Home News Downtown S.F. keeps adding housing units, but does anyone actually want to live there?

Downtown S.F. keeps adding housing units, but does anyone actually want to live there?

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Take a walk on Montgomery Street, San Francisco’s financial district, on weekday nights You are unlikely to see Common sights in other more suburban areas: People walk their dogs or guide a herd of children to a building while losing weight with a grocery bag filled with supper equipment. ..

Despite seeing downtown notable, it’s only partially Increase in housing With modern units, the demand for them when they hit the market seems to be low at first glance.

Since 2018, units have tended to spend more days in the market than the rest of the city for the three zip codes covering the financial district and its north-south region, according to data from the real estate list database MLS. .. And sell at a lower median list price.

These zip codes are 94108 and cover California Street, Nob Hill, Chinatown to Market Street. Surrounded by Market Street in the south and Kearney and batteries in the west and east, 94104. The 94105 covers the southern area of ​​Market Street, which stretches south towards Embacadero and stretches towards Oracle Park.

In 2018, properties in the financial district area were sold at a median of $ 1.2 million, even though they were listed at a median of $ 1.3 million. They also spent more than twice the median number of days in the market compared to the units sold in the city that year.

Units listed in the region in 2019 and 2020 are also likely to sell below their original list price, spending a median of 62 and 70 days in the market, respectively. This was compared to a median of 17 days in the city-wide market in 2019 and 22 days in 2020.

In 2021, the median selling price of $ 1.15 million approached the median list price of $ 1.24 million in the downtown area, but the number of days spent in the market was 69 compared to the city’s 16 days. It was almost the same as the day.

Part of the reason industry experts suggest is that single-family homes continue to be San Francisco’s most desirable and overpriced property.

“Most of these (downtown) locations, almost all, are condominiums,” said Adam Brinklow of Front Steps San Francisco Real Estate, who provided the MLS data. “For the last decade, single-family homes have been a big impetus,” and are most in demand, especially for those looking to raise a family in the city.

That’s why many people living in the heart of downtown are well-established professionals of middle-aged and older who are already raising families. People like John Dunlap who have lived in the 3rdand Market building for four and a half years.

According to Dunlap, his building is home to professional athletes, Trump and Biden presidents, bank executives, other established types of people, and some families.

Due to its proximity to cultural facilities such as museums and mechanical laboratories, you can go beyond the comfort of riding a bicycle or using transportation along the Embacadero.

Compared to the rest of San Francisco, some parts of downtown center are short on housing, while housing is on the rise.

Called “Downtown” by the San Francisco Planning Authority, the area is largely surrounded by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, and Sacramento Street, which leads to Embacadero, with a 8.7% increase in residential units between 2010 and 2021.

According to Robbie Silver, director of the nonprofit organization, there are approximately 350 units in 11 locations within the downtown community benefit district, surrounded by Kearney Street and Market Street, Pacific Avenue and Embacadero.

Despite the tight squeeze in one of the city’s oldest areas, the 8.7% increase was one of the highest rates in the city.

In addition to the city’s 15 planned districts, downtown, of the Presidio, Treasure Island, and Golden Gate Park areas, has seen a net increase in residential units over the past decade, second only to the Richmond district, the South of Market, and the northeastern part of the city. I came in 4th place. Includes North Beach, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf.

The South of Market area has increased by 9.4% in units, many of which are second in the form of high-rise towers such as the 392-unit Condo Complex Mira SF on Folsom Street and the Luminary Tower on nearby Folsom Street. I did.

Garrett Flake of real estate sales and marketing firm Polaris Pacific said many of the condominium and rental markets near downtown are concentrated in the southern part of Market Street, which heads south from near Embacadero to the stadium. rice field.

“There are both a series of very important rental towers and condo towers that enjoy the waterfront lifestyle and retail opportunities,” he said.

But after the recent completion of the Mira Tower, there aren’t many new units on the market in the area, Flake said. “Construction is just not moving forward,” he said. Rising construction costs Among other problems.

The area most San Francisco San Francisco considers to be the South of Market nearby (the area where flakes describe as a low-rise street lined with muffler shops and tech companies) has some housing stock, including many rental properties. there is.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Vesta Asset Management, said units in the region lost about 30% of their value during a pandemic. According to Griffith, it has returned to about half and the unit is almost full again, but rents are still below the city’s more residential market.

Returning to the heart of downtown, an increase of 8.7% over the last decade represents more than 35,000 homes.

More people living in or adjacent to downtown Mayor of London Breed‘splan Encourage more people, including office workers, to spend more time in the area.But in other major metropolitan areas, San Francisco, while more and more people are swiping into the office environment. Running late..

Silver and his group have focused on holding events after the office was closed, attracting people to the area, giving it a more neighborhood atmosphere and rushing to revive the district. More people living there may help move the area in that direction, but for Dunlap, who already lives there, it’s not difficult to find a neighborhood atmosphere.

“After hours, a lot of things are happening,” he said, saying that the building’s architecture is flourishing, with a large selection of restaurants and small shops that sit quietly in places like Maiden Lane. I pointed out.

“We welcome more residents and more homes,” said Dunlap, giving the area a more neighborhood atmosphere and voice. “If a building is no longer used for business or office reasons … there is no reason for the building to decline.”

Chase DiFeliciantonio is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] twitter: @ChaseDiFelice

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