Bay Area residents could get a lot of new wealthy neighbors courtesy of Uber’s IPO. When the ride-hailing company went public earlier this month its current and former employees amassed roughly $3.25 billion in Uber stock — that’s enough money to buy every home for sale in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, according to real estate brokerage Redfin. And there’d still be half a billion dollars left over. Redfin used Uber’s pre-IPO price of $45 per share to run its numbers. The company’s stock has since fallen below that level and currently changes hands at about $41 per share. The analysis is meant to give a sense of how much wealth has been created by Uber’s IPO and how it might affect the housing market, Redfin’s chief economist, Daryl Fairweather, said in an interview. “This has really put a new jolt into the San Francisco housing market where otherwise it might have stabilized,” Fairweather said. “San Francisco is seeing double digit price growth, which is pretty remarkable.” San Francisco is the most expensive large housing market in the US, with an average home costing $1.43 million as of April, according to Redfin. The high prices may be good news for existing homeowners, but they’re likely bad news for everyone else who isn’t expecting a Silicon Valley IPO windfall. “San Francisco has been grappling with this increase of prosperity for a long time,” Fairweather said. “This is only going to make the situation worse.” And Uber is only one of several San Francisco-based companies hitting the stock market this year. Lyft and Pinterest have already gone public. And Airbnb and Slack are expected to also have IPOs in 2019. Uber didn’t respond to a request for comment. Redfin calculated the employee value of Uber’s IPO using the company’s global workforce of 22,263 people. It’s unclear how many of those employees live in the Bay Area and work at its San Francisco headquarters. Rough estimates put the number at around 6,000 employees. As far as available homes in the Bay Area, Redfin estimates that there are 1,661 homes currently for sale in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley that are worth a combined total of $2.85 billion. And the 862 homes for sale just in San Francisco are worth $2.1 billion. Fairweather said Redfin has seen a jump in the San Francisco housing market as tech companies have gone public over the past couple of months. Home prices were down at the beginning of this year, she said, but by April that changed. The city’s housing crunch and wealth inequality will likely intensify without a major increase to housing supply, Fairweather added. People who don’t work in the tech industry, like nurses, teachers, nonprofit workers and artists, will continue to move out of San Francisco because it’s become so unaffordable. “It’s the No. 1 city for people who are looking to leave,” Fairweather said, citing Redfin’s migration data. “As affordability becomes more of an issue, that will continue to happen.”


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