Anyone not battened down with an exceptionally good-paying job or affordable home ownership should be thinking about fleeing from San Diego. My wife and I talk about doing so every day—not nearly but with certainty every. Rents rocket and home prices are beyond escape velocity.
According to Zillow, the city ranks third nationwide for highest average rents—behind New York and ahead of San Francisco. Yikes! Point2 crunches home prices, and you’ll need binoculars to see how high they are. Among the 30 largest U.S. cities, San Diego ranks fourth for the number of listings above $1 million (58.6 percent). Median home price: $910,000.
In my neighborhood of University Heights, the lowest listing is $1.1 million. But, hey, it’s bargain basement week: The highest is $1.425 million. In a truly privileged market like La Jolla, $1 million will get you a spacious condo with wallet-busting HOA fee. The lowest-priced house is $1.695 million and 16 go for more than $10 million with the bellwether bearer being (gasp) $44 million. Someday soon, they will all cost as much.
Occasionally I see signs about the neighborhood touting the benefits of capitalism: “Rising tide lifts all ships”—the idea being wealth benefits everyone. My twist on the theme: Rising residential rents and home prices raise all costs; trickle down increases are everywhere. Food. Gas. Utilities. Etc. Hence, more people are homeless, for example.
Will the Wilcox family vamoose? I dunno. Our daughter’s recovery is reason to stay. But cost of living bleeding our resources is good reason to go. If you’re headed out of town forever, please send a postcard from your new locale. Maybe we will follow you.