Luxury Condos in Downtown San Diego: Real Estate Market Trends

Luxury Condos in Downtown San Diego: Real Estate Market Trends

Downtown San Diego is recognized as being one of the best places in California to live. Blessed with excellent weather, a vibrant city culture, and great employment opportunities, there’s strong demand in the Downtown San Diego real estate market, especially for luxury condos. Here, we’ll not only take a look at the current trends in the Downtown San Diego condo real estate market; we’ll also give you tips on what you can expect as a buyer or seller of condos in the area.
Downtown San Diego Skyline Aerial View
You’ll find a wide range of condos in this vibrant city, including high-rise and penthouse condos, as well as mid-rise loft conversions. The majority of properties in the main downtown San Diego zip code of 92101 are condos. If you’re looking for condos with unique layouts or contemporary designs, you’ll find them in downtown San Diego. Condo units range from cozy studios to opulent luxury condos with a large number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Popular Condo Amenities

The Marina District is part of the prime Downtown San Diego real estate market. It can be found between the Horton Plaza, downtown office towers, and the waterfront. Some noted luxury condo properties in this area can be had in the Meridian, Renaissance, Pinnacle Museum Tower, Park Place, and Harbor Club.
Typically, these luxury condos will include a raft of top-end amenities such as secure entry, underground parking, spas and jacuzzis, swimming pools, meeting facilities, and barbecue areas. Some condos also have clubhouses, golf courses, and tennis courts. Other amenities that you can expect are workout rooms, a valet, door attendants, a concierge, guest suites, and 24-hour security.

Nearby Establishments and Attractions

Condos in the Downtown San Diego real estate market are also in demand because of their location. Luxury condos can be found next to outdoor spaces like the Embarcadero along the waterfront, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade, Seaport Village, the Children’s Museum Park, Pantoja Park, and Petco Park. Spanning over 1,200 acres of museums, gardens, and athletic facilities, Balboa Park is one of San Diego’s outdoor crown jewels.
Downtown San Diego is bike-friendly, as well as great for pedestrians who can take in the city by walking from place to place. It’s easy to get around Downtown San Diego, either by public transport, your own vehicle or just simply walking.
It’s also home to a high-tech hub and many fine-dining restaurants. If you’re looking for a lively nightlife spot, head to the Gaslamp Quarter.
With so much going for it, let’s have a look at how all these perks and benefits affect the condo real estate market in San Diego.
Property sales in the Downtown San Diego real estate market remain hot. In April 2022, Downtown San Diego residential property prices increased by 23.3% compared to the previous year.
As has been the case for some time now, inventory remains low in Downtown San Diego and demand far outstrips supply. While there have been many initiatives and programs set by the government to remedy this issue, we will not see an impact from these developments for a considerable time.
What’s more likely to affect the market is increasing lending rates. But even then, increasing lending rates are likely to only shift the demographic of buyers. First-time homebuyers are likely to find it more difficult to acquire a home in Downtown San Diego, but there will still be much demand from young professionals and retirees who are looking to either buy a second home or relocate from another area.
Though, there may be some cooling of the record-breaking appreciation rates and growth in the Downtown San Diego real estate market, it is predicted that there will still be considerable growth into 2022 and beyond. The best time to invest in the market would be now. This will not only enable buyers to acquire condos at the best price but also maximize the equity they can build on their homes.

What You Get at What Price Range

Condos in Downtown San Diego come with an average price that hovers at around $841.34 per square foot. The median list price for a condo in Downtown San Diego is $850,000, with a typical condo in this area staying on the market for an average of 29 days.
However, as is often the case with the luxury housing market, there is enormous variance between the type of condos available and the price ranges that they fall into. Prices can range from $250,000 for 311-square-foot studios to $9,950,000 for an 8,400-square-foot luxury condo featuring five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Whatever your budget, you’ll be sure to find a condo that meets your needs.
For a one-bedroom condo in downtown San Diego, you’re looking at $250,000 to $539,000 for condos that range from 311 square feet to 839 square feet. For $250,000, you can acquire a cozy south-facing 311-square-foot studio with a king-sized bed in the Gaslamp district. The location is perfect if you want to live in an area with a buzzing nightlife.
You can buy a 919-square-foot two-bedroom condo with two bathrooms in Cortez Hill for $635,000. This condo faces an interior courtyard and is part of a complex with a rooftop deck. The spacious master suite has balcony access and two closets, as well as a remodeled bathroom with slab granite counters. Pet owners will love this condo’s location, as it’s next to a dog park.
Most of the available condos in Downtown San Diego have two bedrooms. If you have more flexibility with your budget, a 1,261-square-foot condo with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in Cortez Hill is listed at $869,000. This condo has floor-to-ceiling windows, a roomy balcony where you can glimpse the Coronado Bridge, and a walk-in closet and laundry room. It also comes with two underground parking spaces.
Naturally, a condo with a higher price tag comes with more features. For $3,980,000, you can buy a 5,050-square-foot penthouse condo in the Horton or Marina district with four bedrooms and four full and one-and-a-half bathrooms. This condo also has a stunning view of San Diego Bay, Coronado, Point Loma, and the Pacific Ocean from its living areas and four terraces. This luxurious condo has a marble-floored entry, African mahogany columns and panels in its living and dining areas, and a 700-bottle walk-in wine vault and gourmet kitchen. The master suite has its own wing consisting of four closets, two bathrooms, and an office.
Despite its opulence, this isn’t the most expensive or luxurious listing. That honor belongs to a $9,950,000, 8,400 square-foot condo with five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. This condo has floor-to-ceiling windows and a gala room that can comfortably seat 50 guests. It also has a home gym that features a floor-to-ceiling climbing wall. The modern decor features exposed steel beams and white marble counters to set off the Indonesian teak floors and spalted birch doors and cabinets. Patrons of the Arts will love this condo’s extensive gallery walls.

Tips on Buying a Luxury Condo in Downtown San Diego

  • Consult a real estate agent — Before investing in housing like a condo, it’s best to consult a real estate agent so that you can discover the best options for you in the Downtown San Diego real estate market. If you’d rather search for condos yourself, narrow down the areas where you’d like to purchase property, then look at real estate websites and listings in these specific areas. Many condo buildings have on-site sales offices where you can look at show units and get a better understanding of the condo complex.
  • Request and read the condominium complex’s rules — Once you’ve consulted an agent and narrowed down your list of condos to specific properties, find out about the condominium’s rules and regulations. You’ll want to know from the onset about regulations such as pet rules or if pets are allowed at all.
  • Ask about HOA fees — You should also ask how much homeowners’ association (HOA) fees are so that you can factor these into your budget. HOA can average to around $500 per month, but they can go beyond $1000 in some of the Downtown San Diego luxury condos.
Don’t hesitate to inquire if there are any other additional fees that you will need to pay.
  • Check for concerning issues — Does the condo you’ve taken an interest in have any financial issues? How large is its reserve fund? How does the condo management respond to owners’ requests and complaints? You’ll want to make sure that the condo that you want to buy is well-run and has no major issues.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage — Before making an offer, you’ll want to make sure that you’re pre-approved for a mortgage. This will distinguish you from other buyers and show that your finances are sufficient for the purchase. The seller is much more likely to be assured and move forward with the selling process.
  • Be open to negotiations — Once you make an offer, negotiations will most likely take place. This is where it’s a real bonus to have a good real estate agent at your side. They are experts who can negotiate on your behalf.
  • Check for contingencies — Before you sign the contract, check to make sure that its contingencies are acceptable. Some sellers have a contingency that they must find a new home first before they move out. Other buyers have a contingency that allows them to opt out of the contract if their mortgage isn’t approved.
  • Hire a trusted inspector — Once the contract has been signed, it’s time to begin the due diligence process. This spans a 17-day period, and it’s when the buyer undertakes the required inspections. If you don’t yet have a trusted home inspector, ask your real estate agent for recommendations.
A good home inspector will check all of the condo’s internal systems, such as the plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system as well as outlets inside the unit.
Inspectors check everything from the plumbing and HVAC within the building to the outlets within the unit. This inspection ensures that you’re not hit with any surprise repair bills a few months into your new condo ownership.
  • Prepare your final documents — If your mortgage has been approved, your lender will give you a clear to close, which means that they have agreed to finance your purchase. You can then pass this on to the seller, along with your proof of homeowner insurance. Once this is done, all you need to do is settle the closing costs and secure the keys to your new condo.

Tips on Selling a Luxury Condo in Downtown San Diego

If you’re looking to sell your downtown San Diego condo, here are some tips that you should keep in mind.
  • Hire a reputable Real Estate Agent — An experienced Real Estate Agent can help you get the best deal for your condo. When looking for real estate agents, don’t hesitate to ask probing questions like how many condos they usually sell in a year and if they have any preferred lenders who can extend financing for prospective buyers. You can also ask for testimonials from their past clients.
  • Be familiar with the market — Before you sell your condo, make sure that you’re familiar with the current Downtown San Diego real estate market. Ask your real estate agent how much other similar condos have sold for and cite these examples to potential buyers.
  • Choose the best time to sell — Your condo will sell faster if you choose the right time. Conventional wisdom says that houses usually sell faster in the spring and summer due to the needs of families, but many condo buyers are newlyweds, retirees, or single, so this rule may not apply. Instead, consult your Real Estate Agent regarding the best time to sell your Downtown San Diego condo.
Many real estate agents believe that the months of April to July are still the best times to sell a condo, with prices increasing by as much as 3% during this season. June is the bestselling month.
  • Clean what’s most noticeable — Make sure that your condo’s most noticeable areas, such as the door, entry, and walls, are clean. These are the first things that buyers notice.
  • Accommodate potential buyers — Don’t be put off if a potential buyer asks to see your condo during an inconvenient time, such as Saturday morning. Prepare yourself for the inconvenience that comes with selling a condo and make sure that your condo is viewed by a number of prospective buyers.

It takes a lot of work to sell your condo, but it doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience. Again, working with top real estate professionals who’ll do most of the work for you, increases your chance of a successful sale, without the headache.

  • Troubleshoot a lack of offers — If your real estate agent isn’t receiving a lot of offers for your condo, make sure to get to the root of the problem immediately. Is the pricing inaccurate, or do you need to market your condo better?
  • Listen to feedback — Prospective buyers will have feedback that you should keep in mind. If buyers say that the living room is dark, for example, you can easily freshen it up with a fresh coat of white paint.
  • Get ready for inspections — Buyer’s inspections are a standard part of the condo-selling process. Before a buyer’s inspection is conducted, make sure to check your condo’s windows, lighting, appliances, and plumbing to ensure that no major issues come up. An inspection that reveals too many issues will turn off potential buyers and further delay your condo’s sale.

Work With a Professional Downtown San Diego Real Estate Agent Today

If you’re looking for a resourceful and dedicated real estate agent, look no further than Cristi Chaquica. A specialist in the Downtown San Diego real estate market, Cristi is eager to share her insight and shed some light on your condo options. A bilingual agent who is fluent in Spanish, Cristi is also extremely skilled in the acquisition and marketing of residential, luxury, and investment properties.
Real estate agent
Chaquica & Associates has been helping real estate buyers in Downtown San Diego for over 25 years. Our team is led by Cristi Chaquica, the top-producing agent in San Diego for total sales volume in 2021 and the recipient of the Dynamic Woman Award 2020.
Get in touch with us at (619) 206-7000 or leave us a message here. We’d love to help you buy or sell your condo in Downtown San Diego.

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