SFCED QuickFacts for July-August 2014

July - August 2014

Commercial Real Estate

  • The second quarter of 2014 brought further robust growth in San Francisco’s commerical real estate sector, with leasing activity reaching 3.1 million square feet, the highest level since 2000.
  • This continued growth in the real estate sector is evident in Google’s recent expansion and significant lease transaction in San Francisco.
  • Year-to-date leasing activity has already surpassed 5 million square feet, more than 65% greater than leasing activity a year ago.
  • Overall vacancy rates fell to 8.9% from last year’s 9.4% during Q2.
  • Rental rates rose by 8.1% since Q2 2013, and are projected to continue rising.

Citywide Direct Rental vs. Vacancy Rates

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

Hotel Prices Highest in Five Years

  • Hotels prices in San Francisco have increased by 40% in the last five years. The average room rate of $123 five years ago has increased to $200 today.
  • This increase in pricing is attributed to low supply of hotel rooms coupled with high employment and the booming tech sector.
    Source: SF Business Times

Healthcare Leads the Way in SF Construction

  • San Francisco's top 10 construction projects are comprised of hospitals, transportation hubs, and office towers. These construction projects total $9.3 billion.
  • The largest surge in this construction is in healthcare, as outdated facilities and new regulations spur hospital building.

Top 5 Construction Projects in SF

Source: SF Business Times


  • San Francisco's unemployment rate remained low, at 4.5% in June. In comparison, Los Angeles County and San Diego County had unemployment rates of 8.2% and 6.1%, respectively.
  • In June, national unemployment fell to 6.1%, with California at 7.4%.
  • Seven of the nine Bay Area counties were in the top 10 California counties with the lowest unemployment rate in June. With unemployment rates of 14.9% and 22% respectively, Colusa and Imperial Counties had the highest rates.
  • Total employment in the San Francisco Bay Area expanded by 24,800 new jobs in the trailing 12-month period through May 2014. San Francisco's annual job growth of 2.3% eclipses the job growth rates of both the state and the nation.

Bay Area Unemployment Rate by County

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, CAL-EDD


  • The housing market in the second quarter of 2014 outpaced Q2 2013.
  • The average sales price for a single family home in San Francisco rose by 13.3%, following trends from the first quarter.
  • A total of 7,915 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in June. That was up 0.2% from 7,898 in April and up 0.2% from 7,897 in May 2013, according to DataQuick.
  • The median price paid for a home in the nine-county Bay Area rose in June to $618,000, the highest since November 2007. June’s median increased 0.2% from $617,000 in May, and rose 11.4% from $555,000 in May 2013.

Bay Area Home Sales: Volume and Median Price

Source: DataQuick, www.DQNews.com, NAHB

San Francisco's Tech Exports Lead Trade Growth

  • San Francisco's tech exports, valued at $25 billion last year, are projected to grow by another $30 billion in the next two years, and account for half of the city's total exports.
  • According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, tech-intensive goods will "become the largest single contributor to U.S. trade growth" by 2020.
    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Venture Capital

  • U.S. venture capital activity totaled $12.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014. The Bay Area continues to outpace comparable regions in total venture capital investment, with the Bay Area accounting for half of the national venture capital activity.
  • In Q2 2014, venture capital investment in the Bay Area totaled $7 billion. This represents a marked increase from Q1’s investment, which was shy of $5 billion.

Venture Capital Activity in the Bay Area

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree Report

San Francisco Ranks 7th of “100 Leading Locations for 2014”

  • Area Development Magazine named San Francisco as the 7th Metropolitan Area on their list of 100 Leading Locations.
  • San Francisco was also ranked as the second-best city in terms of economic strength.
  • San Francisco was recognized for its growth prospects, attributed to its well-educated and skilled workforce, role in global trade, booming technology industry, and tourism.
    Source: Area Development Magazine

Bay Area Tops Biotechnology Investments

  • As venture capital investment in the Life Science sector increased 15% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year, San Francisco led the way as the top recipient of Life Science investment of metropolitan areas in the United States.
  • The Bay Area received $479 million in investments, with 47 deals with an average size of $10.2 million.
    Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

San Francisco Ranked 5th of Global Cities of Opportunity

  • San Francisco was ranked 5th out of 30 global cities on PricewaterhouseCoopers's List of Cities of Opportunity, following London, New York, Singapore and Toronto.
  • San Francisco was the second-highest ranked American city and received high scores for "intellectual capital, innovation, demographics, livability and sustainability."
    Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

San Francisco Named Best Place to Launch a Career

  • Sunset Magazine named San Francisco as the Best Place to Launch a Career, as part of their list of the best places to live and work in the West.

Contact Us:

QuickFacts is produced by the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, a 501(c)(3) non-profit division of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

For more information please contact:
Dennis Conaghan
Executive Director
+1 415.352.8819
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