October 26, 2012

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: 4,200 New Units On The Way

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: Q2 2012 (www.SocketSite,.com)

As we first reported earlier this year, with 372,831 total housing units in San Francisco, a third of which are single-family homes and only a quarter of which are in buildings with over 20 units, total new housing production in 2011 totaled 418 units, the lowest production since 1993 and versus an average of 1,890 units per year from 2000-2010. In addition, 149 units were lost through demolition, merger or the removal of illegal units in 2011 for a net gain of only 269, less than a hundred of which were market rate.

Today, there are over 4,200 net new housing units under construction in San Francisco with building permits for another 1,450 units having been approved and permits for another 2,610 having been requested, units which should hit the market over the next three years.

Another 28,060 housing units have been approved to be built by Planning, but that includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which have timelines measured in decades, not years.

For context, a total of 10,438 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007, a total of 24,519 net new units since 2000.

With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 830,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 964,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 2,423,000 square feet have been requested; and another 5,822,000 square feet of commercial development has been approved.

The detailed San Francisco Pipeline Report which includes a breakdown by neighborhood:

First Published: October 26, 2012 11:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

one of the fascinating things about the pipeline is that it shows that Mission Bay is, essentially, done. Residential pipeline has moved strongly to the Market Street spine.

Time to make Muni metro work better. More S Shuttles to handle all of those new folks trying to get on at Church and Van Ness......

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 26, 2012 12:24 PM

It will be interesting to see if the 7k units over the next few years moderate the pressure on the rental market.

Posted by: dissent at October 26, 2012 1:19 PM

@dissent, my guess is that if it does offer enough relief to moderate demand, we'll see some units converting to condos (to re-ignite pressure).

Posted by: taco taco at October 26, 2012 1:30 PM

I have to take issue with the bolded "less than a hundred were market rate." I realize it's a significantly small number, but the emphasis implies that somehow the affordable housing market squeezed out market rate or (as comments on the previous thread indicate) the city's policies strangled private developers. But the reality is that over the past 5 years (2007-2011) nearly 12,000 market rate units were built compared to about 3000 affordable. Historically affordable housing has been less than a quarter of market rate housing development. And the housing element of the City's general plan indicates that affordable housing development should be equal to or exceed market rate, because we are so far behind our goals for affordability. So despite people's love to bash the city's reputation for NIMBY'ism and the "welfare lobby", it's really the cold hard calculus of the market that drove market rate housing down in 2010-11. No private financing, no new condos. Simple enough.

[Editor’s Note: "…the emphasis implies that somehow the affordable housing market squeezed out market rate or (as comments on the previous thread indicate) the city's policies strangled private developers." That wasn’t our intent.

"No private financing, no new condos." With that we’ll agree while noting the lack of financing was driven by a decline in values, a decline that has been reversed by a rebound of the financial markets, an increase in employment, and the aforementioned dearth of new development over the past couple of years.]

Posted by: kddid at October 26, 2012 1:31 PM

yeah, kddid...I think you were taking offence where none was intended. The reality was there was no market...and i think that was the only intent.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 26, 2012 2:31 PM

4200 units is a blip. What's an increase of 1% of inventory when occupancy is nearly 100%? With condos at $1100 PSF, rents at $4.50 PSF, and job growth still gaining momentum, relief for renters or buyers in SF isn't coming anytime soon.

Posted by: WH at October 26, 2012 4:28 PM

Sorry if I misread that... my reaction was more to the comments on the previous thread from last May, where a number of folks were explicitly making the point I falsely accused the editor of making. Have a good, well-understood weekend!

Posted by: kddid at October 26, 2012 4:44 PM

And in other cheery news, I just gained 4200 lbs on my tiny frame. Its awesome!

"Smart growth" is a lie.

Posted by: Stucco_Sux at October 26, 2012 10:39 PM

Agree: time to make Muni Metro work better. Running a six- car shuttle train between Embarcadero and West Portal every ten minutes at rush hour would make a tremendous difference. Imagine the Metro with the possibility of getting a seat...or at least space to expand one's rib cage. No other city in America has this problem this bad: one- or two-car trains so packed that people have to let three pass before getting on the fourth.

Posted by: Friscan at October 27, 2012 2:53 PM

NY has the most efficient subway system I have ever seen, and their subway is almost as old as dirt. Why can't SF get itself together with more accessible and convenient public transportation if that's what it's been trying to do, get more cars off its roads? With all the new development AND daily roadwork/detours going on, the DT traffic is a royal bitch.

Posted by: NYrocks at October 29, 2012 9:59 AM

It seems to me, historically speaking, that NYC had a substantial head start, and that came before the automobile-centric/commuting era began in earnest, and so there were no chickenhead commenters questioning the wisdom of spending money on public transit and calling those who supported public transit "anti-car fascists" and "SMALL pro-bike finger waggers".

There was widespread consensus as to what had to be done, and so progress happened. Now, in S.F., the default assumption seems to be that people should drive a private car, even though transit first has been and continues to be city policy. This saps support for MUNI improvement and so almost everybody throws up their hands and says "there's no money" for improving MUNI.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 29, 2012 2:42 PM

It's not really even worth comparing MUNI to NYC subway. Muni Light Rail has a two car maximum train length because it has to operate on the street. NYC is a heavy rail system with long trains. But a metro only (Embarcadero to Castro or perhaps West Portal) could operate in longer trains...I don't know if it's four car or longer...but there is enough platform length for longer trains. Even two car shuttles help relieve the crush loading problems.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 29, 2012 4:54 PM

I remember when I first moved to SF that they used to run longer trains in the tunnel all the time, often hooking up J & two-car N's or multiples of the KLM's in the tunnel. It was when they switched to the automated system in the tunnel that they did away with the longer then 2-car trains.

Posted by: Rillion at October 30, 2012 10:01 AM

Rillion, that is true. But the reason they did that was because under manual control you can't run trains that close together, so they joined twos into fours at West Portal. When they went to automatic, there was no need to "marry" the trains as they could run closer together...so it represented a service improvement for patrons who no longer had to wait.

I would argue that we need a four car train running back and forth constantly between Castro and Embarcadero, just to handle the load in the heart of the system.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 30, 2012 10:20 AM

^I've heard that there simply isn't the capacity to add more short-line trains in the tunnel.

What I'd like to see is discussion of more S trains (2 or 4 car), and simultaneous re-routing of the J to run above Market. The mid-line entrance to the tunnel really mucks up the top-line capacity available. I don't think it would be possible to run both the N and J above ground to downtown, but removing at least the J from the tunnel would help (imo).

Posted by: anon at October 30, 2012 11:04 AM

When I fist saw the map I thought it was the location of post World Series "celebrations"...

Posted by: FormerAptBroker at October 30, 2012 1:48 PM

Look on page 17 of the Pipeline report - the "Marina", according to this document, includes not just the actual Marina district, but also Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, and the north end of the Fillmore.

Curious grouping, don't you think?

Posted by: Gregg at November 14, 2012 3:45 PM

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