Emerging Southern California Real Estate Trends To Watch

Downtown San Diego

Southern California, and San Diego County in particular, has evolved into one of the most exciting U.S. real estate markets in the new up-cycle. San Diego County has been described as one of the healthiest housing markets in the country, but also one of the more expensive. Some keen real estate monitors might be tuned into some of the following SoCal trends, but many may be shocked at some of the trends that are taking place:

Affordable Housing

San Diego certainly has its fair share of pricey property. This slice of sunny California’s new property price tag is effectively a product of previous affordability, which has drawn businesses and professionals from more expensive parts of California, as well as more second home owners and both domestic and international investors. To head off a crisis in affordable housing, new talks are happening with plans for new funds, taxes, and credits to keep more affordable housing. While there are still very affordable parts of the county, there is also much that could be done to keep housing more affordable as whole.


The woes of dealing with Home Owners Associations is now a staple in the weekly news. They are inefficient, poorly managed, and so easily tainted by a couple bad board members. Unfortunately, like so many other issues, this appears to be one that may have to get a little worse before it implodes and things start to get better. This could be that year, but maybe not.


The Union Tribune has consistently reported that area foreclosures and distressed property sales are declining. But what if that wasn’t true?

Comparing the UT’s statistics with RealtyTrac’s; the latter reports that San Diego County foreclosure auctions rose over 30% year-over-year to January 2015. During this period, RealtyTrac also says bank owned REOs have risen over 37%, with REOs spiking 87.4% from December 2014 to January 2015 alone. Perhaps most notably, this data shows at least 5 San Diego cities with foreclosure rates that are 3 to 5 times higher than the national average, with some still as high as 1 in every 170 housing units.

Foreign Investment

International investment analysts are forecasting another strong year for global investment capital coming to North America. These billions, along with the rising riches of the wealthy and hundreds of new billionaires added to the 2015 Forbes list, suggest we could see a new record year for investment in San Diego.

Using the Law to Block Development

One of the most notable and potentially disruptive trends we’re likely to see more of in 2015 is the law being used to block property development. This may range from interfering with water flow and use issues, to noise pollution. This may not be noticeable for the average family or single-family home in the suburbs, but could certainly be a nuisance for some owners of prime land, even if it is for good intentions.