The East Bay, for example, which includes Berkeley, Oakland and the surrounding suburbs, saw stronger price growth. “Oakland was the market that saw the biggest increase in demand,” said Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist for Redfin. “Everyone was leaving the city and going across the bridge.”
The median sale price of a single-family home in Alameda County, which includes Oakland and Berkeley, was $1.3 million in November 2021 — up 24 percent, from $1.05 million, in November 2020, according to data from the California Association of Realtors. In San Francisco, by comparison, the median sale price for a single-family home was $1.9 million, an increase of 12 percent, from $1.67 million, a year before.
“It was crazy all year long,” said Daniel Stea, a broker and lawyer who owns Stea Realty Group and works in Oakland and Berkeley. That is, with the exception of a brief slowdown in June, he said, when bidding-war fatigue seemed to set in and some buyers may have headed out of town, post-vaccination. But demand picked up sharply later in the summer, he added, with move-in ready homes that had work-from-home space and backyards often getting a dozen or more offers.
Sacramento was one of the most in-demand destinations for buyers seeking bigger homes at relatively affordable prices. The “typical” value of a single-family home there in 2021 was $472,000, according to Zillow’s estimate — up 22.3 percent from 2020, but still far less than the statewide average. “The area has newer and bigger homes than its coastal neighbor to the west,” Mr. Tucker said, referring to San Francisco. “That’s a good example we saw of the trend in a lot of the country.”