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Multifamily Markets: San Francisco

San Francisco the least affordable city in the United States in which to rent, but residents have something to be thankful for, as it is also the fifth most active city in the country for multifamily development, and construction shows no signs of slowing down. Of the nearly 55,000 units under development, more than 30,000 are in the permitting stage and another 16,000 in planning, leaving just 8,300 actively under construction – in other words, most of its development is still to come.

San Francisco offers the best of all worlds for city-dwellers. According to the AllTransit Performance Score, jointly published by the nonprofit research institutes Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter for Neighborhood Technology, San Francisco has the best public transportation system in the nation, with 99% of all San Franciscans living within a half-mile of transit. The city ranks highly for “recreation saturation” that is, access to parks. Most San Franciscans are no more than a half-mile from not only transportation, but also one of the city’s 220 green spaces.

San Francisco has long held a reputation as a world-class restaurant destination. The city’s 55 Michelin-starred restaurants and The Washington Post’s recent ranking of San Francisco as the second best food city in the U.S. cement its position as a foodie’s paradise. This coincides with its ranking by U.S. News & World Report’s as the 7th best night life scene in the country.

Aside from San Francisco’s cultural appeal, the broader MSA boasts one of the strongest job markets in the U.S., particularly in the technology industry. Though this is in part thanks to its proximity to the economic powerhouse of Silicon Valley, the city-proper is also home to the headquarters of Airbnb, Salesforce, and Twitter. The MSA has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2.4% (as of May 2018).


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