The real estate market in San Francisco is booming.
San Francisco Business Times reports “What glut? Renters flock to new S.F. apartment towers,” as about 1500 new apartments have become available over the last two months. These apartments, located from Mission Bay to Central Market to the Mission, have rents hitting $4.50 a square foot, or higher. So far, there have been enough renters to go around. For example, phase two of Trinity Properties’ 1,800-unit Central Market Street development has from 60-72% occupancy across the different towers. Employees from tech firms in the Bay Area, including companies such as Twitter, Yammer, One Kings Lane, Google, and Yahoo, are providing about 30 percent of renters at Trinity.
With real estate prices so high, it can be hard to live in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the “Cost of living is top issue in new S.F. survey.” When asked to name the most important problem facing your family, 32% (the most frequent response) said cost of living. However, the vast majority said San Francisco is a “good place to live” and “the place I consider my long-term home.”
The sale of property in San Francisco’s Union Square has reached record-breaking levels, as SF Business Times reports the“Sale of San Francisco Apple store smashes records.” The building that houses the Apple store is in contract to sell for nearly $50 million, which is about $3,000 a square foot.
However, San Francisco developers looking to put up new office towers might face an obstacle: “Flood of office proposals again raises Prop M fears” Under the current allotment allowed by Prop M (a 1985 law that was designed to prevent excessive office development), the city can approve 2.7 million square feet of new office projects between now and October 2014. In the last 18 months, developers have submitted pre-applications for projects that would total more than 6 million square feet.
Chain stores also find obstacles in San Francisco: The New Yorker writer Lauren Smiley posted “What it means to keep chain stores out of San Francisco.” Since 2004, San Francisco has regulated the arrival of chain stores (defined as businesses with at least eleven stores nationwide and having certain standardized merchandise) with a series of laws, but this is not an outright ban because since 2004 the municipal planning commission has approved permits for 75% of proposed chain locations.