.
“This continued price growth shows that there is a significant demand that is present in this city, but it is not met with enough available supply,” Chen said via email.
Rodriguez, who owns his own real estate business, agreed.
“There is a total lack of supply,” Rodriguez said. “We need way more housing than what we have.”
According to Rodriguez, it comes down to supply and demand and too much taxation from the state that contributes to Oceanside’s lack of housing and why California is becoming less and less affordable place to live.
Though on the cheaper side, Oceanside still has many of the amenities that the other, more expensive coastal cities have save for the rent cost.
“We have all these amenities and quality of life things that other cities don’t, like proximity to freeways, the transit center, the beaches,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez feels the rent price is fair given all of Oceanside’s amenities, though he noted it could come down. Before that can happen though, he said, the city needs more housing units first.
According to Chen, it is difficult to build new stock in Oceanside, which she called a “fairly small city” at about 42 square miles.
“I don’t see demand decreasing anytime soon, especially with the popularity of short-term rentals in this city which removes housing stock from the already tight supply,” Chen said. “Rent prices will most likely remain growing.”
Short-term rentals have been a point of contention for Oceanside residents for some time. One of the arguments against them is the amount of housing they remove from the city’s supply.
Rodriguez, a strong advocate for private property rights and supports residents using their properties for short-term rentals if they choose, noted that most of the properties used as short-term rentals are west of Interstate 5 — an already expensive area to live in.
He also pointed out that short-term rentals have been a staple in the city for quite some time, and the city budget receives almost $3 million per year from taxes on short-term rentals.
“Our budget would go negative if we did not have short-term rentals,” Rodriguez said.
The city’s recent regulations put in place on short-term rentals should help alleviate some residents’ woes about them, he added.
Other cities included in the report were Encinitas, ranked at third most expensive; San Diego, ranked at fourth; San Marcos in fifth and Escondido in 11th place, making it the second cheapest city to live in the county.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son