West Bay Refugees are Jacking Up East Bay Housing Prices.

The view from there.


As real estate prices have skyrocketed in San Francisco, it’s no surprise that more residents there who are looking to buy homes have switched their search to the East Bay.

Those San Francisco buyers are contributing to price hikes in the East Bay by bidding on properties that have a lower average asking price than those in San Francisco, according to Debbie DiMaggio, a partner with Highland Properties in Piedmont.

“San Francisco buyers tend to be bidding higher with no contingencies,” DiMaggio said. “Buyers from Contra Costa don’t go quite as high and tend to come in on the lower side.”

Tom Hendershot of Redfin in Oakland says home prices in the East Bay are definitely being pushed up by bidders from San Francisco and the Peninsula who are seeing that they can get more house for their money here.

“I see a lot of clients coming out from San Francisco,” said Hendershot, who specializes in Oakland and Berkeley real estate. “They can get a three-bedroom home for the price of a condo there.”

Regardless of where buyers are looking, DiMaggio said she recommends that they work with agents who specialize in the market they are focused on. Real estate agents know other agents in the area in which they are working and have built trust relationships with them, she said. Highland Partners, which specializes in home sales in Oakland and Piedmont, generally refers clients who are looking to buy in San Francisco to an affiliated agent there.

“Buyers are going to get much better service working with an agent in their market,” DiMaggio said. “Our broker in San Francisco is awesome.”

Hendershot agreed that working with an agent who knows the area and has relationships with other local agents is the way to go.

“When I have a client looking to buy out of area, I would reach out to one of my partners,” he said. “I have agents who work in other parts of the Bay Area, so we can keep our clients in-house.”

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