Business and Technology News
In a White House meeting Thursday, tech executives and investors, many from the Bay Area, signaled the importance of keeping a rule that would encourage foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. and build their companies, according to attendees. The meeting was held as part of a weeklong series of events at the White House focusing on the tech industry. There was “unanimous agreement from the tech and venture capital community in the room (for the administration) to be more permissive on immigrants,” said Aman Verjee, chief operating officer of Mountain View tech incubator 500 Startups, who was in the meeting. [...] the administration plans to push back the rule’s effective date to March and pursue steps to rescind the rule altogether, according to an unpublished final draft of a Federal Register notice read to The Chronicle by an administration official. After the meeting, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior White House adviser, tweeted, “Fostering American innovation is a key priority for the Administration.”
Bay Area median home price hit another record in May The median price paid for a Bay Area home hit $755,000 in May, a third consecutive monthly record, as scorching demand continued to outstrip supply. In San Francisco and San Mateo counties, the median price reached an identical $1,207,500 (although CoreLogic had to estimate San Mateo sales for the last two weeks of May). The San Francisco market “turned into a feeding frenzy (in May), the hottest market since spring 2015, driven by very strong demand, which came roaring back, and a deeply inadequate supply of listings,” Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst of Paragon Real Estate Group, said in an email. “The fact that interest rates have declined since the first of the year, and that people are afraid of coming increases, may be playing some role in pressurizing demand,” Carlisle said. The home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, parking, a yard and an unfinished attic and basement, but what really sold it was the location — near hip restaurants and less than two blocks from Dolores Park, Minson said. The home received 29 offers — about a third from builders, a third from investors and a third from prospective homeowners. The website SocketSite highlighted a Hayes Valley condo and a high-end home in Cow Hollow that just sold for roughly the same price they fetched in 2014. “Demand is being driven by the incredible job demand, not just in high tech but in biotech,” said Coldwell Banker agent Jeff LaMont. Home buyers are also attracted by proximity to the airport and the county’s public schools. The sellers “were first-time home buyers when they bought it nine years earlier” and were probably persuaded by the fact that his clients were also first-time buyers.
Could there be another Silicon Valley on the horizon?
Board members of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Wednesday delayed voting on a plan to create the nation’s first greenhouse-gas limits for oil refineries, saying the proposal had changed so many times in recent weeks that they couldn’t fairly evaluate it. [...] Director John Gioia, a Contra Costa County supervisor, said rushing a vote could leave the regulation more vulnerable to legal attack from the oil industry. The proposal calls for establishing firm limits on the amount of greenhouse gases each of the Bay Area’s five refineries can emit in a year. [...] the district’s staff has added a substantial twist, proposing that the caps be raised to account for emissions from refinery expansion or upgrade projects that the district has already approved but that haven’t been built or haven’t fully come online. Oil industry representatives as well as environmentalists speaking before the board on Wednesday criticized what they characterized as a rushed process.