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Silicon Valley's 2016 year: 'amazing' but with 'perils'

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Whether the rapid growth will continue remains a question that Hancock called the "gorilla in the room." The fourth quarter of 2015 saw a slowdown. In Silicon Valley, venture capital investment saw a 31 percent drop; in San Francisco, the decline was 50 percent. The downturn is not isolated to Silicon Valley, however. Overall in the U.S., VC funding dropped 32 percent, Hancock said. And IPOs have also slowed. In 2015, there were 16 in Silicon Valley and six out of San Francisco. That's a drop from 2014, when there were 23 in Silicon Valley.

"Three quarters of the IPOs were before late August, before the big stock market drop," Hancock said. In January 2016, there were no IPOs. It was the first IPO-free month since 2011."

Yikes! Also yikes:

Poverty levels, as determined by federal standards as people who can't buy food, fell 8.1 percent from 9.7 percent in 2014. That's eight out of 100 people, Hancock said. But those standards are misleading when it comes to Silicon Valley's stratospheric cost of living, Hancock said. Using Self-Sufficiency Standards, which include food, rent and other basic necessities, 30 percent are not meeting those standards, or three out of 10 people.

"Growth income is not evenly distributed," Hancock noted. High-wage earners -- persons making more than $125,000 annually -- account for 25 percent of all jobs.

"Thirty-two percent are low wage, making less than $30,000, which isn't even a living in Silicon Valley," he said.

Forty-three percent of jobs are in the mid-range professions, which are shrinking by 1 percent per year, he said.

"Low-wage earners wages are stagnating," he added.

Who gets a slice of the housing, or for that matter, the rental housing, is also shrinking.

"The people who are moving into Silicon Valley are those who can afford it," Hancock said.

The houses being built and sold are largely luxury homes with little growth of affordable housing.

"It's just astronomic," Hancock said.

The number of homes sold is down. Inventory has declined more than 60 percent since 2011. The median sale price in San Mateo County is $926,000 -- almost a million dollars. In Santa Clara County, it's $830,000. The median in California as a whole is $411,000.

Just 27 percent of first-time home buyers can afford a median-price home in San Mateo County; 41 percent in Santa Clara County.

But the rate of residents who are "burdened," meaning they are spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing, is 39 percent for homeowners and 39 percent of renters. The average Silicon Valley rent is $2,749 per month; the average for condos and homeowners is $3,500 per month. Between 2011 and 2015, the average rent has risen 33 percent.

Silicon Valley is not doing well at building housing, Hancock said. In 2015, only 5,055 residences were approved for permits compared to 11,000 in 2014, he said. There is a 25,000-unit shortage just to keep pace with current growth, he said.

those stats are the _result_ of the moneyflow... a flow which appears to be stopping.  The stoppage, imo, is the bigger story.

The stoppage means those stats will slow down too?

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