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San Francisco Occupancy Takes a Dive

San Francisco Occupancy Takes a Dive

Apartment occupancy in San Francisco dove to a two-decade low in July, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. After hitting a recent high of 96.6% in August 2019, apartment occupancy in San Francisco started coming down. When the recession hit, apartment occupancy in this pricey and chronically overbuilt area saw a severe decline, landing at 92.2% in July. This was the worst showing among the nation’s largest 50 apartment markets and a record low for San Francisco, where occupancy hasn’t gotten below 94% in at least two decades. In fact, since March, occupancy has come down by 360 basis points (bps), the worst setback nationwide. The next steepest occupancy decline was the fall of 200 bps in neighboring San Jose. In comparison, the U.S. average setback since March was much milder at 20 bps. While every asset class in San Francisco has seen occupancy fall since March, it’s not surprising that the most expensive luxury stock registered the steepest downturn, dropping 380 bps to stand at just 92.3% as of July.