Some good news for San Diego apartment hunters - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Some good news for San Diego apartment hunters

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego apartment rental prices continue to go up, up, up with the average price of a two bedroom apartment now around $2,200. But, there may be some good news on the horizon.

The biggest rate increases have been seen in studio and one bedroom apartments, according to the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA).

“It’s no secret that we have a housing affordability issue in our region,” said Molly Kirkland, SDCAA spokesperson.

The average rent for a one bedroom in San Diego is now more than $1,500.

“What we've seen is the middle class kind of being squeezed and so they're opting to live in some of the more affordable apartment units, making it that much harder on the lower income folks,” said Kirkland.

The good news is vacancy rates are starting to creep up in San Diego County, mainly in the North County, Chula Vista and East County, Kirkland said.

More vacant apartments across the county means tenants have an easier time finding a place to live.

However, in the city of San Diego, the rental market is a bit tougher because a lot of people want to be centrally located. That leads to lower vacancy rates of about 3 percent citywide.

Devin O'Brien works a Zumper.com, one of the largest rental web sites nationwide.

“All the new stock coming to market tends to be higher end,” said O’Brien. “We’ve seen pretty much most of California go crazy.”

O’Brien knows California rental rates can’t go up forever. In fact, in Zumper’s latest rental survey in January, two bedroom apartment rates started to flatten out.

“I see this year going up still, not as rapidly as last year, so instead of 4 to 5 percent, I expect a 2 to 3 percent,” he said.

Experts say if you're having trouble finding an apartment you may need to work on your rental application.

Check your credit score, list references from past rentals, and dress to impress when meeting a landlord for the first time.

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