It seems like every week there's a new study about how Oakland home prices are skyrocketing faster than everywhere else in the Bay Area. The main reason being that it's so damn expensive to rent in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and if you want to buy a house and you're not making millions in either of those places – well, you can forget that idea. People from other, more expensive parts of the Bay Area are moving to Oakland because it's still cheaper to buy a house in Oakland than in San Francisco or Palo Alto. But it might not be so for long.
SFGate reported this morning on the Bay Area-wide trend of moving to Oakland, which has been going strong for the last five years. Because of the mass exodus of people with higher incomes moving into Oakland, housing prices continue to go up by leaps and bounds. How crazy is the difference in prices? Well, the average cost of a house in Oakland in 2010 was $203k; that figured jumped to $449k in 2014 – a whopping 121% increase.
One realtor SF Gate spoke with, Red Oak Realty's Deidre Joyner, said that 30% of Oakland homebuyers she worked with in 2013 were from San Francisco. Another Red Oak agent, Patrick Leaper was quoted as saying, "Oakland has finally been noticed as the San Francisco annex and is gaining steam on all fronts: real estate, art, and culture, which transformed it into the new 'it' place in the Bay Area." Oh boy. I'm sure that's a huge selling point that a lot of realtors make to people moving into Oakland, but doesn't that make you feel a little dirty to read that? Does anyone believe that Oaklanders brag about being San Francisco's stepping stone? And do people who buy into that claim really want Oakland to become another San Francisco?