2020 Fall Northern California Multifamily Market Research Report

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Northern California’s multifamily market disrupted by COVID-19 as demand declines and sales volume dips

Through the first half of 2020, Northern California’s multifamily markets have experienced volatility in both market fundamentals and sales activity. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many households to reevaluate where and how they live. Regional effective rents decreased 1.3 percent quarter-over-quarter as the Bay Area sees notable drop-offs in demand, particularly in San Francisco, while the Central Valley markets of Sacramento and Stockton/Modesto have seen rents hold or increase despite the pandemic. The regional occupancy rate of 95.6 percent decreased 70 basis points from the first quarter as San Francisco’s occupancy dropped 200 basis points. Sales volume dropped off dramatically across all seven Northern California markets. Sales activity will take time to recover to pre-pandemic levels, however, multifamily properties remain a viable asset class for investors during uncertain times.

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2020 Fall Northern California Multifamily Market Research Report

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Bob Shanahan

Research Manager


I entered commercial real estate at the start of 2015 at Colliers in Seattle/Bellevue and have accumulated more than four years of commercial real estate research experience. A writer by nature, I am always trying to tell the story behind the numbers and go above and beyond to add value to our team of brokers. Forever teachable and eternally curious. Passionate about real estate and dedicated to taking Colliers to the next level. I strive to stay abreast of all pertinent trades and significant transactions in whatever market I am tracking, providing up-to-date analytics, market knowledge, and forward-thinking thought leadership. I am a journalist by trade and a natural-born storyteller, digging into the statistics and crafting a forward-looking narrative, providing valuable insights to the brokers I support.

I have ample experience in office, industrial, multifamily, and retail research, assisting brokers in the leasing and selling of property. I focused primarily on the office and industrial markets in the Seattle/Puget Sound region from 2015-2017. From the fall of 2017 to early 2018, I was the office market research analyst at JLL in Sacramento, spending most of my time on Downtown office landlord rep-related work. Since May 2018, I have been back at Colliers in my hometown of Sacramento. Forever curious. Avid writer. Tireless researcher. Flexible collabotator. 

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Douglas Garcia

Regional Research Director, Northern California


Doug is the Regional Research Director for Colliers International covering offices across Northern California. As Regional Research Director, he is charged with the organizational and strategic development for the Research Function in these offices.  Additional responsibilities include oversight of the Development team for the region's proprietary property database and related technology.

Doug began his career in the commercial real estate industry in 1999.  After joining Colliers International as a Research Assistant, he was promoted to Research/GIS Director for the Colliers International Walnut Creek office.  Under his leadership, the Research function expanded from its original scope in support of the Office brokerage platform, to include the Industrial and Retail divisions.  His responsibilities included Research Database Integrity, Quarterly Report Publication, GIS, Mapping and Demographics, and all other services provided by the local Research Department. 

He specialized in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) analysis.  As a former GIS Specialist, Doug has worked with Brokerage and Corporate Services to analyze best use and site location projects for clients including, Safeway, Inc., Longs Drug Stores and Safeamerica Credit Union. 

Doug is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and enjoys travel with his wife Kelly and sons Gabriel and Roman and attending their team sporting events.

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