Tech Boom is Feuling Another Bay Area Real Estate War

Unlike the prior generation of tech executives who spent their lavish earnings on wealthy neighborhoods and Silicon Valley suburbs, a new generation of dot-com profiteers are driving up housing costs in grittier parts of San Francisco.
March 19, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Nancy Keates and Geoffrey A. Fowler report on the dramatic effect that "infusions of cash from the rising shares of Apple and Google and the initial public offerings by Zynga, LinkedIn, Yelp and soon Facebook" are having on such San Francisco neighborhoods as the Mission, where median home prices have grown 44% compared with a year ago.

"Real-estate agents say it's a cultural shift. The new generation of Internet executives-younger than the last generation of dot-commers-eschews the trappings and responsibilities of expensive properties. They want to bicycle, walk or take public transportation. They like living near food trucks and dive bars," write Keates and Fowler.

Although "the gentrification is far from complete," as Keates and Fowler observe, those same "gritty" elements that attract enthusiastic renters and buyers are being forced out of some of the last areas of the city to offer housing options to middle and lower class families.

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Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 in The Wall Street Journal
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