San Fran turned ghost town? Here’s how empty the city really is

San Fran, before the virus was a town of 800,000 plus tens of thousands of tourists each day, a hundred thousand workers coming in from the Bay Area.  Today the city is a ghost town, cars lanes are now for bikes only. Businesses are telling their workers to work from home and businesses are either closing or leaving as their leases expire. Due to rent and eviction moratoriums, the value of property is declining—meaning property tax revenues will go down.  Sadly, due to lack of funds, these housing facilities will turn into slums due to lack of funds to maintain the properties.

“According to an ABC7 data analysis of real estate data, there are 147 luxury condos on the market in South Beach.

“Comparing it to the last 5 years, it’s really unheard of… it’s so rare for any to come up,” Canlas said.

In just the last two days, 25 people posted on the Rincon Hill (South Beach) Nextdoor feed stating they are moving out of South Beach citing everything from, “work from home,” “high costs,” and “there’s nothing to do.”

“It’s all about supply and demand,” said Daryll Canlas.”

With schools no longer pretending to educate, businesses wanting workers to stay at home, the famous restaurants are close, there is no reason to be in or go to San Fran.

San Francisco turned ghost town? Here’s how empty the city really is

Before the pandemic hit, San Francisco had the highest building occupancy rate in the country. Now, most of the city’s skyscrapers sit empty. Residents, many now working from home, cite “high prices” and “there’s nothing to do” as reasons why.

By Stephanie Sierra, KGO, 7/29/20   

San Fran, before the virus was a town of 800,000 plus tens of thousands of tourists each day, a hundred thousand workers coming in from the Bay Area.  Today the city is a ghost town, cars lanes are now for bikes only. Businesses are telling their workers to work from home and businesses are either closing or leaving as their leases expire. Due to rent and eviction moratoriums, the value of property is declining—meaning property tax revenues will go down.  Sadly, due to lack of funds, these housing facilities will turn into slums due to lack of funds to maintain the properties.

“According to an ABC7 data analysis of real estate data, there are 147 luxury condos on the market in South Beach.

“Comparing it to the last 5 years, it’s really unheard of… it’s so rare for any to come up,” Canlas said.

In just the last two days, 25 people posted on the Rincon Hill (South Beach) Nextdoor feed stating they are moving out of South Beach citing everything from, “work from home,” “high costs,” and “there’s nothing to do.”

“It’s all about supply and demand,” said Daryll Canlas.”

With schools no longer pretending to educate, businesses wanting workers to stay at home, the famous restaurants are close, there is no reason to be in or go to San Fran.

San Francisco turned ghost town? Here’s how empty the city really is

Before the pandemic hit, San Francisco had the highest building occupancy rate in the country. Now, most of the city’s skyscrapers sit empty. Residents, many now working from home, cite “high prices” and “there’s nothing to do” as reasons why.

By Stephanie Sierra, KGO, 7/29/20   https://abc7news.com/san-francisco-housing-market-coronavirus-california-real-estate-affordable/6341378/

Walking through San Francisco’s South of Market and Financial District feels like a ghost town, as 90-percent of the city’s workforce is working from home and people are leaving the city.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Walking through San Francisco’s South of Market and Financial District feels like a ghost town.

90-percent of the city’s workforce is working from home and people are leaving the city.


The ABC7 I-Team is digging into how this is impacting real estate.

Before the pandemic hit, San Francisco had the highest building occupancy rate in the country. Now, most of the city’s skyscrapers sit empty. How long will it stay that way? Is all this emptiness driving prices down everywhere?

“It went severely over asking… $400,000 over asking,” said Jason and Stephanie Hicks. “We were shocked.”

In the midst of the pandemic, the two newlyweds decided to leave SOMA for a better value in Alameda.

“We are both working from home now,” Hicks said. “We need more space.”

The Hicks fell in love with a house in downtown Alameda and felt hopeful about the market.

“Ultimately, 85 folks were interested in the same property… We were shocked.”

In this case, it’s a seller’s market in Alameda.

Real estate agents Neil and Daryll Canlas of The Canlas Brothers explain it varies depending on where you look in San Francisco.

“Property values have taken a little bit of a hit, but there are pockets… certain areas that are stronger than others,” said Neil Canlas.


One pocket hit the hardest? South Beach.

According to an ABC7 data analysis of real estate data, there are 147 luxury condos on the market in South Beach.

“Comparing it to the last 5 years, it’s really unheard of… it’s so rare for any to come up,” Canlas said.

In just the last two days, 25 people posted on the Rincon Hill (South Beach) Nextdoor feed stating they are moving out of South Beach citing everything from, “work from home,” “high costs,” and “there’s nothing to do.”

“It’s all about supply and demand,” said Daryll Canlas.

There’s plenty of supply in Soma, South Beach, and Mission Bay. Of the more than 1,300 active listings in San Francisco, nearly one-third are in those areas.

With inventory high, prices are taking a slight dip.

Before COVID-19, the average listing price for a two-bedroom condo in South Beach was around $1.95 million. Now, the average price has dipped down $30,000 to $1.92 million. For one bedroom condos, the average price is down $15,000.

“We’ll continue to see a vacancy rate, because people don’t need to live in the city,” Canlas said.

No need to live or work in the city, especially as some companies are gone for good.


We know that from San Francisco’s building vacancy rate.

ABC7’s data analysis shows at the end of last year, vacancy rates were 5.4 percent.

Now, vacancy rates are nearly 10 percent.

To put those rates in perspective, San Francisco’s building vacancy is comparable to other major cities like Seattle and Boston.

“It probably seems much worse than it really is,” said Robert Sammons, a senior researcher with commercial real estate group Cushman and Wakefield. “Most of these spaces have leases in place, long-term leases from very well-funded companies… that’s the good part.”

Sammons said most of the 7,500 companies leasing building space in the city and county have been able to keep their lease agreements during the pandemic. But, not all of them are as well-funded as others and these leases are six to seven-year commitments.

The question is – how much longer will those tenants last?

“That’s the tough question,” said Sammons. “Without a vaccine, without other things in place…we just don’t know.”

Assuming there’s progress with a COVID-19 vaccine, Sammons anticipates companies (big and small) could start allowing 25 percent of employees back in the office by the fall. But, it will be gradual and depend on guidance from the city.


Walking through San Francisco’s South of Market and Financial District feels like a ghost town, as 90-percent of the city’s workforce is working from home and people are leaving the city.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Walking through San Francisco’s South of Market and Financial District feels like a ghost town.

90-percent of the city’s workforce is working from home and people are leaving the city.


The ABC7 I-Team is digging into how this is impacting real estate.

Before the pandemic hit, San Francisco had the highest building occupancy rate in the country. Now, most of the city’s skyscrapers sit empty. How long will it stay that way? Is all this emptiness driving prices down everywhere?

“It went severely over asking… $400,000 over asking,” said Jason and Stephanie Hicks. “We were shocked.”

In the midst of the pandemic, the two newlyweds decided to leave SOMA for a better value in Alameda.

“We are both working from home now,” Hicks said. “We need more space.”

The Hicks fell in love with a house in downtown Alameda and felt hopeful about the market.

“Ultimately, 85 folks were interested in the same property… We were shocked.”

In this case, it’s a seller’s market in Alameda.

Real estate agents Neil and Daryll Canlas of The Canlas Brothers explain it varies depending on where you look in San Francisco.

“Property values have taken a little bit of a hit, but there are pockets… certain areas that are stronger than others,” said Neil Canlas.


One pocket hit the hardest? South Beach.

According to an ABC7 data analysis of real estate data, there are 147 luxury condos on the market in South Beach.

“Comparing it to the last 5 years, it’s really unheard of… it’s so rare for any to come up,” Canlas said.

In just the last two days, 25 people posted on the Rincon Hill (South Beach) Nextdoor feed stating they are moving out of South Beach citing everything from, “work from home,” “high costs,” and “there’s nothing to do.”

“It’s all about supply and demand,” said Daryll Canlas.

There’s plenty of supply in Soma, South Beach, and Mission Bay. Of the more than 1,300 active listings in San Francisco, nearly one-third are in those areas.

With inventory high, prices are taking a slight dip.

Before COVID-19, the average listing price for a two-bedroom condo in South Beach was around $1.95 million. Now, the average price has dipped down $30,000 to $1.92 million. For one bedroom condos, the average price is down $15,000.

“We’ll continue to see a vacancy rate, because people don’t need to live in the city,” Canlas said.

No need to live or work in the city, especially as some companies are gone for good.


We know that from San Francisco’s building vacancy rate.

ABC7’s data analysis shows at the end of last year, vacancy rates were 5.4 percent.

Now, vacancy rates are nearly 10 percent.

To put those rates in perspective, San Francisco’s building vacancy is comparable to other major cities like Seattle and Boston.

“It probably seems much worse than it really is,” said Robert Sammons, a senior researcher with commercial real estate group Cushman and Wakefield. “Most of these spaces have leases in place, long-term leases from very well-funded companies… that’s the good part.”

Sammons said most of the 7,500 companies leasing building space in the city and county have been able to keep their lease agreements during the pandemic. But, not all of them are as well-funded as others and these leases are six to seven-year commitments.

The question is – how much longer will those tenants last?

“That’s the tough question,” said Sammons. “Without a vaccine, without other things in place…we just don’t know.”

Assuming there’s progress with a COVID-19 vaccine, Sammons anticipates companies (big and small) could start allowing 25 percent of employees back in the office by the fall. But, it will be gradual and depend on guidance from the city.


About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Gerry Nimmo says

    Left-wing citys are getting what they deserve. They are the least able to cope with the economic downturn because they have overspent their budgets on employee compensation and over-staffing. I have not been to SF in over ten years and I live about 90 minutes away. I decided years ago, SF had become a sewer and I owe them not a thing. You couldn’t pay me to spend five minutes in that cesspool.

  2. Really??? says

    When you steal from the wealth producers there will come a point where it no longer makes sense.

    Unless you are a hard core Marxist you will not be able to make “justifications” work. Taxes too high. Regulation suffocating. Destruction of rational transportation grid. Inviting the worst of society and blame it on Capitalists.

    The Marxist Democrat Party that has now cast itself ad the Rebellion Confederates of the Civil War are now just a breath away from full conflict with the rest of the nation. Seattle, Portland, Baltimore, Los Angeles, etc. etc.

    Vote Democrat? Why, unless you want to see this nation crumble.

  3. SF may be a prelude for the entire State. Newsom was Mayor of SF for 8 years before he became Governor. Looks like he may be “leading” us down the same path.

  4. John Steele says

    IMPACTING real estate.. really. The place Is a ghost town. I walked through one of the better parts ( if thats possible now ) and it looked empty. No people walking around. NO tourists, no one working on roads, trash had piled up in allies and street corners etc. Not many cars, but there were still drug dealers on corners giving me a sideays look. I eventully got back in the car, locked the doors and headed back up north for the next 4 hrs.. Gel Hair and DA Mayor Breedlove have killed SF.. once a jewel city of the world. Bring back the Italians who know how to run a city

  5. Ken Hunter says

    I was in San Fransicko last time 24 years ago. There was homeless everywhere on streets. Stepped over syringes and puke. Does not sound like it the place got any better since then. Mult Millon dollar condo owners should try to buy elsewhere out of CA and then mail the keys back to the bank on their way out.

    I watched Planet of the Apes…It’s over.

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