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Most of the 65,000 Units on the Way Are Still Largely Theoretical

After years of being underloaded, the San Francisco housing pipeline has begun to fill back up. New research from the Concord Group, a land-use consultancy, has tallied up all the units in various stages of development or planning and found that there are 64,789 units in the works in some form. This figure, however, includes some units that are still just conceptual, others that are stalled, and more that are inactive. As the Concord Group points out, the number of units that actually get built depends on many factors, from construction costs to financing. The report ultimately predicts that as many as 18,000 new market-rate units will hit San Francisco in the next five years, but this number may not even scratch the surface of the city's rampant demand for housing.

Of the units that are under review, fully or partly entitled, or under construction—meaning the ones that have some shot at becoming reality—a big chunk are rentals. More than 10,000 planned rental units are in those stages of development, with 4,745 already under construction. Nearly 11,000 for-sale units are in those categories, although only 2,294 are now being built, meaning that the recent trend in project development may be moving towards for-sale units. Even more units fall into the report's "other" category, which includes projects that are a mix of rental and for-sale or where a rental versus sale decision has not yet been made. Concord is seeing more developers choosing to get dual entitlements for their projects (rental and for sale) in order to take advantage of future market conditions.

So how does all of this stack up for Mayor Ed Lee's plan for 30,000 new housing units by 2020? Concord's prediction of 18,000 new market-rate units in the next five years means that the market-rate side of the equation could come close to the mayor's plans, which call for 20,000 new market-rate and 10,000 new below-market-rate homes. However, the BMR side appears to be lagging, meeting predictions of a civil grand jury report earlier this summer. There are 13,207 BMR units in some stage of the pipeline, but many of those will likely not hit the market by the 2020 target date.

· Numbers are Out for Bay Area Residential Pipeline [SFHAC]
· Mission Impossible [Curbed SF]