Could Silicon Valley see a ‘Facebook effect’?

February 1, 2012

Things could be looking very green in Silicon Valley, thanks to an influx of cash that could come from Facebook’s initial public offering. Even the state of California is expecting a windfall from the filing — saying that hundreds of millions of dollars could help the cash-strapped state in the coming year.

Though the company is simply expected to file to go public Wednesday, according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News, the possibility of a big IPO from Facebook has generated some excitement for Silicon Valley real estate agents, especially in the company’s hometown of Menlo Park, Calif.

A Silicon Valley real estate agent told the newspaper that employees from Facebook, Zynga and other tech start-ups are not as flashy as their dot-com bubble counterparts, and that they’re still trying to make smart home purchases on properties that are expected to generate wealth.

One thing these tech employees don’t like, the report said, is buying a home near the employee of a rival company.

“You get a Yahoo guy against a Facebook guy against a Zynga guy against an Apple guy against a Google guy, then it's not just about the house,” real estate agent Carol Rodoni told the paper. “It's about the egos.”

Real estate demand in Silicon Valley has been stronger than the rest of the country in the past year, the Wall Street Journal reported in June, with rents rising 11 percent in the San Jose area compared with 2.5 percent nationally.

California is certainly expecting to see a positive effect from Facebook’s plans to go public. In a report published this month, the state’s legislative analyst’s office wrote, “In the coming months, the state's revenue forecasts will need to be adjusted somewhat to account for the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenues related to the Facebook IPO,” the report said, before cautioning that it would be difficult to assess the impact “with any precision” and that the stock market’s overall performance in the coming year could boost or dampen the “Facebook effect.”

(Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook’s board of directors.)

Related stories:

What to expect from Facebook’s IPO filing

Facebook’s IPO: Putting it in context

FTC settlement gives Facebook leverage over competitors

More tech news from Post Business

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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