Big smiles adorned the faces of Facebook employees Friday morning, as the Menlo Park-based social networking giant began trades shares on the public market.
In the hours after the market opened, Facebook shares erased nearly 18 percent of their early gains, Reuters reported.
But Facebook, which was headquartered in neighboring Palo Alto for years, still raised nearly $18.4 billion in one of the biggest IPOs in history.
At their new headquarters in Menlo Park, CEO Mark Zuckerberg rang the morning trading bell before hugging and high-fiving COO Sheryl Sandberg and other employees, according to Reuters.
Locally, the impact of a whole generation of wealthy employees becoming overnight millionaires has led many to speculate about the impact on the local housing market.
In Palo Alto, realtor Michael Talis, a Patch blogger, said sellers in the area have been holding back, waiting for the IPO before closing any deals.
“Some sellers are expecting that these newly-minted millionaires will drive up prices in the local markets, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Los Altos,” wrote Talis. “One Silicon Valley executive in Los Gatos is going as far as offering his 11.5-acre estate in exchange for pre-IPO Facebook shares.”
Facebook of last year to move into the sprawling former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, on the waterfront.