"Extreme" Housing Market Makes Low-Income Communities Desirable

Home prices are up in East Oakland, East San Jose, and East Palo Alto

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 1:46 PM PDT
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Homes in Antioch as well as other Bay Area communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and longstanding poverty are now selling for as much as 50 percent more than they did last year.

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There goes the neighborhood -- as in the neighborhood is going from a poor place to a boom town.

The Bay Area real estate boom is now raising prices even in long-struggling areas like East Oakland, East Palo Alto and East San Jose, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

All-cash buyers, offers of free rent for a month for sellers and other offers are "sweetening bids" as "swarms" of investors and people looking to live in these lower-income areas descend on available homes, the newspaper reported.

In East Oakland, the median sales price is now $158,000 -- or 51 percent higher than it was just a year ago.

After losing half of its value from 2007 to 2009, homes in East San Jose are now selling at a median price of $415,000, 25 percent higher than in early 2012.

An Oakley couple interviewed by the newspaper noted that they had 22 offers for their home in a formerly blighted neighborhood full of weedy lawns and empty homes lost to foreclosure.

The buyer let them live there, rent-free for a month, while they searched for a new home in Fairfield.

In other words, this is an "extreme seller's market," the newspaper reported.

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