An excerpt from this article is below. Read the full story and view the video on the Peninsula Press.

In a region known in the Bay Area for its high-profile IPOs and high-tech wealth, the competition for real estate is so intense that some homebuyers and sellers are opting for off-market sales.

This is all happening in a recovering market, which some Silicon Valley real estate agents say is causing a flurry of activity these days.

“When people ask me, in a word: it’s crazy,” said Keri Nicholas, a Menlo Park real estate agent at Coldwell Banker. She sold property worth over $100 million in 2011, giving her the top share for home sales in Menlo Park, a city on the Peninsula known to draw buyers because of its reputation as one of Silicon Valley’s prominent hubs. Continue Reading >>


A bidding war broke out in late 2011 when a small house in San Francisco’s tightly packed Noe Valley came on the market. 22 offers from employees of Facebook, Zynga, Pixar and Google all battled. The result: The winning offer went $1,500,000 (40%) offer asking price!

From the curb, there’s hardly any house at all—just a one-car garage and gate leading to small front courtyard.

The inconspicuousness was part of the attraction, said Jasmin Arneja, 42, who bought the two-bedroom house with her husband Gagan, 40, a software engineer at a networking start-up.

Housing prices in the Bay Area are beginning to soar, thanks to an infusion of cash from the rising shares of Apple and Google and the initial public offerings by Zynga, LinkedIn, Yelp and soon Facebook. But while a previous generation of executives opted for mansions in wealthy San Francisco neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and tony Silicon Valley suburbs like Atherton, this new generation is gravitating to modest homes. Median home prices in the Mission grew 44% in December compared to a year prior. Noe Valley had a rise of 31% over that same period. The market is hot!


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