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Apartment rents in San Francisco have yet to fully recover

On last week’s earnings call, apartment landlord Equity Residential mentioned that the two US markets most impacted by a delayed return to office appear to be San Francisco and Seattle. They went on to say that San Francisco is the only market in which they operate where rents have not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

According to Bloomberg (which is relying on employee swipe-card data), office utilization in the San Francisco area is sitting at around 25% as of October 20, 2021. This is compared to a national average of around 37%. The obvious rationale here is that large tech companies have delayed their return to office and/or been more aggressive in adopting remote/hybrid work.

Looking at these numbers, it is clear that as someone who has been going into the office every day since the start of summer, I am currently in the minority.

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