It’s tough not to get anxious about the price of housing in San Francisco. In San Francisco Magazine‘s excellent cover story this month on the long term affects of the tech boom, writer Farhad Manjoo reports that the median sale price of homes in the Bay Area is “racing up at a double digit annual percentage” to the point where folks like him can’t buy a home. And this is a man who, together with his wife, earns “more money than we ever imagined, more money than most people in our professions make elsewhere in the country. Even so, we’re fairly sure that we don’t make enough to buy a house.” That’s to say nothing about the rest of us still on a renter’s income (and clinging to our rent-controlled apartments for life).
If you want to get more specific, the median sale price of a home in San Francisco is up 20% from last year – it’s now $880,000, according to the online real estate site ZipRealty.
But that’s nothing compared to Oakland. If you thought you were going to pick up a cheaper East Bay option, know that the median sale price for Oakland homes went up 76%. Seventy-six percent. Last August, the median price for an Oakland home was $245,500, according to ZipRealty. This year it jumped up to $432,000. “Home price increases in the city of Oakland are outperforming the city of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area,” says ZipRealty CEO and Founder Lanny Baker. For those looking at the 94610 area code (Grand Lake, Adams Point, Lake Shore, Crocker Highlands, and Trestle Glen), those Oakland numbers skyrocketed to a 130% increase from last year.
It’s hard to believe these numbers will continue moving upward. The median price means half the homes on the market are listed above the price, and half below – but even with some less expensive options, the Bay Area isn’t getting any cheaper. ZipRealty’s infographics (for August 2013) give you a sense of where some less expensive options are located – such as the $165,000 median price for homes in the 94621 zip code in East Oakland. In San Francisco, the lowest median home price is in Bayview, where $440,000 looks like a bargain compared to the million-plus dollar homes along the water across town.