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How retailers are succeeding in San Francisco

San Francisco’s changing demographics, tricky economics, and transforming neighborhoods are requiring retailers to adapt, but many are rising to the challenge. The city has become one of the most popular destinations for “clicks-to-bricks” retail stores; San Francisco is tied with Los Angeles in second place for where e-commerce retail opens their first physical location (as of 2018). 

One characteristic of successful stores is that they have a story in addition to a popular product; examples include Warby Parker, with 2 SF locations, and Allbirds. Both started as online-only retail (eyeglasses and shoes respectively) and then opened flagship brick-and-morter stores. 

Another winning strategy is anything that will get millennials in the door: experiential retail, pop-ups, fitness centers, and quality food and drink stores like Onedome, CorePower Yoga, and Barry’s Bootcamp are doing well enough to open new locations.

The downtown area is strongest, with stores targeting millennial workers in locations a little off of Market but still within easy reach. The Marina and Pacific Heights are also profitable locations, loci for millennials and far away from centers of homelessness.

 It may soon get much easier to open retail stores in the city; Mayor London Breed has announced a new initiative to speed up the permitting process for small business. The ordinance eases zoning codes, eliminates duplicative inspections, and standardizes local laws to match state regulations. In addition, according to the Mayor’s office, “The proposed investments for Fiscal Years (FY) 2019-20 and 2020-21 include $9 million to provide small businesses with access to capital through low-interest loans, resources for storefront and tenant improvements, and new funding to provide small businesses with financial assistance for regulatory fees.”

Source: Bisnow

Investor confidence in multifamily real estate begins recovery

According to a survey by National Real Estate Investor, confidence in multifamily properties appears to be recovering after a dip in 2018, though all other classes of commercial real estate have been neutral or dropped slightly. The survey asked respondents to rate the attractiveness of the major commercial real estate markets on a scale of one to ten. Most investors prefer multifamily and industrial properties over hotels, office, and retail; last year multifamily and industrial were tied for desirability, but this year multifamily pulled ahead at a 7.9 and industrial fell to a 7.5. They are both still well ahead of the other categories, though; hotels are a 5.9, offices are a 5.8, and retail is just a 4.8. 

Compared to 2018’s rankings, hotels dropped .2 points, offices dropped .1 point, retail held steady, and industrial dropped .2 points. Overall, multifamily has been a rock in the current real estate cycle, despite cap rates being driven lower by the high demand for multifamily. 

While desirability doesn’t necessarily reflect actual sales and purchases, sentiment can be a useful data point in the commercial real estate market. For more information about the current state of the market and how the San Francisco Bay Area differs from the nation as a whole, contact one of our advisors; we have specialists in multifamily and industrial properties as well as office and retail.

Source: National Real Estate Investor

Market Pulse: North Bay, July 2019

Welcome to NAI Northern California’s “Market Pulse” feature. We checked the pulse of the South 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 North Bay 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 North Bay office market’s inventory is at 40.7 million sq. ft. and rising, with 12-month net absorption also up at 325,000 sq. ft. of office space. Approximately 17.2 million sq. ft. are under construction with a downward trend. The vacancy rate is at 6.8 percent and dropping.

For the industrial market, 105 million sq. ft. of space is in the inventory, with more on the way. The 12-month net absorption is heading up, at 164,000 sq. ft., and the space under construction is also rising, at 1 million square feet. The vacancy rate is at 4% and trending upward.

There are 65.7 million sq. ft. of retail space available and rising, with a 12-month net absorption rate nearly neutral at -4,600 sq. ft. (a decreasing trend). Less is being built, though, with 61,000  sq. ft. under construction. Vacancy rates continue to rise, at 3.7%.

The multifamily market is up to 59,000 units available in the inventory. The 12-month net absorption rate averages just 24.2 units across the North Bay area, but is rising. Construction is on the upswing here, at 987 units, with a rising vacancy rate of 3.8%.

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

Market Pulse: South Bay, July 2019

Welcome to NAI Northern California’s “Market Pulse” feature. We checked the pulse of the South 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 South Bay 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 South Bay office market’s inventory is up to 129 million sq. ft., with 12-month net absorption also up at 1.6 million sq. ft. of office space. Approximately 6.4 million sq. ft. are under construction with an upward trend. The vacancy rate is at 8.6 percent and dropping.

For the industrial market, 198 million sq. ft. of space is in the inventory and rising. The 12-month net absorption is on its way up, at 1.1 million sq. ft., and the space under construction is dropping, at 710,000 square feet. The vacancy rate is at 5.6% and trending downward.

There are 80.1 million sq. ft. of retail space available, with a 12-month net absorption rate of 169,000 sq. ft. (a decreasing trend). Less is being built, though, with 1 million sq. ft. under construction. Vacancy rates continue to drop, at 3.4%.

The multifamily market is holding strong, up to 144,000 units available in the inventory. The 12-month net absorption rate is 2,100 units and rising. Construction is on the downswing here, at 10,00 units, with a rising vacancy rate of 4.7%.

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

Market Pulse: East Bay, July 2019

Welcome to NAI Northern California’s “Market Pulse” feature. We checked the pulse of the East Bay 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 East Bay 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 East Bay office market’s inventory is up to 112 million sq. ft., with 12-month net absorption also up at 134,000 sq. ft. of office space. Approximately 1.7 million sq. ft. are under construction with a downward trend. The vacancy rate is rising, at 8.7 percent.

For the industrial market, 265 million sq. ft. of space is in the inventory and rising. The 12-month net absorption is almost even, dropping to -1,300 square feet. The space under construction is also dropping, at 5.3 million square feet, and the vacancy rate is rising to 5%.

There are 124 million sq. ft. of retail space available, and more coming, with a 12-month net absorption rate of 5,000 sq. ft. (an increasing trend). Less is being built, though, with only 345,000 sq. ft. under construction. Vacancy rates continue to rise, at 3.5%.

The multifamily market is holding strong, up to 16,900 units available in the inventory. The 12-month net absorption rate is 1,300 units. Construction is on the downswing here, at 9,800 units, with a rising vacancy rate of 4.6%.

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

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

 

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

NAI Northern California’s Tim Warren named East Bay/Oakland Top Sales Broker by CoStar Power Broker Awards

Tim Warren recognized with CoStar Power Broker Award as a Top Sales Broker for the East Bay/Oakland

The CoStar Power Broker Award winners for 2018 were recently announced, and one of NAI Northern California’s top producers, Tim Warren, was named a Top Sales Broker for his work in the East Bay/Oakland market.

As a commercial real estate services company, NAI Northern California was also recognized as a Top Sales Firm in both San Francisco and the East Bay/Oakland markets.

Check out all the CoStar Power Broker Award winners here.