Tech shuttles boost SF real estate


Four years ago, if you were looking to sell your home in The City, it was difficult to even get one offer. Nowadays, realtors are reporting six to seven offers on San Francisco’s once-again hot properties.

One thing in particular seems to be driving this real estate turnaround: Silicon Valley, of course.

An increasing amount of tech employees want to live in trendy SF neighborhoods. But then there is that tiresome commute down south every day.

While commuting to The City is nothing new, companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook are trying to make it easier than ever for employees to get to work.  Their solution is a curiously awesome enormous carpool. Every morning, 20- and 30-year-olds gather on street corners waiting for unmarked buses to pick them up for the hour-long drive down south.

These secret bus stops seem to be the single biggest factor in The City’s increasingly positive turnaround in the housing market.

Amanda Jones, a real estate agent in SF told KTVU that she’s selling just about anything that doesn’t move. She said:

“I would say for the regions that were harder hit, we’re seeing a rebound. We’re actually seeing five, six, seven or eight offers on a house where there might have been just one offer before.”

In appraising her properties, Jones said that she scopes out the surrounding neighborhood for the infamous unmarked tech shuttle stops. She said:

“I’ve seen houses that I felt were worth maybe a $1.5 (million) going closer to $2 million because we find it’s literally two blocks from a shuttle stop for Google.”

Other real estate agents have begun attracting more tech workers, including an upcoming workshop for tech workers who are considering purchasing a home in SF that offers proximity to tech shuttles, freeways, restaurants and cafes.

While riding a bus to work may not sound glamorous, it comes with perks like free transportation, plush leather seats, and wifi. Around 3,500 Googlers now get bused to the Mountain View mothership each day, up from 1,200 in 2007.

A revitalized San Francisco real estate market is also expected to give a jolt to surrounding Bay Area cities like Palo Alto and San Mateo.

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