Front of a multifamily property, The Parkview 1220, in San Diego

Originally posted by Phillip Molnar | Jan. 4, 2016 discusses the averages of rent in 2015

San Diegans spent $9.4 billion on rent last year, an increase of 3 percent from 2014, said a new study from real estate website Zillow.

But they didn’t spend the most.

Residents of the biggest U.S. city, New York, paid $55.9 billion. It was followed by Los Angeles, $34.5 billion; San Francisco, $16.7 billion; Chicago, $16.5 billion; and Washington, D.C., $14 billion.

The city that spent the least of the 36 cities studied by Zillow was $2.3 billion in Cincinnati.

Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, said pressure from San Diego’s growing workforce and expensive home prices would continue to push rents higher in 2016, likely by 5 percent.

“Although developers will add around 3,000 units of new supply in 2016, I still anticipate that demand will still not be met,” he said Monday. “Because an imbalance will remain in place, it will lead to another year of rental rate growth.”

Although their populations are bigger, Phoenix and San Antonio residents spent less money on rent in 2015 at $7.9 billion and $3.3 billion, respectively.

San Diegans spent $7.6 billion in rent in 2010, which has increased an average of 4.1 percent in the years since then, but those increases have varied widely as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. In 2011, rent went up 1.3 percent; 2012, 3.75 percent; 2013, 4.76 percent; and in 2014, 7.69 percent.

Rent Paid by San Diegans

2010: $7.6 billion
2011: $7.7 billion
2012: $8 billion
2013: $8.4 billion
2014: $9.1 billion
2015: $9.4 billion
Source: Zillow

Meanwhile, local home values have also jumped around. Home values dropped 5.3 percent in 2011 and then increased 6.3 percent in 2012, Zillow said. Values continued to increase in 2013 by 14.2 percent and 5.1 percent in 2014.0

“This reminds us of the large role housing plays in the overall economy,” Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said after releasing the survey last week. “Americans are spending a lot of money on housing, and that will make affordability an important issue next year.”

The average monthly rent in San Diego County is $1,606, according to the latest data from MarketPoint Realty Advisors.

In San Diego, 55 percent of renters are spending a third or more of their income on rent, said a study last year from Apartment List’s Rentonomics blog. More than a quarter of San Diego renters are spending half their income on rent, it said.

This article was originally published in the San Diego Union Tribune and can be found HERE.