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Central San Mateo County Sees Strengthening Rent Growth

CoStar Market Insights: While the Rest of San Francisco Office Is Experiencing a Slowdown in Growth, Central San Mateo Has Resurged
August 10, 2018

Aerial of the 189,103-square-foot office building under construction at the Bay Meadows development in San Mateo, California.



After the San Francisco office market saw some of the strongest rent growth in the country in the first few years of the cycle, averaging around 14 percent annual growth from 2010 to 2015, rent growth began trailing the historical average in 2016 and has seen minimal growth in 2018.



The one part of the metro that has been bucking that trend, however, has been the central part of the county. While the metro is currently averaging around 1.5 percent year-over-year rent growth, these submarkets currently average around 5.6 percent year-over-year growth.

The submarkets in the Central San Mateo County cluster, containing Burlingame and San Mateo, currently lead the metro in annual rent growth, mostly due to strong performances in the first half of 2018. Rent growth in the first half of the year was around 3 percent in these submarkets, well above their 2017 growth of just 0.7 percent.



While not a major tech hub, tech has still been a main driver for the area in recent years, with companies like SurveyMonkey leasing nearly 200,000 square feet, at $54 per square foot gross, in 2015, and more recently, Guidewire Software leasing about 189,000 square feet, at $63 per square foot triple net, in early 2018. Both these leases are at the Bay Meadows development, which is currently under construction, in San Mateo.

Outside of tech, which always seems to drive up rents, the area benefits from its connection to downtown San Francisco office nodes via BART in Burlingame as well as the more affordable rent levels.

Rent levels in central San Mateo County that average around $54 per square foot gross are still well below downtown San Francisco’s rents that average roughly $62 per square foot but can climb to at least $150 per square foot gross for the highest-quality product.


CoStar Market Insights provides a snapshot of recent real estate trends. The CoStar Market Analytics team monitors commercial and multifamily real estate across 390 metro areas, with a granular understanding of the projects, players and economic trends that move these markets.

Learn how CoStar Market Analytics can add to your market knowledge, helping to minimize risk and maximize returns.

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