Social Media Boom Fuels San Francisco’s Rental and Home Sales Market

Hard on the heels of my last post that covered sky-rocketing home prices and rents comes yesterday’s front-page New York Times article on how San Francisco is at the epicenter of the new social networking/media boom.

“This time, Twitter, Zynga, Yelp and other social network companies favored by venture capitalists have made San Francisco their home, creating jobs and raising commercial rents.”

The Bay Area is blessed with a relatively diverse economy, allowing it to weather the weak economy better than many places.  Web 2.0, however, is really turbo-charging San Francisco’s economy, and that’s what’s driving the phenomenal increases in commercial and residential rents, as well as the feeding frenzy in the for sale housing market that seemed to come out of nowhere at the beginning of 2012.

Ken Rosen, who is quoted on the article, spoke recently at a conference I attended that is sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Fisher Center of Real Estate and Urban Economics.  He said that the Bay Area is experiencing a boom rivaling the days of the late 90’s  (remember those?).

With interest rates at historic lows and Bay Area rents already having surpassed their previous highs, his view on whether now’s a good time to buy?

 “The best time to buy a single family home in 30 years.  — But it’s not going to last.”  — Ken Rosen

Maybe he’s right, but with a bunch of newly-minted millionaires chasing a dearth of inventory, it isn’t easy being a buyer in this market.

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