Market Pulse: San Francisco, July 2019

Welcome to the first edition of NAI Northern California’s newest feature. We checked the pulse of the San Francisco commercial real estate market to discover the ups and downs of the office, industrial, retail, and multifamily markets.  Each market has four dimensions: current inventory, 12-month net absorption, under construction, and vacancy rate.

Check out our July 2019 San Francisco Market Pulse infographic. If a dimension is on the rise, the pulse goes above the baseline; if it’s on the decline or negative, the pulse will dip below the baseline.

This month the San Francisco office market’s inventory is up to 175 million sq. ft., with 12-month net absorption down at 2 million sq. ft. of office space. Approximately 6.9 million sq. ft. are under construction with an upward trend. The vacancy rate is rising, at 6.3 percent.

For more detailed updates or to find out how San Francisco’s submarkets are doing, contact one of our advisors; whether you’re interested in office, industrial, retail, or multifamily properties, we can help.

Foreign Investment Rising for Net Lease Assets

Foreign investment in commercial real estate is on the rise due to the search for yield and portfolio diversification, according to the World Property Journal. Globally, investment in net lease properties (office, retail, and industrial) averaged $3 billion per year from 2011 to 2014 and is up to more than $8 billion per year from 2015 to 2019. In the United States, foreign investments for Q1 2019 represented 15.1% of net lease transactions, totaling $1.9 billion, up 6.6% compared to Q1 last year when they only represented 12.9% of the market. In 2018, foreign investors held 30.1% more net lease properties than in 2017, an $8.8 billion increase.

Most of these investors are from Canada, South Korea, and China. Canadians invested $5.55 billion, with a focus on industrial properties; South Koreans invested $3.28 billion, overwhelmingly preferring office space; and Chinese investments of $3.22 billion also focused on industrial assets.

So far this year, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Columbus, and Los Angeles have received the most foreign capital, but commercial real estate investments in high-growth secondary and tertiary markets like Phoenix, Seattle, Baltimore, and Atlanta are also becoming popular.

Source: World Property Journal

San Jose and Oakland challenge SF in private equity real estate market

California’s largest cities for real estate investment, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are now being challenged by San Jose and Oakland. California holds almost 20% of the private equity real estate (PERE) in the country and 12% of global PERE assets under management, according to a study by accounting and advisory firm EisnerAmper and Preqin. PERE properties include office buildings (high-rise, urban, suburban and garden offices); industrial properties (warehouse, research and development, flexible office/industrial space); retail properties, shopping centers (neighborhood, community, and power centers); and multifamily apartments (garden and high-rise). Less common but still an option are senior or student housing, hotels, self-storage, medical offices, single-family housing to own or rent, undeveloped land, and manufacturing space (via Investopedia). 

So how do the Bay Area cities compare?

San Francisco’s strength is in its office market, with $3.2 billion PERE deals in 2018 (a $1 billion increase over 2017) and another $1 billion already invested this year as the Bay Area’s largest tech companies continue to expand. The overall PERE total for last year was $4 billion,down from $4.8 billion in 2017; according to an article in the San Francisco Business times, “the drop-off in the quantity of large mixed-use transactions compared with recent years is at the heart of the decrease.” San Francisco is also running out of space, which limits growth.

While San Francisco is still the largest market for office transactions in the Bay Area, San Jose is leading in growth. Their office transactions in 2017 and 2018 both reached $1 billion, with a record in 2018 at $1.2 billion. In Q1 of 2019 alone, these transactions reached $500 million, putting San Jose on track to quadruple its PERE deals this year. The overall PERE total for 2018 was another record of $2.7 billion, almost 60% more than 2017 and a sharp contrast to San Francisco. 

Oakland may be emerging as a competitor, with more reasonable housing options for tenants; the tech company Square announced at the end of last year their intent to move 2,000 employees into an Oakland office. Even as a smaller city, it is on track to reach a total of $1 billion in PERE deals this year, with $560 million in Q1 2019 already; $493 million of that was just two office space deals by Starwood Capital Group. The city also has more Opportunity Zones than either of the other two cities.

With San Francisco as the “benchmark,” San Jose as the “growth leader,” and Oakland as the “up and comer” (according to the SF Business Times), all three cities are going strong.

Source: SF Business Times

 

How to take advantage of “Opportunity Zones”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created new rules for “opportunity zones,” underdeveloped neighborhoods, sheltering your investments from federal taxes with minimal limits and employment requirements. You only have a few more months to maximize the benefits of this program: so how does it work?

When you sell a property, you can immediately reinvest that gain, tax-deferred, into an Opportunity Zone by depositing it into a qualified Opportunity Zone fund (either one you create or a traditional one). Then you have two choices; buy a property in one of the zones, or invest in a business in the zone. We’ll focus on the property option.

You have 31 months to purchase your new property, whether it’s multifamily, retail, industrial, or office space. Eventually, you need to invest the same amount of money as the property’s structures (not land!) currently are worth; if the current building is worth $100,000, you need to spend $100,000 remodeling, rebuilding, or otherwise upgrading the building. This means if you buy a property with a structure worth very little, you don’t have to do much to get the tax benefits.

Speaking of benefits, not only is the tax on your original gains deferred until 2026, but if you hold it for seven years, 15 percent of that gain will completely avoid federal capital gains taxes. (You only get 10 percent if you hold it for five years.) And if you hold it for ten years and your new investment appreciates? None of that appreciation is taxable under federal capital gains taxes. This is an opportunity indeed!

There are 102 opportunity zones designated around the Bay Area, including in Oakland, Concord, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, and even San Francisco; visit the SF Business Times’ site for maps and stats about the zones, or contact one of our advisors to find a property that matches your investment goals.

Sources: BizJournals.com, Tax Policy Center

Read our June 25, 2019 newsletter

Tech booms, but small retail struggles in Silicon Valley

While Silicon Valley’s tech sector is thriving, cranking out IPOs and flooding the region with high-paying jobs, its retail industry is struggling to keep its boutiques and tiny mom and pop shops open.

The number of retail businesses — particularly small retail businesses — has dropped significantly in the Bay Area between 2007 and 2017, according to data from the state Economic Development Department. Experts blame a host of factors, including high rents, increased competition from online vendors, a rising minimum wage and increased health care costs.

The average rent per square foot for retail space in San Jose increased nearly 9 percent between 2015 and 2017. It also rose 9 percent in Oakland, and in San Francisco, it inched up almost 5 percent. Even incremental rent hikes can cause trouble for small businesses, which often operate on a thin profit margin.

At the same time, Bay Area home prices and rents have become so expensive that many local retail workers can no longer afford to live near their jobs, forcing them to commute long hours or quit.

Read the full article on The Mercury News

Read our June 11, 2019 newsletter

What are San Francisco’s plans for Mid-Market?

 Mid-Market’s vacancies, stalled developments trigger plants to activate dormant sites.

Stalled developments have meant boarded-up walls, vandalism and empty storefronts have become all too common along the upper stretch of Market Street. The city is hoping a new type of temporary permit will spark change.

Read more on NAI Northern California’s newsletter

How would San Francisco’s proposed fees on empty storefronts affect retail and mixed-use properties?

This week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to require owners of vacant storefronts unoccupied for more than 30 days to register their properties and pay an annual fee. This is one of the proposals they are considering to get a better idea of and start to remedy the glut of unused storefront space around the city.

Read more on Curbed San Francisco

Stanford Shopping Center wants to tear down a Macy’s store to make room for luxury retailers

The Macy’s Men’s store at Stanford Shopping Center could soon be replaced by retail heavyweights.

Simon Malls, the mall’s operator, proposed tearing down and replacing the 94,337-square-foot building with a Restoration Hardware and a Bashford luxury retailer, the Palo Alto Daily Post reports.

The men’s department store would be then merged into the shopping center’s main Macy’s store, Simon Malls Spokeswoman Solana Tanabe told the post.

A three-story, 43,581-square-foot Restoration Hardware store would reportedly take over the direct location, with a one-story 28,000-square-foot The Wilkes Bashford shop built on the nearby parking lot between Sand Hill Road and Pistache Place. Simon Malls is also looking to construct two 3,506-square-foot buildings as part of the plans.

Simon Property Group bought the mall from Stanford University back in 2003 for $333 million, though it still leases the land from the university. The surrounding region —  which includes Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Atherton — is prime for luxury stores, with Stanford’s median home value estimate is just of $3 million, according to Zillow.

Restoration Hardware reportedly will be designing its building to include a rooftop restaurant and garden, as well as second-floor terraces. Simon Malls also has an alcohol permit in the works.

 

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

Lucca Ravioli building asks $1.45M

Famed Valencia Street cornerstone for sale in triple-building package.

The building that for nearly a century housed Lucca Ravioli Company on Valencia Street is, as anticipated, up for sale. It’s part of a three-building package along with the two related buildings, all stuffed with a price tag of more than $8.28 million.

According to to the official history of Lucca Ravioli, the Italian goods store opened its 1100 Valencia Street locale in 1925 (18 years younger than the circa-1907 building it occupies), a family owned-institution that has endured through booms, busts, world wars, depressions, and the ever-changing character of the Mission District.

But as Eater SF reported in January, the neighborhood received shocking news that Lucca Ravioli will sell its last batch of tagliarini on April 20.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, no one will take over the family business once 50-year proprietor Michael Feno retires. The sale of the off-the-market building will certainly finance quite a retirement in today’s market.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

 

Read more at Curbed SF

 

 

 

NAI Northern California ranks in Top 5 San Francisco commercial real estate brokerages with revenue up 18% entering 2019

Leader in Bay Area multifamily, retail, and office investment sales and leasing transactions owes continued expansion to its team of talented people

Fast-forward from its 2004 debut on the San Francisco Bay Area real estate scene, NAI Northern California has grown in transaction volume to the 5th largest commercial real estate brokerage in San Francisco and 6th largest in the East Bay according to the San Francisco Business Times. With a major specialization in investment property sales and corporate leasing transactions, the company was up 18% in total revenue from the previous year.

“We are proud to have evolved into one the top brokerages that Bay Area investors turn to when it comes to representation of their multifamily, retail, office, industrial, and land assets,” says President James Kilpatrick.

He points out, “The secret to our success is that we invest in talented real estate professionals who provide amazing service on transactions and offer deep expertise on Northern California submarkets and far beyond. We bring together a group of people as diverse as the Bay Area itself, and we value what all these different experiences bring to serving our clients. Our company culture is really big on professional development and empowerment, from our interactive sales training workshops to our technology platform that encourages a high level of collaboration.”

At NAI Northern California’s recent 2019 Kick-Off Event hosted in downtown Oakland, James Kilpatrick and Brett Stratton led the team in celebrating great momentum. For the third year in a row, the spot of company-wide Top Producer was earned by Shivu Srinivasan, who leads one of the most successful teams in East Bay multifamily sales. Other top producers in the 2018 NAI Northern California President’s Club, include Kent Mitchell, Doug Sharpe, Ethan Berger, Tim Warren, Joel Calvillo, Mary Alam, Grant Chappell, Kevin Flaherty, Rudas Gebregiorges, and Joby Tapia.

“2018 was a great year for NAI Northern California, and we are excited to be celebrating with all our top agents in Las Vegas this spring for our Top Producers Retreat,” says James Kilpatrick. “Our San Francisco and East Bay teams are solid, and as the year unfolds NAI Northern California is ramping up an expanded presence to serve our clients in the South Bay Area.”