San Diego’s luxury market draws young shoppers to its Golden Shores

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San Diego’s demographics continue to be younger as more life science, technology, and telecommunications companies choose to relocate to San Diego and expand their businesses.

Qualcomm, the multinational telecommunications and semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in San Diego, employs a force of young, well-paid engineers and computer science graduates with advanced degrees. The Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) is ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. UCSD is also highly ranked for its computer science program. The pipeline of well-educated young professionals means that many remain after graduation for the multitude of opportunities available. This adds to the coveted lifestyle of the region.

San Diego is a major hub for companies in the life sciences industry. Consider that Pfizer has a 25 acre campus in La Jolla. With over 16% of the nation’s biotech and pharmaceutical companies, it’s no surprise that San Diego is now teeming with young, well-paid buyers.

A top group of current buyers are young entrepreneurs who are starting, growing and selling their business. They come from a variety of industries including fitness, lifestyle, health and beauty, fashion, food and beverage, and technology.

Shawn rodger, a leading agent at Willis Allen Real Estate Del Mar office, has been selling luxury coastal properties for almost 20 years. She is a fourth generation resident of San Diego. Rodger’s current listings range from a modern coastal property in Carlsbad at $ 4,350,000 to an oceanfront residence at $ 14,975,000 in La Jolla.

“I work with younger buyers in the $ 3 million plus range. Some entrepreneurs have started and sold all kinds of businesses that love the coastal areas of La Jolla, Del Mar and Carlsbad,” Rodger observes. Its Carlsbad advertisement with its contemporary design appeals to this young buyer. It is an open concept living room with 1,700 square feet of outdoor decks for entertaining. “When you hit the $ 11 million plus price bracket, the buyers are older,” Rodger confirms.

“I have a number of biotechnology clients who are under 40,” she adds. Rodger often receives strong recommendations from clients of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the global community of leaders with 30,000 members, all of whom are CEOs. The age limit for membership is 45 years old. Rodger reports that she recently sold luxury properties in the $ 3-4 million range to buyers who have founded successful clothing and beauty companies. “The biggest growth in my business volume right now comes from young entrepreneurs,” Rodger confirms.

Like many parts of California’s Southland, San Diego’s luxury markets have seen incredible growth over the past year. Here is an overview of the market fundamentals. The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS’® Jdata July 2021 shows that the average San Diego selling price fell from $ 932,709 in July 2020 to $ 1,157,308. That’s a 24% increase year over year. Inventory is limited. Homes for sale for all properties fell 41% in July 2021 compared to a year ago.

Vincent Crudo, an agent in Willis Allen’s office in La Jolla, grew up in La Jolla and says the demographics are heading for “new money.” “I recently sold a $ 25 million beachfront property in La Jolla Shores to a younger buyer.” He is pointing the finger at biotechnology entrepreneurs who sell their companies for big money. “The luxury coastal markets also attract buyers from San Francisco who see the value here.”

Rancho Santa Fe, a domestic luxury market with large equestrian properties, has seen sales increase since the start of the pandemic, according to Crudo. “These buyers want large properties with space and seclusion.”

Stroll through the restaurants, cafes and cafes of La Jolla every weekend, you will see an abundance of young patrons enjoying their best San Diego-style life.


Willis Allen Real Estate is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer market and a network of elite broker members selling the world’s most luxurious homes.


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