New apartments in downtown San Diego
Apartment buildings in downtown San Diego’s East Village. Photo by Chris Stone

Residents looking to rent here continue to find it increasingly difficult, if a new report just out is to be believed.

The median U.S. asking rent climbed 7.4% year-over-year to $2,007 in November, the smallest increase in 15 months and the sixth-consecutive month in which annual rent growth slowed. This according to residential real estate website Redfin.

The website reported that rents fell in 14 large U.S. metro areas. But alas, San Diego was not among them.

In fact, the region ranked No. 9 on Redfin’s top-10 list of U.S. metros where rents continued to rise in the face of a slowing national economy. San Diego was tied with Miami and Cincinnati with 9% increases year-over-year.

“Rent growth is likely to continue cooling,” said Redfin Economist Chen Zhao. “Asking rents are already down annually in 14 of the metros Redfin tracks, and we expect declines to become more common in the new year.”

But not here.

Indeed, the median asking rent in San Diego was an eye-popping $3,334 as of November. 

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Despite rising asking rents here in San Diego, there is better news on the overall inflation front.

Year-over-year inflation averaged 7.1% nationwide in November, but was only 6.7% in San Diego, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

That’s the third lowest among 23 metros studied by the site. Leading the list was Phoenix at 12,1%,

Redfin’s report, titled “Cities Where Inflation is Rising the Most,” shows inflation moderately rising in most places, including our region.

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San Diego drug testing company Millennium Health said that illicit fentanyl use in Arizona increased 261%, which is based on patient samples tests conducted during the first half of 2022 compared to 2019.

The company said it hopes its analysis in Arizona will help raise community awareness about the dangers of the drug.

According to the CDC, Arizona overdose deaths increased over 43% between 2019 and 2021 compared to a 51% increase nationwide.

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San Diego’s RICK Engineering said it has added two vice presidents to its senior management: HR executive Alicia Wadsworth has joined the firm as vice president of human resources, while veteran finance executive Eric Samuelson has been appointed vice president of finance.

Previously, Wadsworth was the vice president of human resources for Plaza Home Mortgage. Samuelson was corporate controller at TrendSource

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Sycuan Casino Resort recently donated more than $187,000 — a record — to 28 different nonprofits in the region. The money was awarded after each member of the tribal council and leadership team selected a nonprofit to support on behalf of the organization.

For a list of nonprofits receiving awards from the resort, head on over to the resort’s website. The donations were announced during an annual holiday dinner for the groups.

Since the program was launched 16 years ago, Sycuan has supported hundreds of diverse nonprofit organizations ranging from social and health services to the arts and the environment, according to a news release.

A rendering of the new athletic facilities at Palomar College. Courtesy HMC Architects

In case you missed it… Escondido-based commercial builder Erickson-Hall Construction has broken ground on Palomar College’s new football stadium and softball fields.

The $22.8 million project at the school’s San Marco campus was designed by HMC Architects and funded by the $694 million Proposition M, which was passed by the voters in 2006.

Construction on the football and softball fields is expected to be complete in October 2023.

Palomar has not hosted a football game on campus since the program began in 1947. Once the facility is complete, the first home football game in 76 years will be played on campus. 

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North Island Credit Union has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, donating more than 100 toys and gifts as part of its Holiday Life Changers program. The credit union’s employee volunteers helped wrap and organize gifts for Club members and their families.

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San Diego hemp-based alternative meat maker Planet Based Foods said Oregon grocer Market of Choice, will feature its products at its 11 store locations.

Currently, the chain will sell the company’s Southwest Burger, a hemp seed, brown rice and pea protein burger “with a kick.”  The company’s Original Burger will be available next month along with taquitos, which are made from hemp in a vegan and gluten-free corn tortilla.

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San Diego energy company Sempra has been recognized by Newsweek  as one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies.” Sempra has now won the honor for the fourth year in a row. 

The final list recognizes the top 500 most responsible companies in the United States, spanning 14 industries. Find out more on the magazine’s website

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Easy Ice, which provides commercial ice-making machines on a monthly subscription basis, has acquired 85-year-old Cube Aire Refrigeration here in San Diego.

Easy Ice, with headquarters in Phoenix and Minneapolis, says that the acquisition has increased the number of machines under management to more than 30,000 in 47 states.

And the local acquisition closes out a successful 2022, during which the company expanded significantly.

“We are extremely excited to grow our presence in Southern California, a place 24 million people call home,” said Easy Ice executive Darren Boruff.

According to the company’s website, Cube Aire was a provider of ice maker service, repairs, and sales to restaurants, hotels, and other businesses interested in having a commercial ice machine.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected].


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Ellen Bullock