Oakland Real Estate Prices (Multi-Tenant)

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Living in the Bay Area has led me to think more and more about real estate (and how amazingly expensive it is here…)  I’ve signed up for trackers on Zillow and Redfin, but the data analyst in me always wants to dive deeper, to look back historically, to quantify, to visualize the trends, etc…  With that in mind, here is my first view at Oakland real estate prices over the past decade.  I’ll only be looking at multi-tenant units (duplexes, triplexes, etc.)

The first plot is simply looking at the number of sales each month:

You can clearly see a strong uptick in the number of units sold from 2003 to 2005 and the following steep decline in sales bottoming out during the financial crisis in 2008.  Interestingly, sales pick up again very quickly in 2009 and 2010 (a time when I expected to see low sales figures) before stabilizing at the current rate of ~30 properties sold per month.

The next plot shows the price distribution for multi-tenant buildings sold in Oakland:

Here we can see prices rising pretty steadily right up until 2008 when the financial crisis hit (peaking with median prices around $650K).  The prices are rising in 2006 and 2007 even while the number of sales is dropping rapidly.  After prices drop to ~$250K we can see that they stay low from 2009 – 2013 (even though sales picked up dramatically in 2009).  This suggests that a number of investors recognized the low prices and bought up a lot of the available properties.  Starting in 2013 prices begin rising and they have continued to present where we are looking at record high median prices of ~$750K.

What happens next?

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