On San Francisco's Housing Market

Nick Bilton, writing for the NYT's Bits blog:

More wealth is concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area than just about any other place in the nation. Google alone, the story goes, minted 1,000 millionaires when it went public. Ditto Facebook. And Twitter? Some estimate 1,600. Tech worker bees are doing just fine, too, with average base salaries now north of $100,000. To understand how all this money is transforming San Francisco, for better and worse, look no further than this city’s hyperventilating real estate market. As technology companies have moved in — more than 5,000 start-ups now make their home locally — the influx of well-paid workers has pushed rents and home prices through the roof. Worsening matters, San Francisco has also become a bedroom community for many of the young people who work in Silicon Valley. Each day, Apple, Facebook, Google and others shuttle tens of thousands of their employees to work using private buses that have become a controversial symbol of rising tech wealth. I live on the other side of the Bay --- the Oakland side, in the East Bay --- and I'm happy here. Homes (including apartments) are pricey here as well, but it's nothing like San Francisco or anywhere in Marin County or even San Jose to the south. I feel fortunate so as to be able to hop on BART and visit San Francisco whenever I want without having to incur the costs of living there day to day. I'm close enough (the train ride is about 45 minutes) that I can reap the benefits of the city without having to break the bank. Though I can't be certain, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who feels this way. Living in San Francisco is economically nuts.