;
 

Unemployment

Year-end 2011 showed reduced unemployment rates in all nine Bay Area counties over December 2010. San Francisco reduced unemployment from 9.1 percent to 7.6 percent. The lowest unemployment rate in the Bay Area and the state remains Marin, at 6.5 percent, while the California rate is 10.9 percent. Unemployment in other counties of interest: Los Angeles (11.6%), Orange (7.8%), Sacramento (10.9%), San Diego (8.9%).

 
Bay Area Unadjusted Unemployment Rates, December 2011
 

County

Dec-11
%

Nov-11
%

Dec-10
%

Alameda

9.3

10.1

10.8

Contra Costa

9.3

10.0

10.8

Marin*

6.5

7.2

7.8

Napa

9.0

8.3

10.7

San Francisco

7.6

8.1

9.1

San Mateo

7.2

7.9

8.1

Santa Clara

8.7

9.5

10.3

Solano

10.5

10.9

12.0

Sonoma

8.9

9.3

10.0

*Lowest in state. Source: CAL-EDD
 

Historical Unemployment—San Francisco—December 2008-2011

 

Source: CAL-EDD, BLS
 

Commercial Real Estate

Retail
San Francisco metropolitan retail ranking numbers, compared to 190 US markets, rank #1 overall with the lowest vacancy rate at 3.7 percent, more than a full percentage point lower than 2nd ranked Fairfield County, CT. Rent rates are up 0.4 percent and vacancy is down 10bps. Comparative rankings are listed below:

  1. San Francisco, CA (3.7%)
  2. Fairfield County, CT (4.9%)
  3. Long Island, NY (5.6%)
  4. Northern New Jersey (5.7%)
  5. San Jose, CA (6.0%)
Source: ReisReports

Commercial Office
The big story continues to be the technology sector activity in San Francisco. This sector continues to drive rates up and vacancies down as tech firms expand throughout the South of Market area and seek new locations in the traditional North of Market Financial District.

 
San Francisco citywide vacancy rates in the fourth quarter 2011 dropped to 11.4 percent, compared to 15.2 percent in 2010, while Class A rental rates increased to $44.22, a 25 percent increase over the 2010 rate of $35.24. Leasing activity was strong in 2011, with more than 6.5 million square feet of new leasing transactions occurring.
 
2012 should be an interesting and challenging year as fears about the global economy, unemployment and other factors continue to influence decision makers. However, San Francisco and San Jose were identified by ReisReports as having the strongest rent growth of 79 metro areas surveyed during 2011. San Francisco began the year with announcement of Saleforce.com’s 400,000-square-foot office lease. The question remains as to when the first new building will break ground.
 
 

Housing

Overall housing sales volume increased slightly in December by 4.9 percent, while median pricing slipped 6.3 percent in the region and 3.6 percent in San Francisco.

 
Asking prices for multifamily properties hit a peak in November of 2008, at $198,171 per unit. The median asking price is now nearly 4 percent lower. The lowest asking price was during February of 2011, at $169,119. Asking prices from October of 2011 in San Francisco have increased by 9.4 percent year-over-year, but have declined by 0.7 percent in a three-month period from the October high.
 
Apartment vacancies continue to decrease, posting a record 3.6 percent vacancy rate. Much of this demand can be attributed to the ever expanding tech market and the desire of their workforce to live in the City.
 
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – rose to 36.6 percent of all homes resold last month, marking the fourth consecutive month in which foreclosure resales grew higher. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52 percent of resales in February 2009, then gradually fell and, in the fall, leveled off near 32 percent before beginning to rise modestly.
 
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards, with default notices on the rise again, but still below peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above-average
 

 

  All homes

Sales Volume

Median Price

  Dec-10  

Dec-11  

%Chng

  Dec-10  

Dec-11  

%Chng

Alameda

1,516

1,584

4.5

$347,000

$328,000

-5.5

Contra Costa   

1,488

1,534

3.1

$265,000

$259,000

-2.3

Marin          

226

280

23.9

$599,000

$517,818

-13.6

Napa            

134

132

-1.5

$310,000

$317,500

2.4

Santa Clara     

1,646

1,611

-2.1

$460,000

$440,000

-4.3

San Francisco

491

499

1.6

$617,000

$594,500

-3.6

San Mateo       

616

602

-2.3

$560,000

$500,000

-10.7

Solano         

601

714

18.8

$198,000

$182,250

-8.0

Sonoma          

460

538

17.0

$310,000

$279,500

-9.8

Bay Area       

7,178

7,494

4.4

$375,000

$351,500

-6.3

Source: DQ News
 

SFO

Christmas week 2011 travel took off last month at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). On Friday, December 23 more than 134,000 people passed through SFO. Overall, between Friday, December 16, 2011 and Monday, January 2, 2012, more than 2 million passengers passed through SFO, marking a 5% increase as compared with the same time last year.

Airport Activity (SFO)

Nov-11

Nov-10

%
change
M-M

%
change
YTD

Total Passengers

3,331,757

3,155,261

5.0

3.8

Domestic

2,667,331

2,501,088

6.6

4.6

International

648,542

654,173

-0.9

1.7

Flight Operations – Total

33,150

31,556

5.1

3.9

Source: FlySFO

 

Upcoming Conference: PV Power Plants Inverter & PV System Technology Forum – USA 2012

Solarpraxis, a leading knowledge service provider in the renewable energy sector, will host the Inverter and PV System Technology Industry Forum February 27-28 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The conference includes two days’ of industry information addressing the United States market, system costs, grid integration, and certification requirements. Regional, national and international experts will debate and participate.

 
For more information or to register, please visit: www.solarpraxis.de
 
 

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

 
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