San Diego is the second-largest city in California and the eighth-largest city in the United States with a population of approximately 1.3 million. The city’s climate is often described as “arid Mediterranean,” and is characterized by dry, warm summers and mild winters. The Weather Channel ranked San Diego as one of the best two summer climates in America.
San Diego’s economy is largely driven by the defense/military industry, tourism, international trade, and research/manufacturing. San Diego’s deep-water port includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast, thus attracting business from several major national defense contractors. The military industry in San Diego is so vast that about 5 percent of all civilian jobs in the county are military-related, and about 15,000 businesses in the county are reliant on contracts from the Department of Defense.
Tourists flock to San Diego largely due to the city’s climate, beaches, and large number of tourist attractions including SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park. The city also hosts various annual events that draw large numbers of tourists such as Comic-Con, the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, the San Diego Black Film Festival, and the Street Scene Music Festival. San Diego attracts about 30 million visitors yearly, and the tourism industry annually contributes upwards of $15 billion to the city’s economy.
The real estate market in San Diego peaked from 2005 to 2006, and experienced sharp declines during 2007 to 2009. Property values have since leveled out, as the median sales price from 2009 to 2012 has remained highly stable.