The Trends: San Diego Capital Markets series tracks property sales activity and cap rates for the San Diego region. The report includes local cap rates and sales by buyer and product type. This issue includes data for the first half of 2019 (H1 2019), updated last in August 2019.

The content is based on transaction data from Real Capital Analytics and cap rate survey data from CBRE Research. Transaction data includes closed sales over $5 million and does not include entity-level transactions.


  • Total sales volume in H1 was down compared to the previous half, but on average during this economic cycle, 60% of annual sales volume occurred in the second half of the year. For every product type, sales volumes were higher than H1 2018, and trailing-12 sales volume overall was the highest on record, going back to 2013. Demand for investment properties in San Diego has driven prices per sq. ft./unit to historic levels. If the historic trend of second half sales exceeding the first half continues, the year should close as one of the busiest in this cycle.
  • Four buyers accounted for more than one billion dollars in sales H1 2019. American Assets Trust led with their $500M+ acquisition of La Jolla Commons that includes two buildings and an entitled development site. R&V Management Corp was active in acquiring multifamily product with the purchase of recently-built Mission Gorge East and The Millennium Mission Valley for a total of $289 million. Raintree Partners was also active in multifamily with their $141 million purchase of Regents La Jolla Phase I and II, and Merlone Geier topped retail transactions with their $150 million acquisition of Clairemont Town Square.
  • There is likely to be plenty of capital chasing deals in the market as interest rates stay low for borrowers, but overall sales volume will depend on the number of sizable opportunities that hit the market. High-profile opportunities are likely to come from San Diego’s centralized suburban submarkets while stabilized assets in secondary suburban submarkets across the county are expected to trade hands.