SF Workers Lured Eastward As Home Prices Head Upward.
From Richmond’s bayfront to Oakland’s hipster precincts, cash-rich refugees from San Francisco’s overheated housing industry are reshaping the East Bay’s real estate market. East Bay brokers say San Francisco buyers now make up more than 25 percent of house and condo hunters, and their numbers have more than doubled since 2010, when the Bay Area real estate market started to recover. Another 25 percent of demand is coming from people new to the Bay Area, many of them relocating here for jobs in San Francisco, said Aman Daro, director of marketing at Red Oak Realty. Bruce Wagg, who specializes in Oakland real estate, estimated that San Francisco residents now represent one-third of his buyer client pool, up from about 10 percent five years ago. “They are finding the prices to be cheap compared to the city,” he said. “They can do $100,000 over asking without blinking.”
The most recent statistics available from the Internal Revenue Service support the impression that San Franciscans are moving east in record numbers. Between 2006 and 2012, there was a 42 percent increase in households moving from San Francisco to Alameda or Contra Costa counties, jumping from about 5,800 to more than 8,200. The total number of households that moved into the two East Bay counties increased by 29 percent over that time period, from 56,400 to 72,600.
Oakland prices up too
With more people moving to the East Bay and more competition for properties, prices have risen. In Oakland they rose 20 percent in 2015, to a median price of $621,000, up from $516,000 a year before. That is a 274 percent jump from the depth of the recession in 2009, when the median price was $166,000. In 2015 prices in Richmond rose 16.8 percent, to $379,000, while Hayward and San Leandro both climbed about 12 percent, to about $500,000
While the escalation has been dramatic, the East Bay is still a bargain compared with San Francisco, where the median three-bedroom single-family home goes for $1.47 million and the median price for all residential units is $1.1 million.
Those prices mean that middle- and lower-income San Franciscans will continue to leave the city in 2016, perhaps even at a higher rate, said Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow.
“For a lot of people searching for access to housing, leaving San Francisco is the only thing that makes sense,” Gudell said. Simon Stahl and Sylvana Stahl-Flores were living in a small one-bedroom Mission District apartment and expecting a baby when they started looking for a larger rental in San Francisco. They found out quickly that they had been priced out of both the rental and for-sale markets. Two-bedrooms were going for more than $4,500 a month. Finding a place to purchase within their budget of less than $600,000 was impossible. “It was absolutely horrible,” Stahl said.
A software engineer in San Francisco, Stahl hadn’t spent much time in Oakland. But a friend who happened to be a real estate agent there, Sarang Ratanjee of Red Oak Realty, offered to show them around. They ended up buying a Spanish-style three bedroom house in the Eastmont Hills neighborhood for $560,000. It has a backyard with lemon and oak trees. “We wanted a yard where the baby can play when she gets older,” he said.
Read it at San Francisco Chronicle