Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Controller's Office Report: December 2010 Economic Barometer

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The following includes a discussion of the December 2010 Economic Barometer highlights: 
  • The December unemployment rate in San Francisco was 9.2%, up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the prior month, and down from 9.4% a year ago. While the number of unemployed in San Francisco decreased by 1,000 since last December, this figure remains above 40,000, as it has since mid-2009. 
  • Total employment in the 3-County Metro Division remains weak, decreasing 1.4% in the last year, and declining in each of the past two months, on a seasonally adjusted basis. 
  • Housing prices in San Francisco have been inconsistent in 2010, fluctuating month-to-month depending on the number and type of transactions (i.e., foreclosure and short-sales vs. “normal” sales). Although December marked a decline from the prior month, the annual average price in 2010 of about $650,000 was up slightly from the 2009 annual average of $635,000 
  • Apartment market conditions improved steadily in 2010, with average asking rents increasing 14% compared to a year ago. However, rental rates are still about 10% below their peak in September, 2008 
  • Domestic and international airport traffic at SFO remains steady with both indicators showing healthy annual increases in December, while declining slightly from the prior month, on a seasonally adjusted basis. 
  • The hotel sector showed signs of improvement in December with both the average daily room and occupancy rates increasing on a seasonally adjusted basis from the prior month. Revenue per available room night showed consistent annual growth for most of 2010, with December’s RevPAR 24% higher than it was a year ago. 
  • San Francisco’s office market is showing signs of recovery nearly three years after the market last peaked at the start of 2008. Increased tenant demand has resulted in two consecutive quarters of positive net absorption beginning in Q3 2010, after nearly two years of tenants putting more space on the market than they were leasing. Increased tenant demand has lead to modest declines in the vacancy rate and a 7% increase in Class A asking rents compared to a year ago. While vacancy remains high at 17.1%, the rate declined steadily in 2010.
Please click here for the full report.  Thank you to Ted Egan, San Francisco's Chief Economist for producing this report. 

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