If housing in San Francisco was as plentiful as data about housing in San Francisco, most renters would be on easy street.
The rental site ApartmentList crunched some census numbers in over 400 cities going back to 2005 to figure out, which metros kept up with construction relative to job growth and which ones were lying down on the job.
The verdict: San Francisco (or more accurately, the SF-Oakland-Hayward census area) created only one new home per 6.8 new jobs between 2010 and 2015.
Compare this to the period from 2005-2010 (which includes the recession), when homes beat out jobs by 1.6:1.
That comes out to an average of three jobs per home for the entire 2005-2015 decade. Which isn’t the worst—San Jose edges us out with 3.2, for example (although their short-term imbalance since 2010 is only 5.5).
But note that, because of the size of the census tract, the figures are actually even worse than they look. If you take just San Francisco itself, excluding, Oakland and Hayward, it comes out to 8.2 jobs per home since 2010.
Even the verdict on which city is doing the best to catch up is depressing in its own right.
ApartmentList’s Chris Salviati writes:
The county that came closest to meeting demand over that period was Contra Costa, with 3.5 jobs per permit. Of the five counties that make up the San Francisco metro, residents in Contra Costa County face some of the longest commute times speaking to the importance of developing new housing in areas that are adequately served by efficient public transit.
Since ApartmentList relied on data from the U.S. Census, it’s a simple enough matter to check their work.
At the time of the 2010 Census, San Francisco (the city itself) reported 376,942 homes and an employed population of 446,447 persons. And the latest American Communities Survey estimated that by 2015 those number rose to 392,795 and 611,140, respectively.
That’s a ratio of 15,853 new homes in five years, versus 164,693 new jobs. Which actually comes out to a rate of more than 10 jobs per home, even more dire still than ApartmentList suggests.
Nobody at the site was immediately available to to discuss the discrepancy, which might be based on variables like seasonal adjustment.
[Update: ApartmentList’s Chris Salviati tells Curbed SF that the figures in his report come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a US Census survey of building permits rather than from the general census itself, and so the numbers are a bit different.]
In any case, the site’s analysis also notes that rents (based on census data) are up 43 percent since 2005.