Homes for Sale in San Diego County
Stretching over 4,200 sq. mi. over dry desert, high forested mountains, and sundrenched coast in the southwesternmost pocket of Southern California, San Diego County is a land of sheer diversity.
Bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, San Diego County is divided into three distinct regions: North County, where beach culture reigns supreme; East County, the outdoor enthusiast’s expansive playground; and South Bay, where you can almost touch and taste the magic of Baja California. And in this varied landscape lies an exceptional collection of homes for sale. Welcome to one of the most exciting real estate markets in the country. Learn more about San Diego County’s communities here.
Table of Contents
- The Market
- The Lifestyle
- The Essential Guide to San Diego County Neighborhoods
San Diego County real estate is a treasure trove of housing options, ranging from ultra-modern beach condos with five-star amenities and sought-after townhomes to private retreats by the waterfront or up in the Laguna Mountains, covered in California chaparral and oak.
Location plays an extra important role- where you look will influence the selection of homes for sale you can choose from. That said, the majority of homes for sale in San Diego County are located in North County and South Bay; East County, in contrast to its coastal neighbors, is largely undeveloped with few small cities and a rural atmosphere.
Homes for sale in San Diego County have a median listing price of $889,000 or $561 per square foot and a median sold price of $858,100. The seaside San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla is considered the most expensive local market with a median listing price of $2.9 million. On the other end of the spectrum is Spring Valley in East County, where the median listing price is a little over $739,000.
While home prices are expected to mellow out in the near future, San Diego County remains very much a sellers market with a sales-to-price ratio of nearly 101%. Listings take about 41 days on average to sell.
There are 1001 things to do and enjoy in San Diego County whether you’re an art lover, an avid surfer, a constant hiker, a coffee connoisseur, a wellness and fitness enthusiast, a foodie or all of the above. In San Diego County, there are always endless possibilities.
Where to eat
Dija Mara in Oceanside brings Balinese flavors to Southern California, complemented by cutting-edge Japanese cooking techniques and locally sourced ingredients. After your meal, stay for drinks- take your pick of red or white from the only all-natural wine collection in Oceanside.
The Fishery in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood is a household name when it comes to the best seafood, fresh-caught off the West Coast. Sample the bounty of the sea as the season changes with an ever-changing menu from the creative mind of chef Mike Reidy.
Callie at East Village in San Diego is chef Travis Swikard’s first solo venture after training under the watchful eye of the legendary Daniel Boulud in Manhattan. The result? Family-style yet elegant Mediterranean plates featuring local seafood, house-made pasta, and Southern California produce.
Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad ventures on the road less traveled by blending Californian fare with French flavors- that is, international cuisine influenced by the French. We’re talking light and fresh Vietnamese, exciting Caribbean, and underrated African flavors, all of which make Jeune et Jolie highly deserving of its Michelin star.
Fort Oak in San Diego’s very own Mission Hills is centered around a 7,000-pound grill, custom-made according to the strict specifications of chef Brad Wise and his team. Through this piece de resistance, they serve the restaurant’s line-up of incredible wood-fired dishes from dry-aged ribeye to barbecued half duck with harissa.
What to do
Visit the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcalá, the very first of the 21 missions in California established by Father Junipero Serra. Perched on top of a hill, its white stucco walls and Spanish-style roof stand out against the backdrop of San Diego’s perpetually clear blue skies. For practicing Catholics, Mass is held daily.
Spend an entire day at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla. The reserve covers up to 2,000 acres of some of Southern California’s wildest coast- the perfect place to watch migrating seabirds, set up a picnic in a patch of unspoiled beach, and view one of the rarest pine species in the world: the Torrey pine, for which the reserve is named after.
Enjoy a full day at San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park and say hi to its 4,000-strong population of animals. One of its most notable residents is the male giant panda Xiao Liwu, who captivated audiences with videos of him as a baby feeding and playing.
Attempt to ride the waves (or watch the pros do it) at Lower Trestles within San Onofre State Beach. Called “Lowers” for those in the know, this spot produces peeling lefts and rights all-year-round, drawing surfers from all over the world and especially during competition season.
Mick and Tina are the consummate experts on San Diego county real estate. Let them guide you through this exciting market. Connect with them here or give them a call at 760.505.5554 / 858.822.9459 to chat about your real estate plans in San Diego County.
The Essential Guide to San Diego County Neighborhoods
Three distinct regions, eighteen cities, and countless smaller neighborhoods spread across over 4,200 sq. mi. of beautiful, geographically diverse land- where is your ideal place to live in San Diego County?
One of the most important things to do before investing in San Diego County real estate is knowing which market you want to focus on. Below is an essential guide to all of the best neighborhoods in the region.
Vast North County is the largest of San Diego County’s three regions, so much so that it’s divided into two distinct areas: North County Coastal, surf culture capital, and North County Inland, where the landscape dips and rises from valleys to hills. Together, these two regions make up a total population of approximately one million people.
Carlsbad is a romantic, bike-friendly coastal city known for its historic downtown district. It’s also unique in that it straddles both North Coastal and North Inland, blessing the community with a varied topography and lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Homes for sale here have a median listing price of $1.4 million.
Oceanside, north of Carlsbad, features an uninterrupted coastline that stretches for over three miles and the California Surf Museum. Beaches and beach homes are plentiful, with the latter counting for some of the city’s most sought-after real estate. The market has a median listing price of $800,000.
Encinitas puts a sophisticated spin to beach culture in San Diego County with its elegant waterfront estates, some of which are perched on top of scenic bluffs overlooking the Pacific. It’s home to the San Diego Botanical Gardens, giving rise to the distinction as the world’s flower capital. The median listing price in Encinitas is $1.6 million.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a beach neighborhood in Encinitas, with its own downtown core filled to the brim with local shops and dining. Upscale yet laidback, the community is also a surfer’s paradise, with several great waves located in the area such as Swami’s, an internationally renowned point break. Homes here have a median listing price of $2.2 million.
Solana Beach is an idyllic coastal town south of Encinitas, famed for its shopping district where you can find just about anything under the sun. Long stretches of beach punctuated by bluffs abound, and so do a variety of waterfront properties that range from single-family estates to condos. To date, the median listing price in the market is $1.8 million.
Also known as San Diego County’s “backcountry,” the East County region swaps coastal bluffs and sandy beaches with mountains, valleys and, further east, the arid landscape of the Sonoran Desert. With four cities and over ten unincorporated communities spread across this diverse landscape, East County is home to about 471,000 residents.
Julian is a small mountain community up in the Cuyamacas, approximately an hour away from Downtown San Diego. The town is famous for its apple orchards, art galleries, and fantastic outdoor recreation. Real estate prices average at around $577,000.
Lemon Grove is one of East County’s four cities and is considered one of San Diego’s suburbs. Proud of its agricultural roots, the local historic society has preserved some of the city’s Victorian and Tudor Revival homes. The local market is competitive, with homes typically valued at $755,000.
El Cajon is the most populous community in East County with over 100,000 residents. Its close proximity to San Diego, which is a short 20-minute drive away, definitely helps. Mission Trails Regional Park is right next door, providing plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. The average home price in El Cajon is $771,000 to date.
The so-called gateway to Baja California, South Bay is San Diego County’s most culturally diverse region. Beach culture is well and alive here due to its coastal location, and the culinary scene? Simply exciting, home to some of the best Mexican eateries in Southern California. Roughly 500,000 people live in South Bay.
Coronado is one of the shining jewels of San Diego County, a resort-style city chock-full of dining, retail, and entertainment opportunities. For these reasons alone, the city welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Real estate in the “Crown City” is nothing short of spectacular, commanding a median listing price of $2.7 million.
Imperial Beach dubs itself as one of Southern California’s last bastions of authentic beach culture, playing host to a great variety of water activities. San Diego County’s southernmost beach town, several attractions are located here, including the Tijuana Estuary National Park. Imperial Beach real estate is typically valued at around $900,000.
Chula Vista is one of San Diego County’s largest urban centers, boasting a coastal location that gradually extends to the borders of East County. Culturally rich, the city is home to a number of both historic and new landmarks, including the Living Coast Discovery Center. Homes for sale in Chula Vista have an average listing price of $810,000.