of neighborhoods selected. We’ll search anywhere in .
Start your San Marcos apartment search!
Select how many bedrooms you want.
What are you looking to pay?
Where are you looking to move?
Please enter a location.
Where do you work or go to school?
We'll show you how far the commute is
to the places you go to the most.
Please enter a location or skip.
I want to live within
How do you get there?
I drive (without traffic)
I drive (in traffic)
I ride public transit
I bike
What do you prefer?
On-site laundry
In-unit laundry
Washer/dryer connections
What about parking?
What other features do you want?
Hardwood Floors
Air Conditioning
What pets do you have?
I care most about
Getting all my features
Staying in the location I want
Having the cheapest price
Don’t worry, this won’t remove any matches
About when would you like to move in?
I’m just looking
I want to move, but I’m not in a hurry
I need to move, but can be a little flexible
I’ve gotta move!
What lease length are you looking to sign?
Are you signing a lease with anyone else?
A cosigner
Roommates, partner, etc.
Me, myself, and I
What's your monthly household income, before taxes?
Be sure to include the total income from all adults.
(We use this to save you time & help you find rents you will qualify for.)
Great! Your income qualifies you for the rent you chose.
So you know, apartments typically require your monthly income to be 2-3x the rent. Exact income requirements may vary, so always double-check with the apartment.
Apartments require 2-3x the rent in monthly income
Your monthly income only qualifies for a max rent of . Do you want to change your max rent?
Yes. Set my max rent to
No, I'll stick with
Did you know apartments require 2-3x the rent in monthly income?
Depending on your exact income you may not qualify for all apartments up to $500.
Have you been evicted?
I've never been evicted
I've been evicted
How did you hear about Apartment List?
Please select all that apply.
Postcard / Snail Mail
Radio / Streaming Audio
Friend or Family
TV / Streaming Video
Let’s find that perfect home
We’ll get started finding you the best out there. But first, let’s learn a little more about you.
Renters love us!
We’re rated 4.5 out of 5 because renters have so much success finding places they love.
Oops! Please enter an email.
Welcome to Apartment List
Looks like you've been here before. Welcome back.
Please log in to use this email.
Invalid email or password.
We've sent a password reset email with instructions to
You can close this window
Make your results better
Personalize your results by telling us what you think of your first three matches.

123 Apartments for rent in San Marcos, CA

Read Guide >
Last updated April 25 at 5:45pm UTC
1669 Palomar Drive
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 25 at 10:01am UTC
4 Bedrooms
1333 Granite Rd. Guest House
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 25 at 9:59am UTC
3 Bedrooms
374 Camino Carta
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 25 at 9:58am UTC
4 Bedrooms
3670 La Mirada Dr.
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 22 at 11:48am UTC
3 Bedrooms
726 Kellogg St.
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 21 at 9:57am UTC
2 Bedrooms
650 Atherton St
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 18 at 2:17am UTC
4 Bedrooms
2623 Rawhide Ln
University Commons
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 17 at 6:32am UTC
3 Bedrooms
3110 S. Santa Fe Avenue
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 14 at 10:09am UTC
Lake San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 12 at 10:45am UTC
2 Bedrooms
266 Trilogy St
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 11 at 10:58am UTC
2 Bedrooms
1289 Highbluff Avenue
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 24 at 6:21pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
477 Chardonnay Ct
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 19 at 2:09am UTC
4 Bedrooms
772 Calle De Soto
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 18 at 1:51am UTC
4 Bedrooms
436 Penelope Dr
San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 10 at 10:09am UTC
4 Bedrooms
1655 Via Brisa Del Lago
Lake San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 4 at 11:24am UTC
2 Bedrooms
Results within 1 miles of San Marcos, CA
Sonoma Street
San Elijo Hills
San Marcos, CA
Updated April 20 at 7:30am UTC
3 Bedrooms
Apartment List detective logo

Keep Looking!

Try removing some filters or broadening your
search area to see more results.

Apartment List sad heart

Something went wrong.

Please try your search again or reload the page.

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!

Rent Report
San Marcos

April 2018 San Marcos Rent Report

Welcome to the April 2018 San Marcos Rent Report. San Marcos rents remained steady 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 rent trends were flat over the past month

San Marcos rents have remained flat over the past month, however, they have increased moderately by 3.8% year-over-year. Currently, median rents in San Marcos stand at $1,510 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,970 for a two-bedroom. San Marcos' year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 2.9%, as well as the national average of 2.0%.

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.

  • El Cajon has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 7.1%. The median two-bedroom there costs $1,670, while one-bedrooms go for $1,290.
  • Over the past month, Encinitas has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 1.6%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $2,390, while one-bedrooms go for $1,840.
  • National City has the least expensive rents in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,510; rents decreased 0.1% over the past month but were up 5.8% over the past year.
  • Carlsbad has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,400; rents fell 0.1% over the past month but rose 2.0% 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 also seen rents grow modestly. Compared to most large cities across the country, San Marcos is less affordable for renters.

  • Rents increased significantly in other cities across the state, with California as a whole logging rent growth of 2.9% over the past year. For example, rents have grown by 3.1% in Los Angeles, 3.1% in San Jose, and 1.4% in San Francisco.
  • San Marcos' median two-bedroom rent of $1,970 is above the national average of $1,170. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.0% over the past year compared to the 3.8% increase in San Marcos.
  • While San Marcos' rents rose moderately over the past year, many cities nationwide also saw increases, including Phoenix (+2.9%), Denver (+1.9%), and Dallas (+1.8%).
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in San Marcos than most large cities. For example, Phoenix has a median 2BR rent of $1,030, where San Marcos is nearly twice 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 $1,550 $2,010 0.5% 2.8%
Chula Vista $1,620 $2,100 0.6% 4.3%
Oceanside $1,740 $2,260 -0.1% 3.7%
Escondido $1,400 $1,820 -0.2% 2.8%
Carlsbad $1,850 $2,400 -0.1% 2.0%
El Cajon $1,290 $1,670 0.6% 7.1%
Vista $1,410 $1,820 -0.1% 3.8%
San Marcos $1,510 $1,970 0.4% 3.8%
Encinitas $1,840 $2,390 -1.6% 3.1%
National City $1,170 $1,510 -0.1% 5.8%
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.


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.