Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
This story is part of Year in Review, which looks back at the biggest news, most influential newsmakers and top photos of 2014. Read more Year in Review articles here.
Housing is hot in the Bay Area, with rents and prices seemingly able to go only one direction: Up. Here’s a look at 5 of the key trends in Bay Area residential real estate in 2014.
1) Small steps for affordable housing: In the last seven years, San Francisco has built just 55 percent of the low-income housing it needs to and 33 percent of the middle-income housing. A group of developers, officials and activists has crafted new inclusionary housing proposals meant to increase the amount of affordable and middle-class housing produced by market-rate projects.
2) A political roadmap: A year after the 8 Washington condo project got steamrolled at the ballot box, Forest City’s Pier 70 project proved that voters can pay attention to nuance when weighing big development. Pier 70 promises office, industrial, housing and park space in a rundown waterfront area. Voters got behind it with plenty of cushion in November.
3) Condos rising: Condos have been a tough sell to lenders ever since the start of the recession. But Tishman Speyer’s Lumina towers and Trumark Urban’s condo projects are replenishing the stock of for-sale units. Buyers showed they have an appetite for high prices, as the average penthouse price crossed the $2,000-per-square-foot mark for the first time.
4) Positive signs in Oakland: Not too much got built in Oakland this year, but city officials at least laid foundations for future construction. The zoning plans passed for West Oakland, Broadway-Valdez and Lake Merritt BART will increase density and make it quicker for developers to start construction. Now, it’ll be a rush to build before this economic cycle runs dry.
5) Lawsuits dispatched at Parkmerced, Treasure Island: The approximately 17,000 housing units that will be built over the next decade at Parkmerced and Treasure Island will go forward after Lennar Corp. and Parkmerced Investors Properties respectively fought legal battles. Both got favorable rulings after opponents challenged the projects.
Cory covers real estate and economic development.