Downtown is the perfect place for you if you want to be near up-and-coming restaurants, nightlife, and the water. It’s your standard city neighborhood, complete with condos for rent and sale and tons of luxury apartment buildings. Rent in this area tends to be much higher than the average apartment or home.

One of the best spots in Downtown is Little Italy. Here you’ll find streets lined with Italian restaurants and dessert shops. Be sure to try out Barbusa, one of the town’s most popular restaurants. For dessert, Salt & Straw is a new ice cream shop complete with vegan options. 

If you’re in downtown, you have to visit Gaslamp Quarter. During the day, visit one of the many highly-rated restaurants and bars. At night, there are plenty of nightclubs and unique speakeasies to check out. One of the most talked about is Noble Experiment, a tiny secret bar where you can tell the bartender what kind of drinks you typically like and they’ll whip something up for you based on your preferences.

Downtown Home Prices

If you're looking to purchase an upscale condo, Downtown San Diego is the spot for you. You won't find many, if any, single family homes in the area. These are the stats as of December 2022. For monthly stats, visit the San Diego Association of Realtors website

Downtown 92101 Single Family Homes: $1,400,000 (year to date average; ) 

Downtown 92101 Condos: $724,000 (year to date average)

Rental Rates in Downtown

You can expect higher rental rates in Downtown. Its proximity to the convention center, the airport, major businesses, and nightlife all make it a desirable location to live for many renters. Condos can start as high as $2,800/month and one bedrooms go for close to $2,200/month.

Sample Deals in Downtown San Diego 

1080 Park Blvd Unit 215 - Full Deal Report 

  • $265,000 purchase price ($60,950 cash needed) 
  • -$534/month cash flow 
  • 2.2% cap rate 
  • -10.5% COC

Smart Corner is a unique two-building HOA that straddles the trolley line. This can be either a big plus for potential renters that commute on it, or a major detractor due to the noise and crowds that gather. East Village is a nice rental neighborhood due to lower prices compared to the westside of downtown and walkability to Petco Park. Even with the $515/month HOA fees, this studio is an attractive long-term investment.

2330 First Ave Unit 113 - Full Deal Report

  • $615,000 purchase price ($141,450 cash needed) 
  • -$1,167/month cash flow 
  • 2.3% cap rate 
  • -9.9% COC

A historical area to the north of downtown proper, Bankers Hill is a sophisticated neighborhood with great dining options. Its close proximity to not only downtown but Balboa Park and Hillcrest makes it very desirable. The biggest drawback is it sits right under the flight path of arriving planes to the airport so they come buzzing overhead every few minutes. The Lodge is a nicely maintained HOA, but having managed in it before, the price-to-rent ratio and high HOA fees make the monthly loss too high for a condo investment.

Pros of Investing in Downtown

Downtown lifestyle is a big attraction for renters and leads to reliable demand. HOA fees generally cover all utilities and capital expenditures. These HOAs usually have nice amenities like rooftop jacuzzis and fitness centers. However, you cannot expect to have positive cash flow due to the price-to-rent ratio and $500+/month HOA fees.

Cons of Investing in Downtown 

Year-round high inventory leads to competitive market so you must price appropriately. Ancillary fees from HOAs, such as elevator reservations for moving furniture, can dissuade renters so it is important to review Rules & Regulations before you purchase. There is a transient tenant base in Downtown, so you'll need to plan for annual turnover and vacancy costs.

Future of Downtown San Diego 

Downtown San Diego typically always has new development projects. Whether it's a new park or a new housing complex, you can expect to see some construction in the area. 

Downtown San Diego Property Management

Good Life Property Management has become experts in Downtown San Diego property management over the last 7 years. As a result, we know how to effectively market and manage your Downtown San Diego home. We find that days on market are average when compared to other areas and vacancy is slightly above average. Downtown San Diego property management can be challenging, but doesn’t have to be with Good Life.

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