In The News

Bloomberg focus on Oakland with Carla Huffington

Stacey Smith and her husband looked at about three dozen homes in the San Francisco Bay area and lost a bidding war before finally purchasing a four-bedroom house in June for $1.5 million — 40 percent more than the asking price.

Their search wasn’t in Silicon Valley or San Francisco. It was just across the bay in Oakland, which has supplanted its pricier and better-known neighbors to become the region’s most heated real estate market.

“Something we had to wrap our head around really quickly was the fact that we were automatically going to bid at least 30 percent over asking,” said Smith, a 50-year-old strategy consultant who moved from San Francisco in search of more space for her family’s three kids. “It’s the new normal.”

Oakland’s housing market is still soaring even as growth cools in San Francisco, where million-dollar median home prices have left buyers searching for more affordable alternatives. The East Bay city had California’s highest annual appreciation of home values and the biggest rent growth of the 50 largest U.S. cities as of June, according to data compiled by Zillow.

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