SoMa Building Boom Has Not Dented Demand


The Infinity Towers while they were still under construction in 2006, at 300 Spear Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Photo by Magnus Manske, Wikimedia Commons.

Here are two maps that offer some perspective on San Francisco’s housing crisis.

The first shows how much the supply of housing grew in each section of the city.

The South of Market, or SoMa, neighborhood nearly doubled in size between 2000 and 2013, based on data from the Planning Department’s annual Housing Inventories. Of the 29,198 housing units built citywide during that period, 35.4 percent were in SoMa.

Growth in the rest of the city lags far behind, though some development is coming. As we’ve previously reported, residents of the city’s west have long been nervous about allowing new housing construction without first seeing improvements in nearby transit conditions. City voters recently approved a $500 million bond to public transportation, but it will not help the west.

And in the large Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, which have barely grown since 2000, little development is scheduled, according to the city’s Development Pipeline data.

Meanwhile, a massive project is under way in the South Bayshore area, and another will begin soon in Ingleside. Both will take about two decades to complete.

The second map, a nifty interactive graphic from real estate website PropertyShark, shows how both commercial and residential prices changed citywide, soaring in some areas, but not all, and even slipping in some.

Slices of SoMa, as well as the Duboce Triangle and Twin Peaks neighborhoods saw prices soar more than 40 percent. And the Mission District became 47 more expensive.

The San Francisco Planning Department blames these increases on construction failing to keep pace with super-charged demand and job growth.

Supervisor Scott Wiener recently said that growing the city’s housing supply is the only way to rein in housing prices.

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