According to the Department of Finance's latest population estimates, San Francisco is a healthy, growing young lass: The population grew 1.1 percent (9,000 residents) last year. So where are we going to put them all?
The city came in second in terms of net housing gains, increasing stock by 2,848 units. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 12,500 net units added to Los Angeles, who took the number one spot, but it‘s still well ahead of every other California city.
But the fact is, we beat LA for housing growth on a per capita level, gaining one net new unit per 3.1 new residents, versus one per four new residents down south. Relative to the total population, LA gained one unit per 333 people, San Francisco one per 304.
That's not as good as the year before, when we managed one unit per 2.6 new people, but it's much better than 2013 (3.6) or the disaster of 2012, when the city’s population exploded by (wait for it) 13,461 people, but we managed only 1,279 new housing units, one per 10.5 new residents.
Those must have been some cramped condos.
Indeed, it remains to be seen both whether the city can keep up this present pace of building and whether it’s enough to make up for the comparable sluggishness of some years past. The overall vacancy rate has declined only 0.3 percent over all of those years, to 7.5 percent today.
But at least we ran a tight ship this time.
San Jose got the greatest number of new residents in the Bay Area: 12,000. (But they only managed to gain 2,172 housing units, one per 5.5 people.) Nearby Los Altos and Moraga Hill are actually the fastest growing cities in the Bay Area, growing by 2.8 percent and three percent, respectively.