The San Francisco consolidated pipeline consists of development projects that would add residential units or commercial space, applications for which have been formally submitted to the Planning Department or the Department of Building Inspection (DBI).
Pipeline projects are at various stages of development: from applications having been filed to entitlements secured; from building permits approved and issued to projects under construction (see diagram below). The pipeline includes only those projects with a land use or building permit application. It does not include projects undergoing preliminary Planning Department project review or projections based on area plan analysis. Projects vary in size from single units to larger multi-year development programs undergoing environmental review.
Once a project is issued a Certificate of Final Completion by the DBI, it is taken out of the pipeline.
Data sources for the pipeline are chiefly the project databases maintained by the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection, respectively, but data is also occasionally obtained from the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (formerly known as Redevelopment Agency).
The Relevance of the Pipeline
The pipeline serves as a barometer of medium to long-term development trends. It illustrates location and scale of current and proposed future construction taking place and where new land uses (see data dictionary) are being established; it also records demolition and a partial listing of conversion of existing land uses. In sum, the pipeline provides a short- to medium-term picture of changing land uses, tracking especially the changes to the city's housing stock and commercial uses.
Accuracy and Timeliness
The pipeline is compiled and consolidated from different data sources and is subject to errors due to varying accuracy and currency of original sources. The pipeline quarters are as follows:
- Quarter 1 (Q1): January 1 - March 31
- Quarter 2 (Q2): April 1 - June 30
- Quarter 3 (Q3): July 1 - September 30
- Quarter 4 (Q4): October 1 - December 31
The data in this report is pulled from original sources. While we make an effort to consolidate multiple permits for different components of the same project from different agencies, it is not possible to validate the accuracy of all projects.
2021 Q4 Housing Development Pipeline
* Includes only units in projects that are 100% affordable or have declared how they are meeting affordability requirements per Sec 415 or other programs. Projects are not typically required to declare their affordability program until entitlement. Buildings in future phases of Major Multi-Phased Projects (i.e. not yet filed for building permits) are also not included in this total count of pipeline affordable units. Actual production of affordable housing 2015-2018 has averaged 30% annually of total housing production.
** Includes only entitled projects. Projects under review by Planning Department with building permits filed but that do not require other types of planning entitlement are included in the “Application Filed” category.
*** Remaining phases of project. This does not include net units in phases that have filed for, or have received, building permits or are under construction.
Significant data and systems improvements are underway to produce a more accurate quarterly pipeline, so the data may change at any time. Weekly and monthly data on Planning Applications and Building Permits can be accessed via the City's Open Data Portal:
- Planning Permits (updated weekly)
- Building Permits (updated weekly)
- Housing Completions (updated monthly)
To download data sets:
- Go to DataSF listing of Pipeline Reports
- Select the desired data set to review the summary
- Select the View button to see the Data set
- Look for the row of colorful buttons (top right)and click on the one labeled Export
- A side menu will appear on the right; select your preferred file format to download
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