Big Tech Buyers - The Silent Closers

November 5, 2019

We recently hosted an open house for one of our listings in Mission Bay. Being an off-market listing, it was not yet prepped for sale — renters and their dog were still living there – but the market is hot. So, our seller decided it couldn’t hurt to show it to prospective buyers sooner rather than later.

In two hours, we showed the condo to over 30 people. Immediately after, we received several disclosure requests. Shortly thereafter we received a very compelling offer and the condo was officially sold and off the market. The buyer? A young engineer from a world renown tech company based here in San Francisco. We’ll call this engineer Petra. Petra came to the open house in the middle of a work day without her agent. She walked through each room quickly and quietly. She asked few questions — maybe one or two about the parking and outdoor space — and headed out.

Petra, our buyer, represents a much large phenomenon happening here in the Bay Area. According to big data and real estate expert, Deniz Kahramaner, 51.1% of the people buying homes and condos in 2019 work in the software industry. The second, third, and fourth largest areas being finance, biotech and real estate, at a meager 8.9%, 4.5%, and 4.1% respectively. Tech buyers value proximity to work in a new home, which is reflected in Kahramaner's data. In fact, the top four neighborhoods for tech buyers are now South Beach, Mission Bay, Inner Mission and Noe Valley — some of the closest neighborhoods to big tech HQs. 

No doubt Pac Heights, the Marina and other North side neighborhoods will continue to set records in sale prices and (few) days on market, but there are new districts climbing the ranks. So this trend begs the question: Will employees at companies with current and imminent IPOs continue to beat out the competition while valuing convenience of commute over everything else? If so, we could see this trend amplified through first half of 2020, as stock lock-up periods conclude, and beyond.