San Francisco Commercial Real Estate Happenings

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San Francisco has attracted commercial real estate investors and tenants nationwide as a vibrant, high-demand market in which to seek out opportunities. A buzzing tech and finance hub, San Francisco represents a land of potential for those seeking to trade in one of the highest-value markets in the US.

 Crexi equips these commercial real estate players with the data, tools, and broker connections they need to discover and transact commercial real estate in San Francisco. Brokers use Crexi’s robust listing and marketing suite to represent San Francisco properties to a national audience and capture the highest return on investment for their clients. 

Crexi equips commercial real estate players with the tools they need to quickly and efficiently complete deals. With over 330,000 properties and $300 billion in facilitated transactions since launch, Crexi proudly serves San Francisco and the larger Bay Area economy as the nation’s fastest-growing online commercial real estate platform.

The State of San Francisco Commercial Real Estate

Larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to dozens of world-renowned companies such as Tesla, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Intel, Visa, Trulia, and Airbnb. 

The California Gold Rush of 1849 quickly turned San Francisco into the main finance and banking center on the West Coast. At one point, the city was home to 25% of the entire State of California population. Over the past 30 years, the economy of San Francisco has diversified across a wide range of industry sectors, including high technology, education and healthcare, trade and transportation, and financial services.

San Francisco is known for its iconic landmarks and world-class destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Chinatown District, Union Square, and countless mixed-use neighborhoods centered around commercial corridors. Major league sports teams in the San Francisco Bay Area include San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland Athletics.

San Francisco Regional Breakdown

Although the San Francisco Bay Area population declined by nearly 1.7% last year, the State of California overall is losing people at about the same rate. Many residents may be migrating to less congested areas nearby. Inland counties just outside of the Bay Area grew by more than 1% year-over-year, including El Dorado, Yuba, and Merced counties:

  • San Francisco is home to over 800,000 residents, with over 4.7 million people living in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan area.
  • The population of the San Francisco Bay Area declined by 1.7% year-over-year.
  • San Francisco is the 4th most populous city in California and the 2nd most densely populated large city in the US.
  • Metropolitan San Francisco spans over 4,700 square miles, making the metro area larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
  • Over the last year, San Francisco’s property inventory on Crexi increased across asset classes, with retail representing the largest increase.
  • San Francisco Bay Area consists of nine counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, and Sonoma.
  • The largest cities in the Bay Area include San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Santa Rosa, and Hayward.
  • The median age in San Francisco is 39.2 years, with 56% of the population between 20 and 59.

The San Francisco Job Market

As the San Francisco economy begins to reopen, the demand for workers is exceeding supply, constraining some businesses’ ability to operate at full capacity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in San Francisco County is nearly half the unemployment rate in the entire State of California:

  • GDP of the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA is nearly $592 billion and has grown by about 90% over the past decade.
  • Employment growth in the San Francisco Bay Area was 1.57% last year, while median household incomes increased by more than 6% year-over-year.
  • Unemployment rate in metro San Francisco is 5.5% (May 2021).
  • Key industry sectors in San Francisco are IT & software, social & digital media, life sciences & biotech, environmental & cleantech, and international business.
  • While San Francisco is still a major banking and finance center of the West Coast, over the past 30 years, the region has diversified toward the booming industries of high tech, medical research, and biotechnology.
  • Thirty-eight Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area including Tesla, Gap, Levi Strauss &Co., Gilead Sciences, Apple, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Chevron, Netflix, PayPal, Wells Fargo Bank, Google (Alphabet), Facebook, and eBay.
  • Largest employers in the San Francisco Bay Area are the City and County of San Francisco, University of California (San Francisco), Kaiser Permanente, University of California (Berkeley), Wells Fargo Bank, and Safeway Inc.
  • Major colleges and universities in San Francisco Bay include University of California (San Francisco), San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco.
  • Nearly 90% of San Francisco residents are high school graduates or higher, while more than 51% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.

Transportation infrastructure in San Francisco include Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), San Francisco Bay ad Golden Gate Ferry systems, interstate and state highways, and the Port of San Francisco. The San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport also serve the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco Industrial Market

The demand for industrial space in the San Francisco Bay Area continues to grow due largely to the region’s thriving life science industry. Over the last quarter, industrial reported a positive net occupancy gain of 208,000 square feet, helping to keep the vacancy rate at less than 1.0% in some submarkets:

  • Total industrial inventory: 159,218,701 SF
  • Average asking rent: $16.86 per SF per year, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 5.6%
  • Absorption: 59,954 SF (Q2 2021)
  • Leasing activity: 1,528,452 SF (Q2 2021)
  • New construction: 284,581 SF delivered (Q2 2021) with 1,095,034 SF under construction
  • Largest industrial submarkets: San Mateo County, South San Francisco, Belmont/San Carlos, Brisbane/Daly City

Discover San Francisco industrial space for rent. 

San Francisco Office Market

Jobs numbers, stubbornly high unemployment, and government-mandated occupancy restrictions all continue to have a major impact on the office market in San Francisco. Vacancy rates and negative net absorption are forecasted to keep increasing this year, while the asking rent per square foot for office space in the San Francisco Bay Area is predicted to slightly decline over the next 12 months:

  • Total office inventory: 84,808,657 SF
  • Average asking rents: $73.76 per SF per year
  • Overall vacancy rate: 18.7%
  • Absorption: -1,500,000 SF (Q1 2021)
  • New construction: 1 million SF delivered to market (Q1 2021) with 1,083,333 SF of office space under construction
  • Largest office submarkets: South Financial District, North Financial District, SOMA, Mid-Market

Discover San Francisco office space for rent. 

San Francisco Retail Market

Due to one of the toughest shutdowns in the nation, the demand for retail space in San Francisco continues to decline, with vacancy rates the highest recorded in a decade. With unemployment remaining up, construction deliveries have stayed about the same while rental rates for retail space in the San Francisco Bay Area are trending down:

  • Total retail inventory: 11,742,644 SF
  • Average asking rent: $42.15 per SF per year, NNN
  • Overall vacancy rate: 7.7%
  • Net absorption: -136,900 SF (Q2 2021)
  • New construction: 0 SF delivered (Q2 2021) with 0 SF under construction
  • Recent sales transactions: Union Square submarket, 12,700 SF sold for $928 PSF, and SoMa submarket 4,550 SF sold for $825 PSF.

Discover San Francisco retail space for rent. 

San Francisco Multifamily Market

The multifamily market in San Francisco is showing signs of recovery after three quarters in decline. Over the most recent quarter, the average effective per unit rent for apartment space in the San Francisco Bay Area increased by 1.5%, with net absorption rising and vacancy on the decline:

  • Total inventory: 743,273
  • Renter occupied: 46%
  • Average effective rent: $2,225 per month
  • Vacancy rate: 8.0%
  • Absorption: +4,796 units YTD (Q1 2021)
  • Median sales price per unit (recent transactions): $367,241 – $573,604 per unit
  • New construction: 2,147 units delivered in Q1 2021 with 23,265 units currently under construction
  • Largest submarkets: Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Francisco County
  • Median household income: $114,696
  • Per capita income: $60,223

Discover San Francisco multifamily apartments for sale. 

Crexi Helps Seekers Discover San Francisco Commercial Real Estate Properties

Crexi strives to empower San Francisco property investors with every tool needed to identify and transact on commercial property opportunities. 

Investors and tenants interested in San Francisco can use Crexi to browse thousands of listings and narrow their searches by multiple variables, such as price or rate per square foot, size, property class or subtype, occupancy, and even neighborhood. 

Once an interested party finds its perfect San Francisco investment option, they can easily click on the listing page to connect with the broker and learn more. San Francisco property seekers can download brochures and PDFs within seconds and even submit a letter of intent (LOI) via Crexi’s secure platform.

Intelligence Equips San Francisco with Market Knowledge

Due diligence and research are essential steps in securing the best deals when it comes to property acquisition. Crexi created Intelligence to arm investors and tenants alike with an easy way to understand what makes San Francisco a promising investment opportunity and the insights needed to determine the best fit for their needs.

Intelligence is a subscription service that unlocks access to millions of property records, sales comparables, and more than 50 detailed MSA market reports. An Insights tab lives on every property page, cluing seekers into real-time analytics such as demographic data, average asking price in the region, square footage, and other relevant information.

Intelligence is available on a subscription basis to help buyers and sellers make the best investment decisions possible.

How Crexi Empowers San Francisco Brokers

San Francisco’s commercial real estate market is far from distressed, and local brokers use Crexi to represent more than 1,000 properties for sale and commercial lease within the city limits. 

Brokers can freely list their assets on Crexi’s online marketplace, with a convenient dashboard to view and manage leads across property types, including:

  • Industrial facilities
  • Multifamily units
  • Land parcels
  • Retail buildings
  • Office units
  • Non-traditional properties, such as self-storage, medical offices, or senior/assisted living

San Francisco agents use Crexi to navigate every stage of a CRE transaction online, powered by useful lead contact tools, pipeline management, buyer activity insights, and a secure digital due diligence vault. 

And while Crexi’s free broker tools are robust, the real advantages emerge with Sale PRO, Lease PRO, and All PRO

Crexi PRO Dashboard 2020

Crexi PRO

Crexi PRO was designed to enhance broker workflows and allow San Francisco agents to quickly and efficiently close more deals. The PRO dashboard equips users with next-level lead information access and reporting functionality, allowing brokers to prioritize building their network and expose listings to a national audience. In the last year, 75% of property seekers came from in-state, while 25% originated outside of California.

PRO listings also enjoy top placement on Crexi’s search result pages, seen first by actively seeking buyers and renters. These listings also are sent to Crexi’s mail user base, tailored to demand preference by machine learning and winning a 10-15% higher click-through rate than industry averages.

PRO users can also access Intelligence at no added cost, equipping them with in-depth market knowledge and providing added value to their clients.

San Francisco brokers use Crexi PRO to interact with over 55,000 leads looking for local property in the last two years and the 6.5 million leads nationwide who use Crexi to find properties.

On average, Crexi PRO users earn up to 125% more contacts and close up to eight more deals than non-PRO brokers.

Contact to learn more about Crexi’s PRO membership.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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