Bay Briefing: Is the Bay Area at risk of a housing bubble?

Ask some home buyers, and they’ll tell you the Bay Area’s housing bubble is about to burst.

But according to real estate agents in the region, which is one of the nation’s most competitive housing markets, there’s no signs of a bubble at all. Nor do they expect competition to fall by the wayside anytime soon.

Though rising mortgage rates and home buyers’ fatigue could temporarily slow the pace of offers, sellers are comforted by two factors: tech fortunes and low inventory.

Read more from Roland Li.

Also: The Bay Area leads the U.S. in home sales above $1 million. No other real estate market comes close.

Plus: Five takeaways from San Francisco’s annual housing report

Public education

 Bay Briefing: Is the Bay Area at risk of a housing bubble?

Demonstrators rally in March outside Roots International Academy during a protest against the Oakland Unified School District’s plan to close schools.

Stephen Lam/The Chronicle

Oakland Unified teachers are striking as the school district prepares to close several schools, which union leaders said would disproportionately affect Black and Latino students.

Though schools are open, officials have asked parents to keep kids home during the strike because there aren’t enough substitutes or staff to watch them during the day. The decision to close schools has come amid the district’s overspending and declining enrollment.

And they’re not the only ones with a rapidly changing student body. Student enrollment in the 10 largest Bay Area school districts has dropped this year because of demographic changes and migration to other cities and states.

Those losses could lead to budget reductions, as California’s funding for public schools is based on the size of their enrollments.

What to eat

 Bay Briefing: Is the Bay Area at risk of a housing bubble?

Taylor Patrick (left) and Karl Fong crumb-coat cakes at Cakes by Karl in Vallejo.

Santiago Mejia/The Chronicle

The North Bay’s bakers are ready for the spotlight. In the sleepy communities of Benicia, American Canyon and Vallejo, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of affordable rents to hone their culinary skills. Pandemic pop-ups and longtime commercial bakers alike are churning out beautiful tarts and croissants by the dozen, attracted to the North Bay’s central location near other East Bay suburbs and not too far from San Francisco.

Meanwhile, bakeries (and other restaurants) are also popping up on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Palo Alto is getting the newest outpost of Manresa Bread, the popular South Bay bakery, while popular San Jose coffee shop Nirvana Soul is opening another location in Cupertino. Elena Kadvany has the latest in this month’s openings roundup.

Around the Bay

 Bay Briefing: Is the Bay Area at risk of a housing bubble?

Residents of the Jefferson Hotel on Eddy Street have complained of rodents and violence.

Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Broken Homes: San Francisco officials are seeking $16 million to boost staffing and services in rundown single-room-occupancy hotels after a Chronicle investigation.

One month later:
Ridership is up after S.F. Muni began its rapid bus transit lane on Van Ness Avenue.

Charged again: A woman who faced charges for allegedly coughing on and assaulting an Uber driver in San Francisco has been arrested in Florida for an unrelated case of identity theft.

Budget problems:
San Francisco City College students and professors are protesting after the beleaguered education system again suggested cuts to teaching staff.

Coronavirus infections: What happens when your body contracts an asymptomatic case?

Livable wages: About 2,000 workers in S.F.’s taxpayer-funded preschool and child care programs could receive as much as a $30,000 raise this year as the city tries to solve a shortage of early child educators.

Personnel issue: A teacher at a San Rafael high school was arrested for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol and weed inside the classroom.

One fish, two fish:
California salmon are being trucked to cooler waters in the Sacramento River to help them spawn.

Back to life

 Bay Briefing: Is the Bay Area at risk of a housing bubble?

Paper cut artist Yumei Hou stands alongside a mural she helped design on Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Brontë Wittpenn/The Chronicle

What will it take to bring San Francisco’s Chinatown back to life?

For a group of nonprofits that work in the community, their gamble rides on a contemporary arts festival called Neon Was Never Brighter.

The neighborhood’s tourist attraction, Grant Avenue, has suffered even before the pandemic. Redirecting the focus on the neighborhood’s culture, and the experiences of Asian Americans in San Francisco, might change that.

I talked with some of the activists and artists who are trying to revitalize Chinatown.

Plus: The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., will display a banner from a Chinatown march against racism during the pandemic.

Bay Briefing is written by Gwendolyn Wu (she/her) and sent to readers’ email inboxes on weekday mornings. Sign up for the newsletter here, and contact the writer at

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