From Beacon Economics
Recent population growth in the East Bay (East Bay refers to the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward Metropolitan District, covering Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) is providing a boost to the local economy, including the local real estate market. The East Bay’s population grew by 3.2% from 2010 to 2013, compared to 3.1% growth in San Francisco County, 3.8% growth in Santa Clara County (the area that has benefited the most from the current tech boom), and a modest 2.2% growth in the rest of California. Beacon Economics is projecting that the East Bay population will continue to grow robustly in the coming years due to the abundance of high-quality jobs located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the region’s much higher home affordability as compared to San Francisco and the South Bay.
Notably, hindering population growth, and possibly affecting Beacon Economics’ estimates, may be the lack of available housing units. The deficiency of units has affected home price appreciation, but prices have still risen across the Easy Bay region much faster than many expected. The median price for an existing single-family home rose by 32.9% from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, hitting $499,800. Still, this median price is 68% less expensive than the median price in San Francisco and 45% less expensive than the median price in the South Bay.