Bay Area techies to ditch San Francisco for these 5 cities: Survey

Personal Finance


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Bay Area tech workers plan to flee San Francisco for the more affordable locale of … New York City.

That’s what Wealthfront, an investment management firm that provides robo-advisor services, found when it surveyed nearly 2,700 of its clients who work in the Bay Area at tech companies.

The survey is based on a data analysis of clients through the first five months of 2019.

Fewer than a quarter of Wealthfront’s tech clients in the Bay Area plan to purchase a home in San Francisco proper.

Those who choose to remain in California’s Silicon Valley think they’ll snap up a home in the neighboring cities of Sunnyvale, Mountain View and San Jose.

But nearly a quarter of clients think they’ll part ways with the Bay Area altogether, opting for other comparatively cheaper cities such as Chicago and Austin, Texas.

“What’s interesting is the drastic delta between what people would pay for a two-bedroom home in San Francisco, versus what they would pay in other cities like Austin,” said Kate Wauck, vice president of communications at Wealthfront.

“People weren’t moving to other cities to buy these massive homes for the same price as in San Francisco,” she said. “Rather they’re choosing more modestly-priced homes.”

Indeed, the median home goal price in the Bay Area is more than $1 million for a two-bedroom dwelling, Wealthfront found.

In comparison, investors planning to relocate to Austin and Chicago have a median home goal price of less than $400,000 for a three-bedroom house.

Here are the top five cities where Wealthfront’s tech investors would choose in lieu of staying in San Francisco.

New York City

New York, New York

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The median list price for a home in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area is $525,000, according to Zillow. Within that region, Manhattan commands the highest median list price, which is $1.569 million, the real estate website found.

Tech companies in the area run the gamut, including website building platform Squarespace and streaming service Spotify.

Austin

Austin, Texas

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This Texas city touts affordable housing — at least compared to San Francisco — and zero state income taxes. The median list price Austin is $400,000, according to Zillow. Austin also hosts plenty of tech companies, including Apple and vacation rental service HomeAway. In fact, the area is known as “Silicon Hills.”

Seattle

Aerial view of Seattle’s coastal skyline in Washington.

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Home to Amazon and Microsoft, this northwest city is still on the pricey side, albeit cheaper than Silicon Valley. The median home value there is $699,950, Zillow found.

Los Angeles

High end luxury stores and businesses on Rodeo Drive in the Beverly Hills shopping district of Los Angeles California USA. Rodeo drive is a famous high-end shopping street featuring a variety of renowned designer shops, hotels & restaurants. Beverly Hills is a city in California’s Los Angeles County and home to many Hollywood movie stars.

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Some Bay Area techies hope to head due south for Los Angeles, according to Wealthfront’s study. There, the median home list price is $829,994, Zillow found.

Companies located in the so-called Silicon Beach area include Ring, the home security company now owned by Amazon, and matchmaking service Tinder.

Chicago

Loop

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