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Big IPOs Add Even More Pressure To Red-Hot Bay Area Housing Market

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Is the San Francisco IPO millionaire land rush over-hyped? Not if you talk with local high-end real estate agents.

Uber is expected to make its IPO filing public Thursday and it's likely to be one of the biggest ever for a tech company. In the wake of the launch of Lyft stock and with several other local IPOs in the wings, San Francisco's high end real estate market may soon be glowing red hot.

Analysts agree, but say it's too early to know the magnitude of the IPO effect.

KPIX 5 toured a 5-bedroom, 5.5 bath Telegraph Hill home featuring sweeping views of the Bay and San Francisco landmarks from multiple levels. Located at 233 Chestnut Street, it is on the market for $8.3 million.

It joins an already competitive market in a city where there are roughly 6,500 home sales a year.

"It's actually been challenging, because what I'm seeing on the market is not a lot of inventory," said Amir Gupta, who is looking to buy. "I think it's because sellers are waiting, for an IPO frenzy to sell into."

Gupta is a developer searching for a home for himself in the $3 million range. He says he's been outbid three times since December.

"They're freaking out that it's only going to become more competitive, and I think nobody has a crystal ball ultimately, but we do know that it certainly isn't going to tank," said realtor Justin Fichelson. "We're going to have a few thousand people with $5 million plus in their pockets suddenly, it's going to get more competitive."

Fichelson says his clients feel an urgency to buy now. Sellers are thinking about holding onto properties to get bigger payouts.

"It's a great market right now, there's more than enough buyers out there, there's a lot of competition," said Fichelson. "There's no point in waiting, because there are other factors, interest rates could rise, the political climate could change."

He says the momentum is likely to be steady and subtle.

Chief Market Analyst at Compass Patrick Carlisle says after peaking last spring, the housing market cooled. But the financial markets bounced back this year.

Another factor to keep in mind - most employees have to wait 6 months after an IPO, before they can sell their shares.

"I don't expect that market will be as crazy competitive as it was last year," said Carlisle. "I have a tendency to think the IPO millionaire rush has been overhyped, but we'll know a lot more in another couple months."

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