“Extreme” Housing Market Makes Low-Income Communities Desirable

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

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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