University City, also referred to as UTC, is an area just north of central San Diego. Nicknamed the golden triangle, its primary residences are apartments and condos (and lots of them). Because of the number of businesses and the location of University of California San Diego, the neighborhood is bustling with students, young professionals, and business professionals.

One of the biggest attractions in University City is the UTC mall. Over the last year and a half, the mall has renovated and expanded to almost twice its original size. There are plenty of great dining options, like Din Tai Fung and Javier’s Mexican Food. For something more casual, check out True Food Kitchen and Queenstown Bistro. They also have a wide variety of shopping, from Nordstrom and Jo Malone to Room & Board. Be sure to check out the mall’s first and only speakeasy, Raised by Wolves. By day it’s a specialty liquor store, by night a trendy bar you enter via a rotating wall.

University of California San Diego is also in UTC. It’s one of the top colleges for STEM majors in the country. Just down the road is Illumina, one of the most popular places for those graduating STEM majors to apply to. The company employees a couple thousand people in San Diego.

Home Prices in University City 

These are the stats as of December 2022. For monthly stats, visit the San Diego Association of Realtors website

University City 92122 Single Family Homes: $1,510,000 median home price (year to date) 

University City 92122 Condos: $708,000 median condo price (year to date) 

Rental Rates in University City 

Average rent for a single family home in University City is between $2,800-$3,000. One bedrooms are closer to $1,800-$1,900. University City has a lot of apartment complexes, likely due to its proximity to UCSD. Many of these apartments are upscale, which lends to their higher price point. 


Pros of Investing in University City

There is huge demand from nearby UCSD students from April - September. You will likely lease the property at top-of-market immediately. The large detached homes off of Governor Drive and the close proximity to Sorrento Valley leads to high demand year round from families. The massive trolley project will soon connect UTC mall with beach towns to the south (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach) which will result in a bigger tenant base.

Cons of Investing in University City

If property falls between UCSD commencing (September) and their spring break (March), expect having to concede 10-25% in market rent to find a renter. There is always a lot of competition for 1B/2BA condos in this area. 

Neighborhoods by price University City map

Neighborhoods by Price 

Neighborhoods closest to UTC mall and the schools are higher in price, as evidenced by the darker sections of the map. The lighter sections go down in price as you move closer to Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley. 

Sample Deals in University City

4453 Governor Drive - Full Deal Report

  • $916,000 purchase price ($210,680 cash needed) 
  • -$1,788/month cash flow 
  • 2.2% cap rate 
  • -10.2% COC 

The large pocket of homes on the mesa blossoming around the intersection of Governor Drive and Genesee Avenue were mostly built in the late 60s - late 70s. Many of them have a lot of deferred maintenance but this one was gutted and now has beautiful finishes and upgrades. 5 bedroom homes are not uncommon in this area and rent very quickly to families looking for a central location.

7405 Charmant Drive #2308 - Full Deal Report

  • $438,000 purchase price ($111,090 cash needed) 
  • -$810/month cash flow
  • 2.6% cap rate
  • -8.7% COC

We manage a half dozen units in the Verano community and they always rent quickly due to the desirable location just on the border of La Jolla with easy highway 5 access. The amenities are also resort-style with a pool, gym, sauna, and park!

UTC Property Management

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

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