Folsom at Fremont: 11/13/16

With new proposals for slightly more units of housing than finished construction in the third quarter of 2016, the overall pipeline of apartments and condos under development in San Francisco has inched up by 400 to a record 63,700.

While that’s 4,700 more units in the pipeline than at the same time last year, the quarter-over-quarter increase of 400 is 4,000 fewer than the increase from the second to third quarter last year, an increase which was followed by a jump of 3,500 in the fourth quarter which we’re not on pace to repeat this year.

In terms of the state of the current pipeline, there are now 6,400 units under construction across the city which should be ready for occupancy within the next year or two. In addition, there are 12,000 net-new units of housing for which building permits have either been issued, approved or requested, and another 28,700 units in projects that have already been approved but not yet permitted (which includes the majority of the 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units at Parkmerced, projects which have overall timelines measured in decades, not years).

And with proposals for another 16,630 units of housing under review by the City’s Planning Department, which is the fewest since the third quarter of 2015 and trending down, San Francisco’s Housing Pipeline now totals 63,700, including 8,800 new “affordable” units which are to be offered at below market rates, according to our accounting of Planning’s data.

At the same time, sales of new construction condos on the market in San Francisco are running 29 percent lower this year versus last, at least one index suggests that new condo prices have dropped over 12 percent, and rents in the city have been slipping as well. 

27 thoughts on “The Nearly 64,000 Apartments and Condos in SF’s Housing Pipeline”
  1. Sounds like the developers are doing their part, and that supply and demand dynamics are starting to be seen. Now, if only the City would do its part by focusing on infrastructure including public transit, by hiring a well-trained police force in numbers that appropriate for the number citizens and by developing a humane but prompt and effective plan to ameliorate the homeless issue.

    1. If only the electorate were willing to pay for such infrastructure which last week’s election results demonstrate they’re not.

      1. I am of the opinion that the primary issue is focus not dollars. Our BoS is incapable of setting an agenda and sticking with it. They are too distracted by every shiny object that will get them votes.

        1. Perhaps voters are just tired of passing measures that don’t amount to anything.

          11/2009: Prop H passed to extend Caltrain to the TTC (69.3%)
          11/2003: Prop K passed to provide initial funding to extend Caltrain to the TTC (75%)
          6/2010: Prop G passed to bring HSR to the TTC (83.8%)

          Last week, it was revealed (to no one’s surprise) that the DTX “might” be up and running to the TTC by 2026. I don’t know about you, but I have no faith in supporting transit measures when even specific projects, much less vague suggestions, fail to materialize. LA, on the other hand, not only gets measures passed, but projects built.

          The Bay Area will only continue to see prices rise (supply/demand), more people living further out and more people on the roads for longer stretches of time. You reap what you sow.

          1. As to high prices, it’s interesting that just 14% of the 64K units planned for the next 20 years in SF are “affordable” while 40% of the 50K units planned for Seattle over the next 10 years are.

          2. Dave, are you sure the methodology is the same to calculate the percentage of “affordable” units? The “Action Plan to Address Seattle’s Affordability Crisis” indicates that Seattle’s total includes rental housing for 0-60% AMI, homeownership for 60-80% AMI, and “Tax incentives” and the “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Commercial Linkage Fee.”

            SF’s total appears to be more analogous to just the first two points, and probably not housing supported by tax incentives or built with a fee paid to the city fund.

            Happy to be corrected if I’m wrong about that.

          3. yeah, well, politician’s love to cook up plans with inflated targets. Let’s see what gets built and who can afford them.

      2. we have the higest per capita budget of any city in the US, while at the same time having the highest homeless rate per capita. the city needs to focus its spend. the answer is not more dollars to an unaccountable city gov

  2. SF, despite these projections, continues to lag behind Seattle. And the Bay Area generally is failing to generate enough new units. Don’t know the annual number of new units created recently in the Bay Area, but I’d be surprised if its much more than 10K which greater Seattle has produced in some recent years.

    Do a google and there are some interesting articles on housing. What Seattle is doing right and the Bay Area is doing wrong.

    It’s not just an SF problem, its a Bay Area problem and the lack of new housing construction near transit corridors. Such as El Camino between SSF and Burlingame. A broad boulevard surrounded mostly by older two story commercial buildings. Ripe for mid-scale housing development. Or so you would think.

    In 2014 Seattle delivered 7500 new housing units. The current 10 year average is 3500. That is not enough though, and Seattle is embarking on a 10 year plan to build 50K new units with about 40% affordable. 5K/units per year.

    The next two years in SF will see 3200 units/year. And that is close to peak numbers.

    The 64K number sounds good, by comparison, but when you realize TI, HP and ParkMerced are decades away from completion, maybe not so good.

    It’s not just Seattle – DC added almost 5K new units in 2015.

    1. It is definitely a Bay Area sized problem. SF should be doing more. We make it very expensive to build here, though. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    2. Dave, promoting development on par with Seattle and DC is highly ironic coming from you. Every development that gets posted here you complain as being too tall, too many units, oversized, etc. Your general attitude is exactly why our development is where it’s at.

  3. We’re looking at rising interest rates, plus rising labor and material costs (perhaps in the extreme, given new immigration policy and competition from infrastructure projects). The tech sector is also not so hot since Trump won, due to the rising interest rates, immigration policy, plus trade restrictions. I’ll bet some of these real estate developers are breaking out the calculator right about now.

  4. I would hope that SocketSite clarifies the statement about large scale projects having ‘timelines measured in decades, rather than years’. E.g. it suggests that none of the units being developed in Candlestick will be available for decades to come. In fact, these projects will be developed in phases and – similar to the Hunter’s Point development – housing units will be coming gradually to the market over the next 10-20 years.

          1. My comment was in reference to the HP/Candlestick mega development. The plan is to add thousands of residents and workers to an area that’s already poorly served by mass transit. I’m not talking last-mile solutions, I’m talking adequate transit solutions.

            The CS will do very little to address congestion on our roads. It just doesn’t go far enough. DTX has been discussed ad nauseum for decades, but keeps getting pushed back which is a clear sign of its importance among those with the purse strings.

          2. It’s been mentioned over and over again. Candlestick will have improved access to the Brisbane Caltrain station and a rapid bus connection to Balboa BART. Both solutions improve access to public transport significantly without costing us billions in infrastructure costs. HP will have a bus connection to the T line on Third Street. Is this enough mass transit for you, Mark?

  5. Is Treasure Island really happening? I just can’t see how anyone would want to live there. I understand the views will be fantastic from some units but the commute. Getting back onto the bridge from that island is always a white knuckler. I would feel trapped. Guess we’ll see.

    1. What idiot would drive when you would have one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest commutes to Downtown SF (and BART/MUNI Metro) possible by ferry?

      1. Unfortunately, not everyone works near the Ferry Building.

        I think congestion on the bridge is a huge problem with TI development. I don’t know if there is a solution

      2. Easiest, quickest and cheapest? Are you serious? As SFRealist said, not everyone works near the Ferry Building.

        TI is a nightmare waiting to happen.

        1. Are you two serious? What does working “near the Ferry Building” have anything to do with it? We’re talking here about commuting to work in SF. Arriving at the FB after a pleasant quick trip across the Bay opens up multiple means of transport to all sectors. For 99% of Bay Area commuters (from Mountain View to San Rafael to Vallejo to San Ramon) TI dwellers’ arriving at the FB will be the equivalent of others’ getting their cars out of the garage and onto the street facing a long, costly painful slog. Gonna be the best damn commute to the City in the entire area.

  6. Expect to either cram into more congested muni and bart trains, pay for uber and lyft that will be stuck behind google buses, or pay for more transportation POST development…


  7. the city need to focus almost all of its dollars on visionary transportation projects. the traffic is 50% worse than just 5 years ago with nothing in sight to remotely help

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