North Park has quite a tumultuous history when it comes to real estate prices. Before the War these modest cottages housed San Diego’s working class as well as their betters in the nicer streets around Balboa Park. After VJ Day, the City zoned the area in such a way that most of these quiet neighborhoods became apartment warrens. Why the City decided to strip mine North Park is history and my the 1960s, apartments were scattered about in such a way that the neighborhood lost much cohesiveness. The recession in 1990 saw prices in North Park decline at a much more rapid rate than the rest of the City. The clash between homeowners and apartment dwellers was ugly at times and certainly did little for real estate values.
Since those bleak days, North Park has recovered all of those lost equity dollars and added even more. It has become a very desirable place to live, appealing to a young demographic who either cannot afford Hillcrest or want a little more urban space than someone living off of First Avenue. Commercial development has also been strong, following the hipper demographic moving into the neighborhood. North Park’s ideal location, close to everything in San Diego, and reasonable prices continue to bolster demand for this area.
North Park is divided into two basic kinds of blocks, those with lots of apartments and those without. Most above average residential blocks may have one or two multi-family buildings and that is generally acceptable. Those streets with no apartment or condominiums are highly prized and readily available, albeit at higher prices than streets with apartments scattered around the block. Property closest to Balboa Park sell for the most money and that is no surprise.
In the future, much of the older stock of homes will have to be replaced, especially those that have been rentals for the past forty or fifty years. This selective culling of the beater-rentals, once so prevalent in North Park, will be beneficial for real estate prices.