Homes in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood.
Eye-popping if not quite surprising statistics from the East Bay show that the median home sales price has skyrocketed over the past five years. The highest increase came in Oakland home sales prices, which shot up 121% from their median level during the recession in 2010.
But Oakland was not the only East Bay city to see whopping increases. According to data collected by Red Oak Realty, Albany's median prices are up 44%, Berkeley's 24%, El Cerrito's 13%, and Piedmont's 34% over the same five-year period. The increase is, of course, good news for homeowners already in place—and less so for renters or those trying to move in.
Patrick Leaper, one of the firm's agents, told the Chronicle with perhaps less tact than some Oakland natives would recommend, "Oakland has finally been noticed as the San Francisco annex." That's not to say that Oakland's as expensive as SF. The most recent figures put SF's median home price at $915,000, whereas Oakland is just $449,000. But Oakland prices are going up a lot faster; according to data from the San Francisco Real Estate Report, the median home sales price in San Francisco increased 21% over roughly the same period of time, just 1/6 of the rate of Oakland's price growth.
In any case, the increase in Bay Area home sales prices has drastically outpaced national growth. The Federal government's Home Price Index has risen from a nationwide median of $192,950 in January of 2010 to a median of $211,440 in March of 2014—an increase of just 9.5% over the period. As of today, average Oakland home prices are twice the national average—and San Francisco's are quadruple the average.