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By Tim Hunt

Job growth is driving housing prices

Uploaded: Aug 21, 2014

Tuesday's post about the 11,000-unit River Islands in Lathrop reflects the long term view that homebuilders and developers are taking when it comes to job growth in the core Bay Area.
With jobs in Silicon Valley and San Francisco growing rapidly and the East Bay showing employment growth, there is a pent-up demand for housing driven by several years of minimal new home construction during the recession and its aftermath. Home construction now is robust in some areas—look at Dublin—or go out into the San Joaquin Valley where Mountain House is booming again after new owners bought up subdivisions in the wake of the recession. Mountain House, like River Islands, has a business park in its plans, but very little has happened. The same goes for Tracy, which has attracted warehousing and distribution jobs, as well as becoming a huge retail hub, but few of the better paying tech jobs that they hoped to land.
That shortage of supply is demonstrated in Pleasanton, which has a vibrant and diversified business community. The median sales price has climbed to $865,000 and the average price of homes on the market is $1.2 million according to Trulia. The median price is up 36 percent in the last five years.

Although little will change operationally at the establishment, there is a familiar face missing from the Dublin restaurant scene.
Vince McNamara, owner of the Dublin steakhouse that bears his name, sold the business this summer and retired to the mountains and more golf. In addition to operating a successful restaurant business for decades, Vince has a big heart for the community and consistently contributed to the non-profit organizations. Here's wishing him well in his mountain retirement although his bride, Shelby, will continue to run the Danville chamber and join him in the mountains on the weekends.

One marketing and operating advantage for Bishop Ranch in San Ramon is that Sunset Development Co. owns most of the buildings in the business park. That allows it to launch new programs such as its "mobile network" of bicycles that are scattered throughout the park. Tenants are welcome to hop on and ride to their destination—the bike is left there for another cyclist.
It reminds me of what Lawrence Livermore lab did behind its fences for years when it was much easier to hop on a bicycle than try to maneuver around the mile-square site with a car.