Bay Area office vacancy rates surge to 30%

Office vacancy rates have surged in the Bay Area's three major cities.

The commercial real estate company, CBRE, says that San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose are reporting downtown office vacancy levels around 30%. 

That's a record high in San Francisco and Oakland, and near an all-time high in San Jose. 

The report says the vacancy rate is the result of the ongoing fallout from the pandemic that saw fewer people working at the office.

And in an interview with KTVU on Monday, San Francisco's chief economist Ted Egan says the city's high office vacancy rate is not likely to improve any time soon. The City is seeing a staggering 30 million square feet of empty office space. 

"There are a lot of leases that are expiring, we don't see a lot of new lease activity, so I do think it probably won't go up much higher, but it will go up from here," Egan said. 

Egan said San Francisco is also having problems converting those offices into housing. 

He said the housing market downtown also remains weak so developers may not be motivated to make those conversions happen.