When the New York Times proclaims that San Francisco is about to “drown in millionaires,” people pay attention.
A slew of companies - Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, and Airbnb, most notably - are expected to go public sometime this year. This will, in fact, turn thousands of employees into millionaires overnight. The article paints a picture of the inevitable spending that will happen shortly thereafter, mentioning extravagant parties, ice sculptures, electric bicycles - and, of course, real estate.
Our take? It's so difficult to truly predict what is really going to have an effect and what is hype. There are a lot of things that factor into market conditions, so it’s really not quite so straightforward and linear. Interestingly, just a couple of months ago there was also a lot of discussion that the housing market is softening or evening out a little.
Our educated hypothesis is that many of our "new millionaires" will infuse a burst of energy that will keep our market looking similar to the way it has been for the past few years (low inventory, high demand, aggressive bidding on certain types of properties). Likely, a spike will be most obvious in SF condos. Marin usually feels a ripple effect in events like these, which helps everyone but often visibly favors "rare" properties popular with younger buyers (features like walk to downtown, iconic views, new and sleek construction, etc).
In a nutshell, the feeling in the industry is that this new influx may spike SF demand. This could, in turn, help appreciation continue in Marin - but we’re already in an active market and have been for a while now, so it’s a bit like gently tapping the gas while already speeding on the highway.