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Upcoming Facebook IPO Drives Up Silicon Valley Home Prices

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San Francisco Real Estate

A for sale sign is posted in front of a home in San Francisco (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MENLO PARK (CBS News) — Imagine looking for a house in San Francisco or one of the nicer parts of Silicon Valley, already among the most expensive parts of the country. Now imagine having to bid against a legion of newly minted Facebook millionaires.

The anticipation of the Facebook initial public offering (IPO) has already has driven up prices in Silicon Valley’s real estate market. And as potential buyers flock to open houses in the area, they are met at the door with the bad news: someone else beat them to it.

Here, when people talk about the housing crisis, they mean the battle between buyers that’s driving up prices.

Patricia He has been house hunting for months. She has made several offers at hundreds of thousands above the asking price.

“And so far, we haven’t gotten anything,” she said. “I did not expect the prices to go up so much, so fast, in such a short period of time.”

Ken Deleon, a real estate agent in Silicon Valley, said it’s partly the promise that Facebook will produce a new crop of millionaires when it starts selling shares to the public.

“Literally, February 1, when Facebook filed for the IPO is when things really started jumping,” Deleon said.

Realtor Marcy Moyer says it’s not just Facebook, though.

“We’ve got Google, Apple, Linked-In, Facebook, Groupon, you know, and on, and on, and on,” Moyer said.

She said that means this is not a housing bubble. “There’s nothing artificial about it. People have the money,” Moyer said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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