Roughly 1,500 new housing units were built and hit the market in San Francisco over the past four quarters. At the same time, commercial space in the city declined by 187,000 square feet as 172,000 square feet of existing space was converted to residential use.
Today, there are nearly 4,900 more new housing units under construction in San Francisco, most of which are market rate and will hit the market over the next year, numbers which shouldn’t catch any plugged-in people by surprise.
Building permits for another 4,000 units having been approved and permits for another 3,800 units have been requested, a total of nearly 8,000 more housing units on top of those already under construction and which should start hitting the market in two to four years.
Another 28,000 housing units have been approved to be built by Planning which includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have timelines measured in decades, not years.
And with plans for an additional 7,000 housing units on the boards, San Francisco’s total Housing Pipeline currently totals over 48,000 units. For context, around 12,000 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007; 26,000 new units constructed since 2000.
With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 620,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 2,000,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 3,800,000 square feet have been requested; and plans for another 5,600,000 square feet of commercial development have been approved.
A breakdown of all the development in the works across San Francisco, both residential and commercial, by neighborhood (click the table to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Second Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]

20 thoughts on “The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood”
  1. The enormous quantity of residential housing being constructed and delivered should take off the frost from current rental market and likely will send it 20+% lower from current levels. Yes, most is not being built in the existing areas but the effect will be felt throughout the city. Which is a net positive for city and its residents and a negative for those who have purchased hoping high rents and low interest rates are the new normal.

  2. That’s wishful thinking. Believing all the buyers from these past 3 years will be severely punished sounds a bit premature. Big tech is not going away, for one, and SF still has a huge lack of available supply in the central areas that might not be fully absorbed by these units.
    And if rents go down a notch, the throngs that are expatriated in Oakland and such will start coming back, slowing down the fall.
    I bought in 2010 with that time’s rents in my calculations (30% or 40% less than today). If rents go back down to 2010’s numbers I’ll still be doing more than OK. But until that hypothetical doomsday, more gravy please!

  3. Great about adding housing stock in the city. However, where’s all the investment in transit? Central Subway? LMFAO.

  4. You can laugh , but Central Subway is exactly a major investment in transit, as is the new bay bridge, Doyle drive, new transbay bus terminal, new docks over at the Ferry Building, the Third Street Rail line completed a few years back, etc, etc…
    But the real key point to remember is all of these new construction units will not be covered by rent control, and that will give older housing stock a competitive advantage over new construction.

  5. Rents may go down a little but not a lot. What is happening is that we are building housing units while Silicon Valley proper does not. More and more tech will be headed up here as a result. Also commercial rents are cheaper up here than in the Penninsula.

  6. Rent control is the main problem, when half the population is paying 30-40% less for their rent than the other half, there is a problem. If there were no rent control then all rents would go down probably 25% or more, but that will never happen. All we can hope for is for new residential to be tall and dense in order to make the best of new units.

  7. Rent control is a problem? For who? Lots of people benefit handsomely … low supply keeps rents high which helps developers when they are trying to finance new rental buildings. Thousands of renters get a break on their rent. Its a win-win. Only real losers are landlords owning small, old apartment buildings, but they have the Ellis act to help them out.

  8. “If there were no rent control then all rents would go down probably 25% or more” …except, of course, the rent-controlled units, some of which would see their rents double or more. Maybe you meant to say “average rents”?
    Personally, I think the problem is that too many of these new places are being rented/sold as “luxury” units. Get rid of the artificial luxury markup and average rents would decrease.

  9. So the people who benefit are builders and people who lived in their units a long time. What about everyone else?

  10. The SFMTA is in the process of deploying brand new buses, and has a large batch of NewFlyer Trolly buses about to go into contract which will go into service over the next decade. This will boost reliability and increase capacity on existing lines. Next month, there will be 3-car subway service from St. Francis Circle to Embarcadero. Today, Bay Area Bike Share starts, soaking up more people trying to get around.
    The city can easily handle the residents moving into these 4900 new units over the next year, and there will be a bond measure this year to pay for a huge new batch of light rail vehicles to cover projected population growth to 2035.

  11. @Michael: well, they don’t benefit. But they don’t vote in large numbers or donate to political campaigns, either. So no one really cares what they think.
    If you want a voice… get organized.

  12. ^Silicon Valley and SJ, even if you define that as just Santa Clara County (and exclude southern San Mateo and Alameda) has a population of more than double SF. So they would need to be building at LEAST twice as much housing as SF to keep up, which they are not even close to doing.
    Really they should be building more, since there is much more available land down there.

  13. Santa Clara County plus San Mateo County has 9700 units under construction and 4600 in the pipeline.
    Note that this includes San Jose.

  14. “You can laugh , but Central Subway is exactly a major investment in transit, as is the new bay bridge, Doyle drive, new transbay bus terminal, new docks over at the Ferry Building, the Third Street Rail line completed a few years back, etc, etc…”
    In your words, “transbay BUS terminal.” Enough said.

  15. “You can laugh , but Central Subway is exactly a major investment in transit”
    It is but it is also an ineffectual plan and a huge waste of money
    I agree with Mark Ballew that the existing system can accommodate more riders but what I can’t understand is why there isn’t more consideration to running actual LRT on Market and along the Embracedero as we add these residents to this core?
    Those PCC things are cute and all but not really sufficient for really moving people.
    Maybe even consider more shuttle service and few lines entering the subway (like the J)? Perhaps this could help operations be more stable?

  16. It’s hard to see how these new units will impact rents much. Most of these new units will be sold to owners.
    A- How many of the projects listed above are designated as rentals?
    B- of those, how fast will the developer put in a sales office and ‘change their mind’?
    Developers generally want to sell units in SF, not rent. New construction is too expensive in SF. They might as well put in the nice finishes and get > $1000 PSF. It leads to a higher ROI.

  17. Is this pipeline actually realistic? Last I read, the Treasure Island development was DOA when the investors backed out…

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