San Francisco Center for Economic Development
April 2011
 

Unemployment

San Francisco unemployment rates, and those all around the Bay Area, remained relatively constant between March and February—as they did during the same period in 2010. Among the changes worth noting, however: 0.2 percent increases in Contra Costa, Marin and Solano County unemployment. Rates have lowered uniformly since March of last year.

 
Bay Area Unadjusted Unemployment Rates, March 2011
 

County

Mar-11

Feb-11

Mar-10

Alameda

10.8%

10.7%

11.5%

Contra Costa

11.2%

11.0%

11.6%

Marin*

8.0%

7.8%

8.6%

Napa

10.3%

10.3%

10.6%

San Francisco

9.1%

9.1%

10.0%

San Mateo

8.4%

8.3%

9.2%

Santa Clara

10.3%

10.3%

11.7%

Solano

12.3%

12.1%

12.5%

Sonoma

10.4%

10.2%

11.2%

*Lowest in State

Source: CAL-EDD
 
Historical Unemployment – San Francisco, CA, USA – From March 2008
 
 
Source: Cal EDD, BLS
 

Commercial Real Estate

Patterns in first quarter real estate reflect a market slowly improving with positive absorption, including slight decreases in vacancy rates and slight increases in asking rates. Job growth—essential to the recovery of commercial real estate markets—is bolstered by steady technology sector expansion south of Market Street and, increasingly, in the area north of Market as well.

According to Colliers International there are currently over 173 tenants in the market with the potential of leasing 1.33 million square feet. This indicates a continued recovery, led by the technology sector as well as improving financial, insurance and legal services sectors.

 
Source: Cushman & Wakefield
 

Bay Area Housing

Last month Bay Area home sales logged their best March in four years, albeit barely, with prices slipping slightly over 2010 levels. A variety of indicators—including investor and cash purchase levels and adjustable-rate loan use—point toward a normalizing market.

A total of 7,051 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine county Bay Area during March. That was up 41.3 percent from 4,991 in February and up 0.2 percent from 7,040 in March 2010. An increase in sales from February to March is normal.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos in the Bay Area was $360,000 last month, up 6.7 percent from $337,250 in February and down 5.3 percent from $380,000 in March 2010. Significant medium price reductions occurred in Contra Costa, Sonoma and Solano counties.

Foreclosure resales—homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months—rose in March to 31.5 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market. That is down from 32.6 percent in February but up from 31.3 percent in March 2010. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 9 percent. It remains unknown how many potential defaults remain influenced by ARM’s and employment challenges.

 

Sales Volume

Median Price

All homes

Mar-10

Mar-11

%Chng

Mar-10

Mar-11

%Chng

Alameda

1,506

1,400

-7.0%

$360,000

$341,000

-5.3%

Contra Costa

1,412

1,414

0.1%

$275,000

$245,000

-10.90%

Marin

225

249

10.7%

$640,000

$668,250

4.4%

Napa

136

128

-5.9%

$327,500

$308,000

-6.0%

Santa Clara

1,602

1,665

3.9%

$500,000

$460,000

-8.0%

San Francisco

500

495

-1.0%

$675,000

$650,000

-3.7%

San Mateo

533

579

8.6%

$615,000

$555,000

-9.8%

Solano

660

608

-7.9%

$215,000

$190,000

-11.60%

Sonoma

466

513

10.1%

$318,000

$285,000

-10.40%

Bay Area

7,040

7,051

0.2%

$380,000

$360,000

-5.3%

Source: DQ News
 

SFO

With the completion of a $383 million renovation, SFO’s new Terminal 2 has opened as one of the most sustainable and modern airport terminals in the US and the San Francisco home of American Airlines and Virgin America. Flights commenced on Thursday, April 14.

SFO airport activity between February and March show low percent change from month to month. This is not a poor indicator in this case. Statistical records show that the transition between February and March of last year had a small drop-off in passengers in both domestic and international. In March 2011 however, the percent change indicates that this year’s percentage stability is a noticeable 4.1 percent increase over March of 2010.

 

Airport Activity (SFO)

Mar-11

Mar-10

% change M-M

% change YTD

Total Passengers

3,139,089

3,118,364

0.7%

4.1%

Domestic

2,437,883

2,423,418

0.6%

3.3%

International

681,438

670,134

1.7%

6.6%

Flight Operations - Total

32,884

32,316

1.8%

2.0%

Source: FlySFO
 

International Service

Beginning June 6th, Air France will begin daily service between SFO and Paris using the super jumbo jet A-380. Lufthansa will begin A-380 service between SFO and Frankfurt on May 10th. SFO’s international Terminal which opened in 2000 was designed specifically to accommodate super jumbo aircraft.

 

UCSF Leads in Academic Rankings, NIH Funding

UCSF has again been named among the nation’s best graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Medicine is No. 4 for primary care and No. 5 for research—the only medical school that ranks in the top five in both categories.

UCSF received more research funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other public institution in 2010, and ranked third among all institutions nationwide. In 2010, the UCSF School of Pharmacy received $22.6 million in NIH funding, the most of any pharmacy school for the 31st consecutive year. The UCSF Schools of Dentistry and Nursing also ranked first, receiving $19.5 million and $9.9 million, respectively, while the School of Medicine ranked second with $422.1 million.

NIH funding plays a key role in supporting biomedical enterprise, including research into the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of diseases; epidemiological and clinical-research studies; and efforts to develop innovative treatments and cures.

 

More . . .

Target Lease in Metreon is Official
Target has been in the works for some time now creating a deal for the 99,677 square ft space was officially signed on April 19. The Metreon will soon begin construction on a multi-million dollar remodel to make room for Target, and to redesign its ground level as a food collection featuring Bay Area restaurant concepts.

 
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
The SFCED is pleased to be among the sponsors helping bring a major transatlantic conference to San Francisco for the first time: the British American Business Council’s “Impact of Innovation” forum, May 11–13 at the Fairmont Hotel. The conference’s lineup features an impressive group of senior executives and political leadership from both sides of “the Pond”—including representatives from Genentech, Virgin Galactic, Tesla, McKinney Rogers and Sequoia Capital. Lord Green, Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment, and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will address the delegates. Space is limited. Visit www.babcsf.org for more information and to register.
 
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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