;

October 2012

 

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants 
World Series Champions 2012

 

Unemployment

Unemployment across California dropped to 9.7 percent in September, with the Bay Area following suit: each of the nine counties posted declining rates as well. Once again, counties with the lowest unemployment in the state were located in the region, including Marin at 5.8 percent, San Mateo at 6.4 percent and San Francisco and Napa, both at 6.9 percent. 

 

Bay Area Unemployment Rates

 

County

Sept-12

Aug-12

Sept-11

Alameda

8.6%

9.3%

10.3%

Contra Costa

8.4%

9.0%

10.1%

Marin*

5.8%

6.3%

7.3%

Napa

6.9%

7.5%

8.3%

San Francisco

6.9%

7.4%

8.4%

San Mateo

6.4%

6.8%

7.9%

Santa Clara

7.9%

8.5%

9.6%

Solano

9.3%

10.0%

11.1%

Sonoma

7.6%

8.3%

9.5%
*Lowest in state. Source: CA-EDD

 

Historical Unemployment Rates:  San Francisco, California, U.S.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

 

Housing

Continuing recent trends, the median price for all Bay Area homes rose to its highest level in more than four years during September, $429,000. This is up 4.6 percent from $410,000 in August and 17.5 percent over last September’s median price of $365,000.  A total of 6,850 new and resale homes were sold in the region—down 20.2 percent from 8,579 in August (normal for the season), but up 1.5 percent over September 2011.

Three-and-a-half years after peaking, the number of California homes entering the foreclosure process fell last quarter to the lowest level since the early stages of the housing bust. Notices of Default in San Francisco were down nearly 46 percent relative to the third quarter 2011.

The low point for Bay Area home prices in the current real estate cycle came during March 2009, when the median price was $290,000.  Its last peak was $665,000, in June/July 2007.

 

Bay Area Home Sales: Volume and Median Price

 

  All homes

Sales Volume

Median Price

Sep-11

Sep-12

%Chng

Sep-11

Sep-12

%Chng

Alameda

1,348

1,322

-1.9%

$348,000

$379,000

8.9%

Contra Costa   

1,394

1,403

0.6%

$252,000

$320,000

27.0%

Marin          

239

268

12.1%

$628,409

$650,000

3.4%

Napa            

124

126

1.6%

$315,000

$345,000

9.5%

Santa Clara     

1,560

1,601

2.6%

$470,000

$550,000

17.0%

San Francisco

399

492

23.3%

$613,750

$745,000

21.4%

San Mateo       

607

655

7.9%

$551,000

$620,000

12.5%

Solano         

606

537

-11.4%

$195,000

$200,000

2.6%

Sonoma          

472

446

-5.5%

$307,000

$335,000

9.1%

Bay Area       

6,749

6,850

1.5%

$365,000

$429,000

17.5%

Source: DataQuick, www.DQNews.com
 

Notices of Default: Bay Area Houses and Condominiums

County

Q2 2011

    Q2 2012

      Yr/Yr

San Francisco             

472

         257

      -45.6%

Alameda                   

  2,654

       1,555

      -41.4%

Contra Costa              

 3,022

       1,822

      -39.7%

Santa Clara               

  2,176

       1,236

      -43.2%

San Mateo                 

   908

        506

      -44.3%

Marin                     

    295

        241

      -18.3%

Solano                    

  1,406

      918

       -34.7%

Sonoma                    

    896

        597

       -33.4%

Napa                      

    263

         152

      -42.2%

Bay Area                  

  12,092 

       7,284

      -39.8%

Source: DataQuick, www.DQNews.com

 

Commercial Real Estate

San Francisco’s office market cooled somewhat in Q3 2012, with the pipeline of tenants looking for more than 100,000 square feet shrinking after several spectacular transactions involving tech firms during the first half of 2012. A 50,000 square-foot-deal by real-time restaurant reservation service OpenTable in September marked one of the largest transactions of the quarter. 

Nevertheless, demand is expected to remain high, maintaining a competitive environment and helping to pave the way for new developments.

Nationwide, office markets are still impacted by weak economic growth and a struggling labor market, according to REIS.  Vacancy declined by 0.1 percentage points to 17.1 percent and Q3 asking and effective rents grew by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

 

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

 

Solar Development Plan Approved

After years of delays and false-starts, Federal officials have approved a solar development plan setting aside 445 square miles of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants and establishing 17 new "solar energy zones" on 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.   These zones were chosen in part for their proximity to existing power lines, which allow for quick delivery to energy-hungry cities, and because they present fewer of the environmental concerns that have plagued other projects. 

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a "roadmap ... that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands.”  He said that while four years ago the U.S. was importing 60 percent of its oil, this number has dropped to 45 percent. "We can see the energy independence of the United States within our grasp," he said.

Read more at Huffington Post.

 

Bayer Welcomes Start-Ups to CoLaborator™

Bayer HealthCare U.S. has recently opened a new facility at its Mission Bay Innovation Center, dubbed the "CoLaborator.™"  It will house three-to-four start-up life sciences companies whose technology platforms align with Bayer’s targets, offering lab facilities and access to the global expertise and equipment of the company’s research network in order to help them start working quickly. In exchange, Bayer will seek preferred access to partner with the emerging companies.

The CoLaborator™ is located within walking distance of UCSF, The Gladstone Institutes, QB3,  venture capital groups and more than 30 emerging science companies.

 

Moody's Considers San Francisco Credit Upgrade

Moody’s Investors Group reports they are keeping a close eye on a number of California cities regarding possible downgrades. However, while they are considering Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Los Gatos for the downgrades, San Francisco and Los Angeles are being considered for credit upgrades.

 

Atlas Reports Balanced California Migration

Though tales of people leaving California are common, Atlas Van Lines 2011 Migration Trends report indicates inbound and outbound activity in the state is balanced. California tops the list with the number of total moves.  Nationwide, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern coastal states continue to be popular destinations, while the Midwest contintues to lose residents.

 

Continued Economic Growth Predicted at ForecastSF 2012

More than 350 business and civic leaders convened at ForecastSF 2012, the region's leading economic forecast and jobs summit presented by Wells Fargo in partnership with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the SFCED.

According to an economic forecast shared at the event by Wells Fargo, San Francisco will continue to experience above-average job growth and strong income growth, as well as an uptick in tourism generated by the improving national economy. An updated study from San Francisco State University emphasized the role of the city’s healthcare sector in this growth: according to the report, hospitals and biomedical firms are responsible for one of every five jobs in San Francisco, while innovation in the life sciences accounts for 30 percent of all innovation jobs across the Bay Area.

Among the other factors spotlighted at the event: the proposed waterfront arena for the Golden State Warriors and the economic impact of the San Francisco Giants on the city. A panel discussion on San Francisco's unique neighborhoods underscored the role of tourism in the city's economy, and Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia reminded attendees of the ongoing importance of economic development efforts. 

"San Francisco enjoys a dynamic economy with many amenities and strong fundamentals," he said. "But local leaders must not become complacent and should continue to foster an attractive environment for businesses."

Added Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan, "A key to helping the economy is to lend to small businesses so they can strengthen their positions and grow."

 

 

QuickFacts is produced by the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (www.sfced.org). For more information please contact:

Dennis Conaghan
Executive Director
415.352.8819
Email: dconaghan@sfced.org
www.sfced.org