Something convoluted is happening in the office sector.
New office towers are still sprouting like mushrooms in some pockets of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The biggest tech companies are still expanding their office footprint. The media are still full of stories of mega-salaries for tech workers. And yet, employment growth of the phenomenal job-creation machine has stalled, and in San Francisco, “office-using employment” growth has turned negative.
This is how it’s not adding up in San Francisco:
The office sector in San Francisco saw a slew of large leasing transactions in the third quarter, at the top of which were the familiar names, according to global real-estate service provider Savills Studley in its Q3 report on San Francisco:
- Facebook leased 412,234 square feet (sf), taking all the office space in the new mixed-use tower at 181 Fremont Street, scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.
- AirBnB leased 270,000 sf in the Zynga headquarters building at 650 Townsend Street.
- Amazon leased 175,727 sf.
“Leasing activity has been quite top heavy in San Francisco in recent quarters, as the market’s largest firms secure more space,” writes Colin Scanlon, Research Manager at Savills Studley’s San Francisco office.
It “further depleted the supply of blocks of space greater than 75,000 sf,” he writes. “The dearth of options continues to be a challenge for very large requirements, but companies looking for full floors or less still have plenty of alternatives.”
So leasing activity surged to 2.7 million sq. ft. (msf), bringing the total for the past four quarters to 7 msf, though that’s still down about 10% from the long-term annual average of 7.7 msf, according to Savills Studley’s report.
After those deals, Class A vacant availability, which had been rising over the past several quarters, declined to 10.2%, but remained higher than a year ago. And the average Class A asking rent rose 3.6% year-over-year. Class B rent jumped nearly 10%. And office property sales spiked 47% year-over-year to $2.66 billion.
But here’s the twist: Companies overall are not adding to employment in San Francisco. And “office-using employment” – a metric prepared by Savills Studley based on its analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, utilizing employment categories for financial, information, and professional/business services – has turned negative this year.
The chart below by Savills Studley shows that total office-using employment (blue columns, left scale) is around 425,000, a notch below 2016. The annual percentage change of office-using employment (black line, right scale) has dipped below zero. But the national trend (red line, right scale) hovers at an annual growth rate of around 2%:
Note how growth peaked in 2012 and 2015 at annual rates of over 8% and how office employment crashed in 2009. The chart aptly represents the dizzying boom-and-bust cycles of San Francisco employment.
A similar scenario is playing out in Silicon Valley.
Office leasing activity rose 10% in Q3, bringing the total for the past four quarters to 4 msf, according to Savills Studley Q3 office report on Silicon Valley. Despite that, overall vacant availability rose from 14.5% a year ago to 16%, with Class A availability jumping from 18% a year ago to 21%. Nevertheless, overall asking rent jumped 12.4% year-over-year. Class A asking rent spiked 19%. And property sales for the year through July jumped 23% to $2.14 billion.
“Google, under the guise of CBRE Global Investors, made more than 52 South Bay property purchases totaling $820 million over the last three years,” concentrated in Sunnyvale, Savills Studley reported, adding that “Google occupied some buildings but its plans for many sites remain unclear.”
So Google is warehousing space for later use, if any. Just grabbing space is the key.
In recent months it also acquired a slew of other buildings including three NetApp buildings in Sunnyvale for $319 million. NetApp is consolidating its footprint and will lease back one of the buildings.
“Google’s clandestine purchases in Sunnyvale may have enabled them to get ahead of any land rush,” the report added.
Google also unveiled plans to build an 8 msf mixed-use community in Downtown San Jose, including office, retail, and residences on a 240-acre site. But according to the report, “It will likely be several years before Google starts construction.”
So everything’s cool in Silicon Valley?
Alas, as in San Francisco, the present is marked by stalling employment growth in Silicon Valley, particularly office-using employment (chart by Savills Studley):
So what’s next? Even as the biggest tech employers are hiring – particularly Google, Facebook, and Amazon – others are not, and some are trimming back, such as Yahoo, NetApp, and others, including a gaggle of startups that are having trouble or are shutting down.
The net effect is in the above charts: overall office-using employment growth in Silicon Valley and San Francisco has stalled along a fairly steep curve, and in San Francisco has already shifted into decline mode. This might provide some clues about other uncool data points cropping up in the area.
For example, even as upward pressure on already crazy home prices persists in the Bay Area and in California, volume is in trouble. Read… Housing Bubble 2 Gets Complicated: Pending Home Sales Plunge in San Francisco Bay Area, Drop in all California
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– I assume that medium to small companies are leaving high priced San Fransisco ?
Yes, that’s part of it. But there are a lot of factors to it. It’s not one big thing, but an accumulation of different things.
Big companies too, like Charles Schwab, are transferring their jobs to cheaper parts of the US. In fact, when the lease renewal came up last year, Schwab threatened to move its entire headquarters out of SF, but it was able to negotiate a deal and it stayed. It now has a big operation in North Texas, and also good-sized operation centers elsewhere … Denver I believe, and one or two other places.
A lot of hot SF companies, like Twitter, have stopped hiring or started laying off people for reasons of their own. Others have shut down.
It reminds me a bit of my favourite TV show, “Air Crash Investigations” where you learn the cause of the disaster is rarely one big mistake but more because of a dozen small incidents, each one fairly benign, but added up they lead to an unavoidable outcome.
Was that the premise of “Fate is the Hunter”, Ernest Gann? The pilot tries to recreate the situation which caused a crash, and almost crashes the plane himself. Great film with Rod Taylor?
Stps cant get more funding, via loans or equity or anything else. H1B change of employer have declined a lot. That tells you everything you need to know.
It will all collapse very soon.
– And those high taxes in California (comapred to e.g. Arizona & Nevada) also won’t help either, I assume.
The tax situation hasn’t changed much. So the surge in employment from 2009 through 2015 and now the stall and decline would likely be unrelated to tax policies.
If there is 100 units available and 90 leased, vacancy rate is 10%
If more units are added (as in SF, valley) such that total units rise to 150 but only 120 are leased then the vacancy rate is 20 %.
So yes vacancy rate is double than before but so what? In absolute terms more space is being used though at a lower rate of utilization. This is a market inefficiency but doesn’t prove anything else, does it?
You do mention growth is stalling. I say that is a good thing because uncontrolled growth is a cancer…
In absolute terms – most landlords go bankrupt with a 20% vacancy rate.
So what?U.S. will simply say, if you have a master lessor you are fully leased. In our ponzi, only fools consider actual occupancy. Viva el Duce.
They’re building all over the place, offices and mixed-use (stores at ground level and apartments above) plus there are tons of small offices for rent around here. Lots of “R&D” space too.
As House would say “Let them have their little vacation from pain”.
The RE supply that is coming online throughout many parts of the West, driven by record high valuations and rents, is bound not merely to outpace demand but to create a lot of competition, something landlords do not like but can do little or nothing about.
Landlords are helped by record-low debt servicing costs and a generally favorable environment for RE speculation but the combination of double digit vacancy rates and the fact yields must come down (increased competition remember), at least in inflation-adjusted terms, is bound to squeeze a lot of people.
And this is assuming a stagnation scenario, the most likely at the moment. If debt-servicing costs start inching up and/or the general climate for RE speculation turns sour and/or the rate of office jobs creation keep on falling behind supply there’s no way of saying how suddenly things may turn south.
There’s a very good reason why the thing the US Federal Reserve seems so worried about commercial real estate but can do so little about it.
Wolf, the metric “office-using employment” here by Savills could be suspect.
Does this metric include employees that work from home or others that support their operations remotely?
Many companies, especially the tech sector, make prevalent use of remote working capabilities via vid-conferencing/skype, virtual bots and virtual office presentations etc. without physically being in the office. Tech companies are also more inclined towards cubicle-sharing arrangements to reduce their footprints (and hence rentals) or using external gig workers and off-site contractors for short projects where everyone coordinates remotely. Many tech projects now are using great tools that can coordinate s/w development, testing and management aspects without requiring the team to be physically colocated in office most of the time.
Hence, tech companies may not be the best use case for office real estate vacancy, and the drop-off could be due to tech companies gravitating more towards using remote tools, rather than really reduction of employment.
It’s a metric designed for the real estate sector. It tries to show whether the need for office space is growing, stable, or declining.
Since there is a perceived “shortage” of office space, companies like Google are amassing vast amounts of empty space for later use. This warehousing of empty space, in fact, creates this sense of shortage. When plans change, or when the outlook changes, this empty space goes back on the market. That’s when you see a suddenly surge of vacant inventory for lease or sublease. This happened massively in Houston in 2015 and 2016 when the vacant office space was put back on the market as sublease.
A metric like “office-using employment” helps indicate future turning points in the office sector, among the many other things it does.
I will provide.
Remote working is hardly true. I’ve been in tech for almost 17 years; I’ll be in heaven if companies allowed remote work since I’m not only far more productive at home, but also don’t have to waste my time on driving or having to talk to my co-workers every day of the week. Altogether, less than 1% ob jobs allow remote , and even that is for high end jobs that they simply can’t find anyone if they persist on coming to the office.
So, please don’t repeat 1950 fantasies as facts. There are very few remote jobs in tech unless you are talking about outsourcing to cheap Indian workers in India.
At my workplace we have people who work remotely but it is an occasional thing, like one day a week, so it doesn’t reduce the requirement for office space.
The one exception is a developer who relocated to Idaho that management really wanted to retain.
Someone who worked remotely full time would be gradually marginalized and probably let go eventually, unless their contributions were very prominent. Visibility in the office counts in a highly competitive field.
Very true about being marginalized if you work remotely. I think there is also the point that managers want their team physically there to make them feel important. If most of the team of a manager works remotely, then he loses that credibility and self-importance, specially in the eyes of the other managers.
Mike G – I’ve written here before about how, essentially, things don’t happen unless you’re in the same physical space smelling each others farts. No fart app can replace that. I’ve personally seen things turn really badly, trying to work with people who were a state or two away. I quickly found a circuit board house we could literally walk to, and they’re great.
Ditto on the marginalization. It’s kind of like the old dot-com bomb jokes about how to tell your company’s going under, the office plants are dying, no one feeds the goldfish, etc., well, you can tell someone’s about to leave or be pushed out; they start working remotely.
Over the past several years I’ve worked from home probably 1/3 of the time. I was already in a remote location and they needed my output so everyone is happy. Management does want to see their “belly buttons” to satisfy their power trip but it is inarguable that I am more productive working from home.
Well, I guess I’m in the “high end job” scope classification then and one of the few lucky ones to be measured on results rather than face-time. For the past 5 years, half my time I never needed to be in office because my team was on different continents. It was either I did physical travel or virtual meetings (which was actually encouraged versus the cost of air-travel, insurance, hotels etc. being much higher than internet telephony… thats a fact , not fiction ;-).
Anyway, that’s just my own experience for over 15 years in tech (quite similar in duration with yours) which i agree could be biasing my opinion. But then again, I heard we just gave up an entire 2 floors of floor space to sic. “rationalize our office space requirements”.
I understand and respect your opinion too (example case: Yahoo who had allowed remote-working for years until about 2013 or so when Mayer stooped it abruptly) but both our experiences is still anecdotal here, until someone comes up with data to show the tech trends of remote-working versus cubicle-worship.
All we can say now is, it really depends on your job scope and the company you happen to be in. Tech is a wide field, and I admit you still need the data center technician on-site to physically replace failed drives and what-nots (until robots becomes cheap enough replacement), but the DBA admin could be hundreds of miles away and it doesn’t make any difference at all to work performance.
I know many older workers have that need to caress their h/w box (pun intended) and hear the reassuring hum to know their program is working, but really most things are virtualized, distributed and cloud-based now, so your particular program may NOT even be running on that particular physical box. I really prefer to rlogin to check in 3 mins rather than travel 300 miles to stand beside the physical box trying to “see” if my s/w is working fine or not. lol.
There are good & bad with each type of work format and I was fortunate to have tried both. My own experience tells me “face-time” and being seen to be have “credibility and self-importance” (whatever that means ;-) is really over-rated.
Mayer may be right in her approach to roll it back., but she should have done it selectively. Its her call as the leadership team but her company’s performance hasn’t been great even with all the on-site face-time and rah-rah on-site employee talks she wants with her employees.
The tech industry is changing rapidly, and the tools are getting better with each new release. If you have the tech and people skills, your managers cannot marginalize you. Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of people who prefers to suck up to their bosses with a lot so-called face-time, but they called me back because they simply couldn’t do the job. lol. The s/w is so complex they can stare at the physical box all they want and it won’t do them any good.
Tech is something which requires booth depth and breadth. It is very difficult to find the problem if you have no technical depth and very difficult to usefully integrate with other business systems if you have no breadth in terms of domain knowledge. Thats why tech is so difficult work but pays well, if you know what you’re doing.
PS: I don’t work in Yahoo, never did; although I had friends there. And I’m not Indian nor in India, but I have no qualms about outsourcing to where the work is most productive and effective, be in the US, EU or Asia….so there you go. It just business reality, you either accept it or move on.
The point is that you say “Many companies, especially the tech sector, make prevalent use of remote working capabilities via vid-conferencing/skype, virtual bots and virtual office presentations etc, ” and that’s completely false. By the way what the hell are “virtual bots?” Is there a bot which is not virtual, and what do they have to do with remote working?
I not only have worked for 5 of the big companies in Bay Area, but also I keep a close eye on job market at all time to jump on better opportunities. Majority of companies don’t want remote workers, period. It doesn’t matter how you or I feel about whether remote or in office is more productive.
Another question, what does “virtual office” has to do with remote working? Are you just using these terms cause they sound technical to you?
Kevin – I remember remote working being ballyhoo’d back in the 1980s when I worked for a POS terminal company I can’t name but that rhymes with “fairyphone”. The company would even reimburse employees if they bought a personal computer for their home, as long as it had a modem.
And yes, remote working is a tiny part of work even now, far past “the year two thousannnnnnnd” (cue Conan O’Brian skit here).
And now, just as it was back in the 1980s, if you really want to get ahead and get raises etc you have to schmooze the best. Best move I saw by anyone at the old company was joining the company softball team. You’d get raises and you could get away with murder – one guy broke his ankle sliding into a base and for the next month or two came to work, got paid, and just joked and laughed with everyone all day.
High-output engineers, both hardware and software, got treated by crap there, and eventually would get fired or left. One I think lives in his van now. But the dull-normal HR lady is probably still there, preparing to retire with a fat retirement package and probably makes $200k a year now.
Remote working is about as realistic as getting dinner out of a “replicator” like in Star Trek.
@R2D2, it was a generic reference to s/w-driven bots, as opposed to the ones in the physical realm of “robots”. They have little to do with (human) remote working for now, as they are largely sand-boxed chat-bots and self-diagnostic daemons; in future, these will ether replace customer support or be managed remotely by humans.
Ok fine my bad, if you want to be splitting hairs, lets say we change to “some” tech companies are using these remote-capabilities and not “many”. You happy now?
As pointed out, Yahoo did previously have literally thousands of employees doing remote-working at one time, and I know other s/w companies had some staff do likewise.
That’s why I’m saying we are both still talking based on anecdotal experience and not data. I was just saying if there was data on tech company workers measured against Savill’s definition, then we might get somewhere on the how “many” remote-workers question.
As mentioned, h/w related jobs is where this is not that feasible at present, but all the trends now still points to s/w eating the world.
Oh btw, “virtual office” is a term used frequently by those who know. Its refers to s/w applications that allow you to log onto a common workspace and share presentations, discussions etc. with your colleagues. The smaller companies use third-party open tools while the larger companies tend to have their own in-house apps. HP calls it virtual desktop, Hp conferencing over corporate VPN and has dedicated telephony in collaboration with AT&T, Cisco has their “remote desktop” suite, Citrix has their Xen, Vmware calls it something I can’t remember….the point is, everyone calls their “virtual desktop/office” internally by different names.
Suffice to say, the tools are readily available for many tech companies…how much their employees are using it (or resistant to it) really depends on the company culture, as what you have alluded to. Again, data would be required to see the project the trends going forwards.
And to clarify, “virtual office” is NOT your physical co-working shared space or what we used to call “hot-desking” or the hot term now of “co-working” spaces where tech startups now share physical office space with others.
Yeah I know, the terminology is loose because we use these apps without even thinking too much about it, so to answer you, I’m clearly not being “technical” here, even if I had tried to sound that way. lol.
@alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit,
Like I said, I (and those in my previous company) have been and are still using these remote-tools and doing remote-work outside of their office… for years.
So, I’m saying technological practicality is not the issue here. Again, it depends on the company cultural acceptance and the person”s job scope. My view is solely on this aspect and getting data points to see the trend w.r.t to office real estate use.
Now, when you say remote-working is not “realistic”, I presume you are referring to losing all the other human social trappings of rubbing shoulders or polishing boots for your boss aspects.
I can understand that and having been part of management teams, I know I too like the feeling of having my “army” close to me ;-) but I learnt to let go figuratively and literally… Either I trust my staff and measure based on results/schedule or I really “let them go” even if they can sit on their arses the whole day and clock the full hours official time, but has little results to show for it. Admittedly, I’m probably not a commonly found species in present-day corporate jungle.
Admittedly too, engineers and techies sometimes are their own worst enemies. I mean they do all the amazing work but they are short on selling their achievements. Only a fellow former-techie like me, can appreciate their geek-speak and translate it into business value (i.e. money-speak) for the corporate dick-heads.
That’s why I think techies should all eventually go start their own companies or give up being a techie employee. I mean if your friend living in that van had pivoted earlier, he might have become a millionaire or even a Forbes Billionaire instead. One classic story comes to mind on how Mark Zuckerberg rejected his first job offer from Microsoft and preferred to start his own Facebook. Who knows? He might have been the person living in the van had he worked for Microsoft and coasted along until they fired him.
Its all in the choices we make or not make. Coasting along doing nothing much within your current company hoping it lasts till your retirement is also a choice many make and regret.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed your writing especially about the dull HR lady part….reminded me of Catbert in the Dilbert series lol.
“can appreciate their geek-speak and translate it into business value (i.e. money-speak) for the corporate dick-heads.” I need 10 like you
Well Buffer, shows it can be done. So tech startups don’t actually need offices. Most have not agreed or convinced investors/manageent of that yet.
Tech jobs are the blue collar jobs of the future!
When I heard people say that I almost felt down laughing.
Unicorns and tech firms shrink their workforce to survive. And they shrink by automatisation aka replacing people for machines and AIs. And despite all the screw ups, just look at Facebook last few years, they won’t reverse that choice.
Want a dream tech job? Learn how to fix Android Smartphones.
That initial statement comparing tech to blue color work I have never agreed with because it is an over simplification. It would be more apt to say the tech sector is modern manufacutring. Which like manufacturing carries many forms of jobs.
You have your grunt low skill coding work which inany cases is already outsourced to India.
You have all the standard admin, sales and financial jobs. And then you have the high skilled engineering both software and electrical doing architecture and design.
Would it be cheaper to outsource the remaining manufacturing, s/w and hardware design?
I guess these companies and financial institutions for that matter, are essentially offshore entities.
Negotiations are in progress.
raxadian I *wish* tech was the blue-collar of the future! Blue-collar workers make more and have more stability and benefits. Often they have Unions. In fact my boss and I were having a laugh last night going through Craig’s List job ads, noting how being a high school dropout who can drive a forklift pays much better than being a component-level repair tech with tons of tech knowledge under their belt.
San Fran and Silicon Valley real estate will directly follow the national economy and in particular tech stock valuations. Many of those stocks are overvalued based on huge growth expectations that I believe will not materialize.
Still, tech is the only US industry left with any (even if unrealistic in my opinion) signficant growth expectations. So it gets pumped and promoted more than usual. And with cheap money still around, valuations can hang on for some time. But eventually, even tech will come down. Maybe it’s sooner than we think.
And where is all this stupid tech taking us? Are we really healthier? Spending more time with family and kids? Divorce rates lower? Less opiod overdoses? Are we financially better off? Zero government debt? Is the world a safer place? Is the environment healthier?
Tech tech tech tech…..latest gadgets and gizmos for what? We are all consuming idiots. We live on a planet with finite resources but have arranged an economy based on infinite growth. We pretend to be such smart people but in reality we are animals on two legs.
You must be a genetic mutation to be able to see things so clearly. The majority of the human race doesn’t understand with the examined life is, yet alone look at things from the outside or a different angle. IOW, well put.
I’m not convinced tech represents of offers growth aside from pockets, more like a new wave in marketing chasing last remnants of consumption circling around the bowl?
Typically in CA commercial RE projects get going during a recession. Since these projects always take the long view as you say. While finance is easy currently, labor and construction costs are high, but perhaps not as high as they might be in a few years. In many ways the Great Recovery has been a recession and with asset prices showing no inclination to turn down, buyers of assets feel inclined to move on their projects now. Economic indicator? I would say, no matter what stocks do, interest rates are going to stay low.
I was in job market recently; I don’t see any hiring from Google and Facebook. If they did, a 100 recruiters would be contacting me for any Google or Facebook job since technologies that I work with is exactly what these companies look for. I saw some mild hiring from Apple. I saw a lot of so called jobs from Walmart, but Walmart doesn’t count since their jobs seem to be phony; many developers including myself have blacklisted Walmart since they seem to have phony jobs and interviews and total waste of time. I never permit recruiters to submit my resume to Walmart.
In any case, the point is that in comparison to even 2014, there is very little hiring going on.
A hiring manager (for hundreds) mentioned hiring is occurring at the university-hire level (lower wages) and higher-end mid-level executives (higher wages) that require no training.
Your experience is different from mine. I get constant emails from Facebook, Apple, and some other hot companies in the self driving space.
Make sure your Linked In is updated.
You don’t want to work at Apple though. I interviewed there and I didn’t like the extreme secrecy. Your interview will be conducted in a room that’s not part of the office, and it’s very small. At any one time you’ll be grilled by 2 or 3 people at the same time.
LinkedIn is useless for job search. With LinkedIn, you have to respond to recruiters one by one. I get 500 emails from recruiters and companies per day; there is no way that I can respond to them manually unless I quit my job. I’ve written programs which automatically respond to 95% of employment related emails that I get based on keywords in the emails. The remaining 5% are all the good ones that I inspect myself, but even to those I respond mostly with templates. So, I can send 10000 responses in day and it won’t cost me even half an hour :-] .
By the way, have you looked carefully at the emails you get for example from Facebook? They might all be the same but from different recruiters. These big companies post a job and 1000 recruiters then go out to look for candidates for the same job. So, you might get 20 emails about Facebook job, but they are all the same job. That’s exactly the case with Walmart. Walmart posts one lousy job, and 1 hour later, 30-40 recruiters contact me for the exact same job.
“So Google is warehousing space for later use, if any. Just grabbing space is the key.”
Provide enough tax breaks to sweeten the pot and it’s likely they’ll soak it all up. Then there’ll be a new government.
Sounds like a great plan.
So; the Hi-tech sector is still buying office space!
There is a disconnect here. The very industry which makes remote working – from home or anywhere else – possible, seems to be the least inclined to avail itself of such a money saving benefit.
Sum Ting Wong.
Google, Facebook, and Apple are still flying high spending money like there is no tomorrow. They are all building monuments to their madness. It’s rather ironic that Facebooks HQ is in the old Sun Microsystems campus.
Once again for the Denver perspective . Though I have not taken the time to acquire the hard numbers suffice it to say a drive thru or by any office park in the Denver metro area ( DTC etc ) as well as downtown will reveal a multitude of ‘ For Lease ‘ signs with the majority of them offering deals and rebates.
All while the cranes continue to fill the Denver metro area’s skyline . Fact is according to a friend in commercial real estate the only segment booming and in fact not able to meet demand is warehouse space … for .. you guessed it … the burgeoning 420 industry .. soon about to fall on its face as well ( suffice it to say all is not rosy behind the scenes there either despite the ‘ smoke ‘ screens in place .. pun and sarcasm fully intended )
Ladies & Gentlemen,
This is what oligarchy looks like. Feudalism, here we come.
As an aside the Fed report out today has the balance sheet at $4.461 Trillion vs $4.460 Trillion Oct 4th. Sep 27th was $4.55 so they didn’t roll it off at the beginning of Oct. Can they roll off $11Billion in 3 or 4 days to meet their $10B dump goal? Surely mama Yellen didn’t fib to us?
Are you saying that the saints at the Fed lied to us? They have never, ever, ever lied in their lives; non of them ??.
I think there’s *more* empty office space downtown where I am than there was 5 years ago. Tons of empty store fronts, office buildings, bank buildings, all kinds of buildings. My boss and I went looking for an R&D space for us, and had no problem finding a nice one at $1/sf and we didn’t have to go to some crummy part of the valley.
I heard from a reliable source that the homeless encampments around 8th and Brannan were cleaned out at the behest of AirBnB after they moved in with Zynga and beheld the squalor.
The real problem in California is not the availability of housing, it is the time it takes to get to housing with many in the Bay Area spending 6 hours on the road. The reasons that they are spending six hours on the road is first and foremost the refusal to build and upgrade freeways. They are becoming clogged from 4am to 9pm day in and day out. The second reason is the refusal to open land for development. The peninsula has huge amounts of developable land that is locked up. Same for the east bay. The state and local governments have seized up and will do nothing to address the road problems. When trucking cannot reach the Bay Area, it will be over. That time is close when I see long lined of trucks lined up on clogged freeways.