San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q2 2022

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q2 2022 economic data:

San Diego’s Quarterly Economic Snapshot – Q2 2022 from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

Key Findings from Q2 2022:

  1. VENTURE CAPITAL: VC picked up speed in Q2, nearly doubling Q1 totals. The most significant increase was in San Diego’s Life Sciences sector, which jumped from $627 million to $1 billion. La Jolla-based National Resilience’s $625 million raise for biomanufacturing medicines was the largest among all sectors in Q2. Tech companies drew $593 million while Consumer companies pulled $211 million in funding.
  2. HOUSING: San Diego housing is the second most expensive among major metros. However, the median home price remained unchanged compared to the end of last quarter, at $950,000. Additionally, new housing permit activity appears to be lagging for the first half of the year, with 4,007 permits currently issued compared to 15,484 total permits reached by the end of 2021. This means that permitting activity has only reached about 25 percent of last year’s total amount so far.
  3. EMPLOYMENT: Unemployment in San Diego has dropped below the national rate, at 3.2 percent. San Diego unemployment continues to approximate pre-pandemic levels (3.0 percent) and has already dropped below national pre-pandemic levels (3.4 percent). More specifically, nonfarm employment increased by 17,700 during Q2, and by 79,700 compared to a year ago. Leisure and Hospitality employment continues to increase for the fifth consecutive month, and currently represents around 10 percent of the sector in California (EDD).

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San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q1 2022

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q1 2022 economic data:

Key Findings from Q1 2022:

  1. VENTURE CAPITAL: Strong VC funding in Life Sciences continues despite uncertainty surrounding inflation. Although high inflation and rising interest rates have been a concern recently, investments in Life Sciences companies only fell by about $10 million to $632 million from Q4, while investments in Tech companies returned to average levels. Total investment into the region exceeded $1 billion in Q1, an increase of more than $250 million compared to the quarterly average for 2019.
  2. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Demand for lab space has a greater impact on CRE market than remote work arrangements. As businesses embrace hybrid and remote work, there is uncertainty surrounding the impact to the commercial real estate market. Data show that businesses are not completely abandoning the office, with many adopting hybrid work schedules that will only lead to a one to two percent reduction in office space requirements nationally. In San Diego, demand from the Life Sciences industry is even stronger, resulting in a seven percent increase in asking rates for lab space from Q4. According to CBRE, 6.5 million square feet of planned conversions and construction are expected to become available in the next three years.
  3. HOUSING: Home prices continue to soar despite fewer sales. The median home price in San Diego continues to climb, reaching $950,000 in March. This translates to an 18.8 percent increase in the median home price compared to March 2021. In fact, the year-ago increase in home prices has hovered consistently around 15 percent since August 2021, almost double the rate of inflation we have seen over the past 12 months. While rising mortgage rates have the potential to temper the housing market, the median home price continues to rise at a faster rate than the national average.

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San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q4 2021

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q4 2021 economic data:

Key Findings from Q4 2021:

  1. VENTURE CAPITAL: Venture capital investments are making it rain cold, hard cash in sunny San Diego. The region’s companies closed out the year with another bonanza of VC funding in Q4, totaling more than $2.6 billion across Angel, Seed, Series A, and Growth stages–just shy of the $2.69 billion in Q1. Once again, Tech was the most funded industry, raking in north of $1.5 billion, compared to $0.6 billion in Life Sciences. Surprisingly, VC in Consumer companies reached $437 million, with apparel company Vuori pulling in $400 million alone, one of the largest investments in a private apparel brand in history. All in all, total VC funding for 2021 came in at $9 billion, compared to the $5.3 billion in 2020.
  2. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Life Sciences companies drive demand growth in commercial real estate. A record year in venture funding is beginning to manifest itself in the commercial real estate market, as current demand for lab space is 2.75 million square feet—more than triple the amount of new deliveries expected in the next year according to a market report by CBRE. Despite 4.8 million square feet of new deliveries in the industrial market, much of this was pre-leased, doing little to stop the steady decline in the vacancy rate which ended 2021 at 2.4 percent. On top of this, asking rates for low-finish industrial space were 8.8 percent higher at the end of Q4 compared to a year ago. Furthermore, increased demand for office space resulted in the third straight quarter of declining vacancy rates, with a positive net absorption of 340,000 square feet in Q4.
  3. HOUSING: Despite slightly lower home prices, San Diego’s affordability crisis deepens. The median home price in San Diego came in at $836,700 in December 2021, $13,300 lower than the end of Q3, as year-ago home sales fell 11.2 percent. However, home prices remain 14.6 percent higher than a year ago, worsening San Diego’s affordability crisis. Simply put, the growth in housing supply is not keeping up with demand, which could have lasting impacts on the region’s capacity to compete for the talent that drives San Diego’s innovation economy.

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San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q3 2021

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q3 2021 economic data:

Key Findings from Q3 2021:

  1. VENTURE CAPITAL: Life Sciences and Tech companies continue to shine. San Diego experienced another phenomenal quarter for VC, reaching $1.9 billion, an increase of $52 million compared to Q2, and $1.1 billion more than the same quarter last year. Life Sciences companies attracted almost $1 billion via 23 deals, with Genomatica pulling in $118 million alone. Twenty Tech companies brought in more than $940 million, with Shield AI and Wiliot attracting $410 million combined.
  2. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Demand for office and industrial space continues to climb. For the second quarter in a row, San Diego showed positive net absorption of office real estate, pushing vacancy rates down and rents up. The delivery of Amazon’s 3.4 million square-foot warehouse in Otay Mesa led to net absorption of more than 4.7 million square feet of industrial space, the strongest quarter on record.
  3. EMPLOYMENT: San Diego continues to ride the wave of employment gains. Total nonfarm employment increased by 6,200 during Q3 and is up 51,300 compared to a year ago. However, gains were choppy across industries. Leisure and Hospitality led employment growth in Q3 with 7,900 jobs, as Accommodation and Food Services establishments continue to re-open and re-hire. Professional and Business services also had a positive quarter, adding 3,200 jobs to the region as venture funding fuels growth.

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San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q2 2021

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q2 2021 economic data:

Key Findings from Q2 2021:

  1. VENTURE CAPITAL: Investment into Technology companies more than quadrupled. More than $2.4 billion in venture capital went to San Diego Tech companies during Q2, a 433 percent increase from the previous quarter and the first time that Tech received more VC funding than Life Sciences since Q1 2019. Life Sciences funding fell from record levels, but still pulled in more than $1.9 billion during the quarter, more than doubling the amount received in the same quarter last year.
    *Correction: Dollar values for Venture Capital in the preceding paragraph include other sources of funding, such as IPOs, mergers, and Acquisitions.
  2. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Demand for office space jumps as State lifts lockdowns. Net absorption of office real estate was positive during the quarter, up more than 330,000 square feet, for the first time since Q4 2019 as San Diego businesses began transitioning back to the office. Additionally, Tech companies such as Apple and AppFolio are expanding their San Diego footprint, helping push office vacancy rates down and rent growth back up.
  3. EMPLOYMENT: Job growth returns amid continued battle for talent. San Diego’s Q2 employment reversed the past year’s downward trend as the vaccine rollout led to loosened restrictions on businesses and increased consumer confidence. Year-over-year total nonfarm employment increased by 17,700 in Q2, with Leisure and Hospitality leading the way. However, total employment remains about 100,000 jobs lower than pre-pandemic levels and some key industries, such as Healthcare, are in dire need of more workers.

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San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q1 2021

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q1 2021 economic data:

Key Findings from Q1 2021:

  1. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Offices aren’t going anywhere. Regional shutdowns and new remote-work policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the nature of office space. While increased office vacancy (14.2 percent during Q1) suggests companies were abandoning their current offices, a recent survey of San Diego employers found that 39 percent plan to rent, lease, or purchase additional space in the next 12 months. Companies in the region’s innovation industries have more than recovered job losses from the early months of the pandemic and are looking to return to the office in some capacity over the coming months as health guidelines permit.
  2. VENTURE CAPITAL: Biotech leads venture capital investment. In Q1, San Diego saw $2 billion in venture capital (VC) investment come into the region by way of 59 deals—the highest number in a quarter since 2000. The top three deals were worth nearly $1.2 billion, all to local biotechs Mesa Biotech, Fate Therapeutics, and Blacksmith Medicines, and account for more than half of all VC investment in the region. These continued VC inflows are a testament to San Diego’s position as a global life sciences leader.
  3. HOUSING: Rising home prices further hinder affordability. The median home price in Q1 was $763,500—a historic high that has continuously climbed during the pandemic, despite job losses and economic uncertainty. Increasing home prices make it difficult for new homebuyers to enter the market. We can hope that increased vaccinations will encourage sellers off the sidelines and free up more inventory for buyers.

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San Diego’s Quarterly Economic Snapshot: Q4 2019

Summary

Every quarter, San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q4 2019.

As 2019 wraps up and the region continues to struggle with housing affordability, the number of annual building permits continues to decrease. In 2019, there were 8,082 building permits issued, with 3,023 single family permits and 5,059 multi-family permits. Annual building permits saw a 17.4 percent decrease from 2018 to 2019. Building permits have decreased annually since 2016.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego’s unemployment rate continues to drop, at 2.8 percent in Q4
  • Total annual nonfarm employment increased by 34,800 jobs, or 2.3 percent from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019, led by 9,500 new jobs in the Professional and Business Services industry
  • The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities recorded the largest quarterly gain, adding 10,800 jobs, or 4.9 percent compared to Q3 2019
  • San Diego’s housing market was the second most expensive in the nation with the median home price at $655,000 in Q4, up annually by 4.6 percent
  • While annual building permits issued for 2019 were lower than 2018, Q4 2019 housing permits were greater than Q4 2018
  • San Diego saw 39 Venture Capital deals worth $655 million, primarily concentrated in the healthcare sector

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San Diego’s Quarterly Economic Snapshot: Q3 2019

Economic Snapshot header_11-2019

Summary

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q3 2019.

Over half of the 24 most populous metros experience a decline in total nonfarm employment during Q3 from Q2, including San Diego. The region saw a decline of 2,200 jobs – a 0.1 percent decrease in total nonfarm employment from Q2 to Q3, primarily due to seasonal changes. On the other hand, compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment was up 30,600, or 2.1 percent.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego’s unemployment continues to drop, at 2.7 percent in Q3
  • While there was a decrease in nonfarm employment from Q2 to Q3 2019 due to seasonal changes, annual nonfarm employment was up 30,600 jobs, or 2.1 percent compared to Q3 2018
  • San Diego’s housing market was the third most expensive in the nation, despite home prices decreasing in Q3 both quarterly and annually
  • Housing permits increased substantially year-over-year in San Diego, largely due to multi-family housing permits increasing by nearly 133 percent
  • Overall, total housing permits increased nearly 68 percent compared to a year ago
  • San Diego saw 34 VC deals worth $707 million

Median Sales

Quarterly Economic Snapshot analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This releases includes data from July to September (Q3) 2019.

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