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206 Apartments for rent in San Marcos, CA

Read Guide >
Last updated December 10 at 12:53pm UTC
881 Mackenzie Dr
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 12:01pm UTC
3 Bedrooms
$2,550
250 North City Drive
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:42am UTC
1 Bedroom
$1,795
1374 Corte Bagalso
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:42am UTC
4 Bedrooms
$2,895
219 Woodland Pkwy
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:42am UTC
2 Bedrooms
$1,850
3435 Capalina Road
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 11:40am UTC
1 Bedroom
$1,395
201 Woodland Parkway
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 11:40am UTC
1 Bedroom
$1,650
613 Bush Lane
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 12:50pm UTC
4 Bedrooms
$2,775
1227 Elfin Forest Road East
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 12:50pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
$2,495
3431 Capalina Rd
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:22am UTC
2 Bedrooms
$1,675
212 Woodland Prkwy
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:22am UTC
1 Bedroom
$1,495
3235 Solar Lane
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 7 at 11:00am UTC
4 Bedrooms
$3,950
1343 Via Belleza
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 6 at 11:22am UTC
4 Bedrooms
$2,500
1716 Morgans Ave.
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 5 at 10:26am UTC
3 Bedrooms
$2,988
1638 Rue De Valle
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 9 at 10:24am UTC
2 Bedrooms
$1,850
1395 Dolomite
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:22am UTC
4 Bedrooms
$3,200
3146 Roadrunner Rd
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:22am UTC
5 Bedrooms
$3,800
1271 Holmgrove Dr
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:22am UTC
5 Bedrooms
$4,750
1352 Dandelion Way
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated December 10 at 9:42am UTC
2 Bedrooms
$2,595
City Guide
San Marcos
A Feast of Plenty

Only one in three residents in San Marcos rents rather than owns, but that doesn’t mean apartments are difficult to come by. The city’s population has spiked nearly 50 percent in the past decade and plenty of new apartments, lofts, and condos have been erected to keep pace. You’ll find that your options are plentiful. Waiting lists are rare and move-in specials do pop up, so scour the market thoroughly to make sure you get the best bang for your buck and pow for your dinero.

Get Out!

If you’re the hermitic type who doesn’t like to venture outside the comfort of your humble abode unless absolutely necessary, we hate to tell you that you’ll be missing out on the best of San Marcos. The city is dotted with parks, hiking and biking trails, and golf courses that can be enjoyed year-round; a 15-minute drive can put you on the majestic Pacific shoreline, while San Diego’s numerous outdoors attractions are only a 30-minute trek away. The city also features monthly concerts in Woodland Park from May through September, several annual festivals and celebrations, and tons of wildlife-viewing hotspots.

Night owls, meanwhile, aren’t likely to be disappointed by the various live music venues, vino bars, and sports pubs that keep things hopping after the sun’s gone down. But whether you prefer to get your kicks under the sun or moon, be sure to bring a hearty appetite along, as the city’s well-known Old California Restaurant Row features quality cuisines from all over the globe that are sure to keep your taste buds watering.

Getting Around

The best way to bum around San Marcos is obviously via your own set of wheels, but foot soldiers will be glad to know the city is served by an above average bus system with an above average name (there are certainly worse things in the world than riding the “Breeze” to work each morning). The Sprinter light rail, which runs from Oceanside to Escondido, stops in San Marcos as well and is a viable option for commuters living in one of the apartment complexes situated nearby.

Tips for Apartment Scavengers

A few quick things to keep in mind before signing your John Hancock on the dotted line of an apartment lease:

Most leases in San Marcos are good for a full year, although a limited number of properties offer short-term and month-to-month leases as well (usually at a slightly steeper price). Nearly all landlords charge an initial security/good faith deposit (which is often refundable if you keep your digs in tip-top shape) and some charge additional (dare we say “mystery?”) move-in fees.

It’s typical for landlords to run a credit and background check on tenants before extending a leasing offer to make sure they don’t have a history of being deadbeat renters. Obviously, if you’re credit/renter’s history is questionable or nonexistent you’ll likely need a co-signer to score your dream dwellings in San Marcos.

Some larger complexes use showrooms/prototype apartments when showing off their property, but if at all possible, ask to see the actual unit you’ll be renting. Sometimes this isn’t an option (especially if the previous tenants haven’t moved out or the apartment hasn’t been properly cleaned or fixed up yet), but it’s worth a shot. Either way, when it’s time to fill out your move-in checklist, mark down even the most seemingly insignificant and minor blemishes and give your new place a thorough inspection to make sure everything is up to par as promised.

And now for the fun part: scouring paradise for the lodgings of your lives! Welcome to North County, bienvenido a San Marcos, and happy hunting!

December 2018 San Marcos Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 San Marcos Rent Report. San Marcos rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the San Marcos rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

View full San Marcos Rent Report
Rent Report
San Marcos

December 2018 San Marcos Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 San Marcos Rent Report. San Marcos rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the San Marcos rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

San Marcos rents declined slightly over the past month

San Marcos rents have declined 0.2% over the past month, but have increased moderately by 2.4% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in San Marcos stand at $1,540 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,990 for a two-bedroom. This is the second straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in September. San Marcos' year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 1.4%, as well as the national average of 1.3%.

Rents rising across the San Diego Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of San Marcos, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the San Diego metro, all of them have seen prices rise. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Encinitas has the most expensive rents in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,470; the city has also seen rent growth of 1.8% over the past month, the fastest in the metro.
  • Over the past month, El Cajon has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 1.1%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,640, while one-bedrooms go for $1,260.
  • National City has the least expensive rents in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,530; rents grew 0.3% over the past month and 1.9% over the past year.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to San Marcos

As rents have increased moderately in San Marcos, a few large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more modestly, or in some cases, even decline. Compared to most large cities across the country, San Marcos is less affordable for renters.

  • Rents increased slightly in other cities across the state, with California as a whole logging rent growth of 1.4% over the past year. For example, rents have grown by 3.2% in San Jose, 1.8% in San Francisco, and 1.5% in Los Angeles.
  • San Marcos' median two-bedroom rent of $1,990 is above the national average of $1,180. Nationwide, rents have grown by 1.3% over the past year compared to the 2.4% increase in San Marcos.
  • While San Marcos' rents rose moderately over the past year, the city of Seattle saw a decrease of 0.4%.
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in San Marcos than most large cities. For example, Phoenix has a median 2BR rent of $1,060, where San Marcos is more than one-and-a-half times that price.

For more information check out our national report. You can also access our full data for cities and counties across the U.S. at this link.
City Median 1BR price Median 2BR price M/M price change Y/Y price change
San Diego $1,560 $2,030 -0.3% 1.0%
Chula Vista $1,650 $2,150 0.7% 3.6%
Oceanside $1,770 $2,300 0.4% 2.1%
Escondido $1,430 $1,860 0.8% 0.0%
Carlsbad $1,900 $2,460 0.8% 1.8%
El Cajon $1,260 $1,640 -1.1% 0.7%
Vista $1,430 $1,850 0.1% 2.0%
San Marcos $1,540 $1,990 -0.2% 2.4%
Encinitas $1,900 $2,470 1.8% 3.0%
National City $1,180 $1,530 0.3% 1.9%
See more

Methodology - Recent Updates:

Data from private listing sites, including our own, tends to skew toward luxury apartments, which introduces sample bias when estimates are calculated directly from these listings. To address these limitations, we’ve recently made major updates to our methodology, which we believe have greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of our estimates.

Read more about our new methodology below, or see a more detailed post here.

Methodology:

Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in other private sources, producing results that are much closer to statistics published by the Census Bureau and HUD. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.

Read more about our methodology here.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends for hundreds of cities across the U.S. We intend these reports to be a source of reliable information that help renters and policymakers make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country.

We are continuously working to improve our methodology and data, with the goal of providing renters with the information that they need to make the best decisions.