The West Coast Tech Effect: From The Shores Of Silicon Beach To The Emerald City’s Silicon Forest

By RSIR Staff |

The technology industry continues to assert its dominance on the West Coast.

In a visit to Seattle over the summer, Shen Schulz, a Malibu-based real estate broker with the Sotheby’s International Realty Malibu Point Dume Brokerage, proclaimed that “the expansion of the tech scene and increase of foreign investment in Southern California real estate have exacerbated a series of price rises that are transforming life” in Malibu. His words echoed familiar to brokers at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, given similar market fundamentals felt in the Puget Sound region; tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft have transformed Seattle’s economy, bringing wealth and top tech talent to the area. As Schulz outlined, both of our cities are home to a number of startups, while major businesses based elsewhere, such as Facebook and Google, have opened up regional offices to leverage local talent.


In a visit to the RSIR Kirkland Flagship Office over the summer, Schulz outlined the latest market trends from Malibu’s “Silicon Beach.”

Recent data reveals that many of the tech companies opening offices in Washington state are engineering centers, as Geekwire’s tech tracker has now surpassed 100 locations in the Puget Sound alone. In establishing these offices, companies are looking to lure up-and-coming talent from top-rated schools such as the University of Washington, and are working to target employees of other notable companies like Microsoft and Amazon. Much is the same in Malibu, whether it’s looking for recent graduates of Pepperdine University or to the over 1,000 tech startups that now dot the region.

Looking at these two locations, it quickly becomes clear that their similarities don’t end in the realm of tech, as both are increasingly popular destinations for foreign investment. As reported by RSIR over the summer, Chinese investment on the West Coast increased while home prices in China grew faster than anywhere else in the world. May Lee of CGTN discussed the most popular destinations for foreign investment, “with Los Angeles ranking as the No. 1 city, followed by Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Canada’s Vancouver,” not to mention the thousands of travelers that recently took advantage of an extended Golden Week holiday by taking trips to explore foreign investment options in the U.S.

So how do these two markets stack up to one another by the numbers?

As is the case in Seattle, demand is outpacing supply in Malibu, which is driving up home prices. The latest data covering the Third Quarter of 2017 reveals similar growth trajectories for median home prices, with a 12.5% increase in Malibu and an 11.4% jump in Seattle. The median home prices in Malibu and Seattle are still quite different from one another, however, at $2.7 million and $881,000 respectively.

Los Angeles Third Quarter Reports   |   Puget Sound Third Quarter Reports

Whether you’re a tech worker, foreign investor or come from far outside the bounds of either realm, both regions offer enviable luxury living opportunities, whether it’s along the shores of Malibu or in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Step into five stunning residences and experience the different lifestyle offerings afforded by life at the water’s edge in Silicon Beach and that of the Emerald City’s Silicon Forest.

Bellevue Towers


Bellevue, WA   |  Offered at $5,000,000

3 bedrooms  |  3 full baths & 1 partial bath  |  3,561 square feet

Soar to the 41st floor of Bellevue Towers to a penthouse that elevates luxury living to new heights. No detail spared in this 3,561 square foot home with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Open concept with walls of windows, custom built-ins, a fireplace and wraparound balcony. Chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, Wolf range-top, granite counters, wine chiller, wet bar and butler’s pantry. Master suite with a private terrace, two walk-in closets, and ensuite bath. Additional features include hardwood floors, Luton blinds, ample storage and 3 parking spaces.

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Latigo Shore


Malibu, CA   |  Offered at $15,995,000

5 bedrooms  |  4 full baths & 1 partial bath  |  3,482 square feet

No expense was spared in this amazing oceanfront estate, from the Quartzite Taj Mahal countertops and custom cabinetry to Crestion controlled sound and comfort with heated limestone and porcelain wood tile floors. Endless ocean views from every room in the home are complemented by sliding glass doors and private decks for a morning meditation. The master suite offers a large deck with double outdoor fireplaces, a grill, kitchen and dumbwaiter to suit every need. Access Latigo Shore Beach and take in amazing sunsets or start the morning surfing atop the waves.

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Yarrow Point


Bellevue, WA   |  Offered at $9,400,000

4 bedrooms  |  4 full baths & 1 partial bath  |  6,100 square feet

More than a residence, 4648 Yarrow Point is a gallery of life experiences, carefully curated to reflect the owner’s worldwide travels in a profound experience that tempts the senses. A signature collection of hand selected wall finishes and art pieces capture the feel of each individual room. Lose yourself in the tranquility of 6,100 square feet of waterfront living, situated perfectly upon a 27,800 square foot expanse. This entertainer’s paradise will most assuredly leave your guests in awe.

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Zuma Beach


Malibu, CA   |  Offered at $1,195,000

3 bedrooms  |  2 baths  |  1,344 square feet

Enjoy spectacular ocean views and sunsets over Zuma Beach from a top floor unit within a duplex condominium building. Open beam ceilings and a red tiled kitchen lead to an open concept living and dining area that lives as much for day-to-day life as it does for grand entertaining. Set against expansive, 180-degree ocean views, a recent remodel includes new carpet and paint that gives it a bright, clean aesthetic.

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Market Place North


Seattle, WA   |  Offered at $1,750,000

2 bedrooms  |  2 baths  |  1,919 square feet

A stunning expression of the minimalist aesthetic rendered with a sharp eye for detail and craftsmanship, this home was designed by former owner/architect Mark Reddington of Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall. The two-level, sub-penthouse residence at Market Place North captures iconic views of downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, Pike Place Market and the Olympic Mountains from two decks and a fully opened West wall. Live in a timelessly elegant, comfortable and gallery-like space with one-of-a-kind exposure to the outdoors in Seattle’s chic, urban heart.

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Feeling the Emerald City allure? Search Seattle listings here.

Ready to heed Malibu’s call? Search Malibu listings here.