New units of housing are rising in San Francisco at a record rate, though real estate prices are still outpacing construction of new units.
The City has added 2,290 new units of housing this year, mostly in the high-rises around the Transbay Transit Center construction zone, Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement last week.
More units of new housing were built in the first six months of 2014 than in all of last year, according to Lee.
Meanwhile, The City is still one of the costliest places to live in America. The median price of a home or condo topped $1 million for the first time last week, according to a report issued by DataQuick, and the average asking price for any size rental property is $3,229.
Lee has repeatedly said that building or rehabilitating 30,000 units of housing by 2020 is a top priority. He has also promised that one-third of those will be permanently below-market rate.
There are currently almost 50,000 new housing units in The City’s “housing pipeline,” according to the Planning Department. Of those, 4,600 are currently under construction, with another 5,100 having had building permits approved.
Critics of The City’s “build first” policy say that many more units than that will need to be built in order for the housing market to become affordable for middle-income earners. A rough estimate from city economist Ted Egan said at least 100,000 new units would be required to shift prices.
Most of the new housing in the pipeline is in large, mixed-use developments proposed for Parkmerced, Treasure Island and the former naval shipyard at Hunters Point.
The “hot spot” for development elsewhere in The City is Market Street, according to the Planning Department, where a host of units approved before the 2008 recession are finally being built.