Report: Builders look skyward for living space

High-rise apartments
Mira high-rise apartment complex in San Francisco.
Mark Prado

RENTCafe's latest findings on the apartment market show builders have shifted from sprawl to tall to meet the ravenous demand for living space in the Bay Area. High-rise intensification gained momentum in the past three decades, giving birth to a new market segment: apartment high-rises and skyscrapers.

San Francisco falls in line with the national trend of building up, as more and more high-rise apartment buildings have started to appear in the city, from four residential high-rises in the '90s to 17 this decade. 

Other facts from RENTCafe's analysis:

  • San Francisco ranks 5th in the list of the top 30 largest cities with the highest shares of new high-rise apartment buildings delivered in the last decade. Residential high-rises account now for 19% of the new multifamily construction in the city, up from 10% from 2000 to 2009.
  • The average number of floors for all types of apartment buildings in San Francisco also went up, from six to 10 in the last 30 years.
  • Meanwhile, the share of completed low-rise apartment buildings in San Francisco dropped consistently over the last three decades, from 56% in the 1990s to 7% in the 2010s.
  • With 43 floors and 486 units, The Paramount in San Francisco's SoMa Disttrict is the tallest apartment high-rise delivered in the last three decades in the Bay Area and the second highest in California, right after San Diego's Pinnacle on the Park.

 You can find the full study and methodology here: https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/apartmentliving/high-mid-rise-residential-buildings-overshadowing-low-rise/


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