;
 

Unemployment

San Francisco's unemployment rate increased slightly between December and January, from 7.6 percent to 8.1 percent, however year-over-year the trend is brighter, with San Francisco now posting the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in the Bay Area. Marin County once again has the lowest overall unadjusted unemployment rate, at 6.6 percent. At 10.8 percent, Solano County's is the highest. Other counties employment rates of note statewide: Orange (8.0), San Diego (9.3), Los Angeles (12.1), Sacramento (11.2). California's statewide unemployment rate is 11.3%.

 
Bay Area Unadjusted Unemployment Rates
 

County

Jan-12

Jan-11

Jan-10

Alameda

9.5%

11.1%

10.8%

Contra Costa

9.6%

11.2%

10.8%

Marin*

6.6%

8.1%

7.8%

Napa

9.2%

10.6%

10.7%

San Francisco

8.1%

9.6%

9.1%

San Mateo

7.2%

8.3%

8.1%

Santa Clara

8.8 %

10.5 %

10.3%

Solano

10.8%

12.4%

12.0%

Sonoma

9.2%

10.6%

10.0%

*Lowest in state. Source: CAL-EDD
 

Historical Unemployment—San Francisco—January 2009-2012

 

Source: CAL-EDD, BLS
 

Commercial Real Estate

With technology firms driving activity, the commercial real estate market remains strong. CBRE reports current demand in the market for 5 million square feet, represented by technology (43%), financial services (15%), and business services (12 %). Representative transactions since the first of the year include those by Salesforce.com (400,000 sq ft), Macys.com (225,000 sq ft), Riverbed Technologies (168,000 sq ft), and Al Kaban (63,000 sq ft).
 
Upward pressure on rental rates reflects this activity. City-wide rates average $38 per square foot, and depending on the submarket location, may exceed $50. Vacancy rates hover around 10 percent, and they are as low as 6 percent in several submarkets.
 

Housing

 

  All homes

Sales Volume

Median Price

Jan-11

Jan-12

%Chng

Jan-11

Jan-12

%Chng

Alameda

969

1,201

23.9%

$308,181

$295,000

-4.3%

Contra Costa   

1,092

1,115

2.1%

$240,000

$235,000

-2.1%

Marin          

174

191

9.8%

$500,000

$523,000

4.6%

Napa            

118

93

-21.2%

$315,000

$332,500

5.6%

Santa Clara     

1,134

1,183

4.3%

$439,000

$418,000

-4.8%

San Francisco

333

327

-1.8%

$590,250

$602,500

2.1%

San Mateo       

372

438

17.7%

$504,250

$465,000

-7.8%

Solano         

448

508

13.4%

$182,000

$179,750

-1.2%

Sonoma          

326

423

29.8%

$297,500

$285,000

-4.2%

Bay Area       

4,966

5,479

10.3%

$338,000

$326,000

-3.6%

Source: DQ News
 
Bay Area home sales rose last month to their highest level in January in the last five years, boosted by lower prices, low mortgage rates, a modestly improved economy and a record level of investor purchases. However, the median price paid for a home fell year-over-year for a 16th consecutive month as distressed sales rose to the highest level since early last year, a real estate information service reported.
 
A total of 5,479 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in January. That was down 26.9 percent from 7,494 in December, and up 10.3 percent from 4,966 in January 2011. The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Bay Area in January was $326,000. That was down 2.8 percent from a revised $335,500 in December, and down 3.6 percent from $338,000 in January 2011. Last month's median was the lowest since April 2009, at $304,000.
 

Rankings

Sustainability in California
Top 5 Cities Ranked by Number of Solar Installations Top 5 Cities Ranked by Solar Capacity (kW)
1. San Diego (4,507)
2. Los Angeles (4018)
3. San Jose (2,733)
4. San Francisco (2,405)
5. Fresno (2,146)
1. San Diego (36,775)
2. Los Angeles (36,174)
3. San Jose (30,617)
4. Fresno (22,444)
5. San Francisco (16,731)
   
Source: California Solar Cities 2012  
   
Real Estate  
Top 5 Cities for Investment Prospects for Commercial/Multifamily Properties by Market Top 5 Cities for Development Prospects for Commercial/Multifamily Properties by Market
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Austin
3. San Francisco
4. New York City
5. Boston
1. Washington, D.C.
2. New York City
3. San Francisco
4. Austin
5. San Jose
   
Top 5 Cities for For-Sale Homebuilding Prospects  
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Austin
3. New York City
4. San Francisco
5. Houston
 
   
Source: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012  
 

International Investment

According to a survey by the Association of Foreign Investors, for the first time San Francisco is one of the top five cities for international investors. Although it has long been a top US target for FDI, this is the first time San Francisco has landed within the top five. Sixty percent of those surveyed say that they plan to increase their investments in US real estate in 2012, down from 72 percent in the last year. However, investors also say that improved property "fundamentals" and the repeal of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act would have the strongest impact on their decisions to grow their US real estate investments.

 

SFO

Airport Activity

 
Despite economic challenges in 2011, SFO was able to maintain increases across all categories of travel activity. Total airport passengers increased by 4.2 percent to 41 million, with an increase in domestic activity of 5.1 percent to 32 million passengers and international activity increasing 1.9 percent to 9 million. International travel activity to Europe experienced the largest increase, of 11.7 percent, while Asia and the Middle East had the largest volume of travelers.
 
SFO continues to add additional service, with XL Airways France beginning twice weekly flights to Paris starting May 26. In addition, United Airlines will begin daily non-stop service between SFO and Reagan Washington National Airport on May 14.
 
The Airport currently offers service to 31 international points on 29 international carriers, as well as 69 non-stop connections to U.S cities on 20 domestic carriers, providing an ease of access paramount to the economic vitality of the Bay Area.
 
Source: FlySFO.com
 
 

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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