San Francisco's high-value housing market likely rise at slower pace 

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The cost of housing in San Francisco is expected to continue rising, but at a slower clip than in the past year, according to an economist.

The cost to purchase a house or rent an apartment here climbed rapidly in the past year, driven by an influx of well-paid workers in the technology field and other professional services.

"Home prices will continue to appreciate, but they will not appreciate at the rate they have in the past," said John Silvia, chief economist for Wells Fargo Securities.

Silvia said the recovering economy has brought an influx of well-educated, well-paid people to a city with limited space, which has put pressure on the housing stock.

Silvia and UC Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti both said during a San Francisco Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday that The City needs to do more to accelerate housing construction.

Silvia said housing prices will have a negative impact on San Francisco if they continue to increase at their current pace, since first-time homebuyers already have had trouble with costs.

Of late, much attention has been paid to rising tensions between existing residents and new ones, such as the younger tech workers who are partially being blamed for rising housing costs.

However, a study by Moretti discussed Wednesday highlights that the tech sector also is responsible for supporting many nontech jobs.

For every innovation job in The City, there are five other jobs created, two professional positions and three in service, according to the report. Tech jobs in San Francisco, which are the minority, support 65 percent of the service jobs here, Moretti said.

Silvia said as San Francisco's economy continues to grow, there will inevitably be pressure on the housing market.

"It is the reality of an economy that has the right techniques and the right talents for a global economy," he said.

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Mike Billings

Mike Billings

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Mike Billings is the editor in chief of The S.F. Examiner.
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