The current boom is not the result of an avalanche of tech start-ups. Instead, the Valley has been flooded by employees of established companies like Facebook and Google, who enjoyed a personal "liquidity event" when their companies went public in the past few years.
Another factor is the interest of buyers from China, who are looking for secure investments outside their increasingly volatile home market. Silicon Valley offers them an all-but-sure return, with the bonus of a place to send the kids to good American schools.
As demand has shot up, the price per residential square-foot has skyrocketed. A 1,700-square-foot home in Los Altos, Calif., with dated fixtures and “lots of upside potential,” is priced at $1.3 million, according to one listing. In nearby Saratoga, $1.1 million gets you 1.2 acres of land – but no house. (Read more: Silicon Valley's Boom Creates Shortage of $1 Million Homes)
In fact, inventory priced between $1 milliion and $2 million is so low at the moment, the real-estate agents we asked found it difficult to provide properties that were still active. Below, and on the following pages, find a representative selection: