Downtown San Diego real estate is uniquely focused on condos. The last several decades of development and investment downtown has led to a magnetic downtown for both residents and visitors alike. The bustling nightlife of the Gaslamp Quarter, games at Petco Park, fine dining, redevelopment of the waterfront, and a new high tech hub all make Downtown San Diego real estate more appealing than ever. Downtown is a San Diego neighborhood that continues to evolve and improve. Whether you are buying or selling a condo downtown, this article will cover key metrics needed for clear insight into downtown San Diego real estate market conditions. All the graphs that follow are updated daily to deliver the most timely market information to you.
Much of San Diego is mix of single family, detached homes, as well as condos and townhomes. In most suburban San Diego neighborhoods, that mix tends to be far more single family homes, and a much smaller percentage of “attached” properties. Downtown San Diego real estate is the opposite. Almost all homes in the primary downtown San Diego zip code of 92101 are condos.
Another unique aspect of real estate in downtown San Diego is the prevalence of HOA fees (Homeowners Association fees). If you are a buyer, they are important to factor into your budget (and loan pre-approval). HOA fees downtown are frequently over $500/month, and they can exceed $1000/month in several of the more luxury-oriented buildings downtown. Please read on as I detail home prices, and some of the supply and demand stats that define the real estate market downtown.
Downtown San Diego Real Estate Prices
One key statistic for downtown San Diego is actual pricing, in other words, what San Diego downtown condos sell for. For buyers, information on average and median sales prices can provide a rough gauge on how far their money will go downtown vs San Diego home prices in other neighborhoods. For sellers, the average price per square foot can also provide a rough range on what a seller might expect to sell for.
Ideally, sellers will want a detailed comparative market analysis by an experienced downtown San Diego real estate agent. That analysis should look at units most comparable to yours, vs the more general statistics seen below. The average and median price along with price per square foot information is combined for all property types, however, most of the data reflects condos since there are relatively few detached single family homes downtown.
Downtown San Diego (92101 zip code) – Average Home Price
Downtown – Median Home Price
Downtown – Average Price Per Square Foot
Downtown San Diego Real Estate – Home Supply
Downtown has a unique home supply in that the supply can vary significantly based on the level of development. When a number of new buildings go in, overall supply can have a quick spike. When there is little immediate development hitting the market (eg. around 2020-2021), supply can be relatively stable.
One key component of determining the type of market we are currently seeing in Downtown San Diego real estate is the overall level of supply. Taking a look at both the number of active listings along with the inventory (measured in months) provides insight into the type of market we are experiencing in downtown San Diego.
The months of inventory charted here is also known as the absorption rate. It is defined as: “Active Listings at the end of a given month, divided by the average monthly Closed Sales for the last 12 months.” In other words, if there were no new listings, the inventory level would describe how many months it would take for existing demand to purchase all the remaining listings.
Although the number varies, some economists will use a six month threshold for evaluating housing supply. Less than six months of inventory is viewed as a seller’s market. Anything longer than six months is seen as a buyer’s market. For some context, the last 20 years has had significant variation in inventory levels downtown. We have seen inventory spike to over 12 months during the great recession, and dip to lows closer to 4 months in 2017 and early 2021. With this six month threshold equating to a “healthy” mix of buyers and sellers, downtown spent years in both buyers and sellers market territory.
Downtown San Diego – Number of Active Listing
Downtown San Diego – Inventory
Downtown San Diego Real Estate – Market Time and Pending Sales
The time San Diego condos spend on market tends to go down when inventory is low. When you combine low inventory with higher demand, shorter market times can result. In times of higher inventory and/or reduced demand, market times tend to increase. The Active Market time you see in the graph below is defined as the median number of days between when a property is listed downtown and when an offer is accepted in a given month. Market times throughout most years downtown have been relatively short, generally well below 2 months.
Downtown San Diego – Median Active Market Time
Many real estate stats focus on closed sales. These are the same numbers that an appraiser would use to attempt to determine actual market values. However, closed sales are a glimpse into the recent past. That limitation can be misleading, particularly in a market where prices are rapidly rising. Pending sales, as shown here, are simply a count of the properties on which contracts have been accepted in a given month. These pending sales can sometimes provide insight into what direction the market is headed next.
Downtown San Diego Real Estate – Pending Sales
This article on Downtown San Diego is part of a series focusing on statistics and data from specific San Diego neighborhoods. If you would like to review more general market information, please visit my article on the broader San Diego real estate market. I am also happy to provide more insights into your specific San Diego neighborhood’s real estate market upon request.
If you or someone you know might be buying or selling real estate in San Diego, regardless of location or price point, please let me know. I can also assist in connecting buyers and sellers outside San Diego with outstanding Sotheby’s International Realty agents via our 1000+ offices in over 75 countries. For a sense of the level of service I provide, please take a moment to read some of my recent client reviews. Please don’t hesitate to call, text, chat or email me with any real estate questions or to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
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