The changing landscape of the Bay Area

According to recent reports, San Francisco is no longer in the top 3 hottest U.S. markets (Case-Shiler index). Hello Phoenix, Seattle and Las Vegas! Despite being relegated to fourth place, there’s a record-seeking $41 million dollar penthouse at the Avery Building on Fillmore St up for sale to a potential ego-tripping buyer. Were I able to purchase such an abode to lay my hat, I feel like I would need several lifetimes living there in order to get my money’s worth.

Downtown San Jose looks like it’s set to eclipse many other markets. Imagine the impact if the recently purchased $284m Cityview Plaza (a huge complex of offices, shops and restaurants between West San Fernando St and Park Ave) is redeveloped. Roll that into Google’s interest in creating its downtown village near Diridon Station and we have a whole new economic beast of a boomtown. Remember the old JCPenney building at First & Santa Clara? That sold recently for $46m. And the developments keep coming: Adobe Systems is planning a major expansion of its headquarters with plans to build a fourth tower, and Boston Properties, TMG Partners and Valley Oak have collaborated to develop a 1.1 million square-foot tech campus.

It’s hard to fathom the impact these developments will have. Can our infrastructure accommodate the prospective 50-70,000 jobs that will be created over the next decade? Bay Area traffic is brutal as it is—I gasped aloud when reading in the Boston Times that congestion on Bay Area freeways has increased by 80% since 2010. No wonder my in-laws swiftly escaped to quieter climes for their retirement. Just when they wanted to apply the breaks to their busy working lives, San Jose was gearing itself for unimaginable swells of development.

My in-laws were early on the trend of homeowners looking to cash-out and leave the Bay Area. For 5 consecutive listings, I’ve helped clients move not just out of the Bay Area, but out of state! Most are following their kids, who moved out of state to attend college, only to find they couldn’t afford to move back home. They settled elsewhere, started families, gave their parents grandchildren. The grandparents heard the calling and followed their kids. If you find yourself in such a position, let’s hope your children moved somewhere you love! Luckily for most of my clients, once they made the decision (and found peace with paying their taxes), they heartily embraced the idea of a whole new adventure ahead of them. I love being in a position to cheer them on.

Posted on February 2, 2019 at 12:08 am
Ben Mason | Category: Uncategorized