If you think those deals in studio and one-bedroom apartments in Oakland have disappeared, the recent study of rental prices by real estate site Lovely confirms your fears are true–the median price of an apartment in Oakland has gone up to $1,695 -or, to put it another way, the apartment you’re looking at now  for $1,695 ish would have been more like $1,325  last year.

Oakland’s median apartment rental is now $$1,695–18% more than last year

The really scary part of the Lovely report, however, is the news that an average rent in San Francisco has soared to $3,200–pretty close to what a one-bedroom commands in New York City. San Francisco rent is only up 8% from last year, because their boom started earlier–and is clearly one of the key factors driving the rise in Oakland rents.

The Lovely report-which focuses on San Francisco but has a little bit of data about Oakland and San Jose, advises renters in SF to find roommates to maximize space and manage costs. However, the study also makes it obvious that Oakland is cheaper than just about ANY neighborhood in San Francisco–the rentals in  Visitacion Valley, which average out at a median rent price of $2,000–are still significantly more than median rental prices mentioned in Oakland.

(And we wonder why it’s taking local folks months to find a new place when they have to move.)

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

6 Responses

  1. Naomi Schiff

    The Madison Park Apartments, shown in the photo, are owned by EBALDC and are subsidized rentals for low-income people. It’s an inspiring example of a significant and interesting historic building restored by a nonprofit with help from tax credits and redevelopment money. This building, at the time a modest-rent privately-owned structure, was redtagged after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Then BART intended to demolish it for a new building for itself. However, community people convinced them not to do it, and EBALDC purchased and restored it. (Great building, but not really quite what the story is about.)

  2. Chuck Morse

    This is a helpful article, but the headline is misleading. The article does not show that “Oakland apartments are now cheaper than ANY rentals in San Francisco” but just that the median rent in Oakland is cheaper than the median rent in San Francisco.

  3. Tim

    Those apartments are also interesting because they’re so unique in that neighborhood. So many blocks around there have a few old victorians or no housing at all. It’s a shame there aren’t more apartment buildings like that.

  4. Matt in Uptown

    Enough about Oakland v SF. This conversation needs an update. In 2013 the strongest job growth in the Bay Area was in the Oakland area, so where do you think the demand for housing is coming from? Also, how are our neighbors’ rental markets looking e.g. Berkeley, Emeryville, Alameda, and San Leandro? How are these local cities dealing with the increased housing demand?

    We need to develop our way out of this mess, and we need to do it now. In Oakland between 2008 and 2013 there were nearly ZERO market rate housing units constructed, and not much else in neighboring cities either. West Oakland once housed over 200,000 residence where only 25,000 live today. There are surface parking lots all over downtown. There are parcels all over town that were created when the freeways plowed through. There is a huge demand for housing and we have the space to build, so build!

  5. Oakie

    You are a wild eyed revolutionary. People in the know here would much rather talk about Gentrification (whatever that is) and the Evil 1%, demonstrate and destroy struggling private businesses in DTO, and vote in rabidly 60’s dogmatic socialists who seem to be living on another planet.

    I am interested in your data point about WO formerly housing 200k, now down to 25k. Where did you get that? If true, that is a very powerful argument about how off base the anti-Gentrification dogmatists are.

  6. Tim

    I can’t imagine that 200k claim is correct. Most of the housing in WO has always been victorians that could never support that kind of density.


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