Bay Area Homebuyers Seek Out Oakland and Suburban Areas as Remote Work Grows, Redfin Analysis Finds - WIRE.RealEstate

Bay Area Homebuyers Seek Out Oakland and Suburban Areas as Remote Work Grows, Redfin Analysis Finds

May 26, 2020 11:05 AM ET

The housing market in Oakland and suburban parts of the Bay Area is recovering at a faster rate than in San Francisco or San Jose, according to a new analysis from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. While pending home sales and the number of new listings have begun to pick up throughout the Bay Area in early May after a drastic drop in April, homebuyer demand is strongest in Oakland, where homes tend to be larger and less expensive, with more outdoor space.

More than 72% of users inside the city of San Francisco searched for homes outside the city in April 2020, up from 67.8% a year earlier. The increase came while companies such as Menlo Park-based Facebook and San Francisco-based Twitter were under shelter-in-place orders, even prior to announcing permanent work-from-home policies.

“The trend toward the suburbs will grow stronger and stronger as the pandemic continues and work-from-home culture becomes more entrenched. Places like Oakland are capturing people who are leaving San Francisco and San Jose because if employees are able to work remotely three or four days a week, a longer commute is well worth the trade for more space,” said Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr. “Homebuyer interest is already shifting towards larger single-family homes with bigger yards. As a result, we expect prices to grow faster in the suburbs. That’s likely to be especially true in the Bay Area, where homes in OaklandBerkeleyWalnut Creek and farther-flung suburbs are expensive, but prices aren’t as sky-high as San Francisco.”

Home prices in Oakland rose 3.4% to $787,000 in the month ending May 11. Meanwhile in San Francisco, home prices declined 3.2% year over year to $1,496,000 in the four weeks ending on May 11. It was the only one of the 85 largest metros Redfin tracks to experience a year-over-year price decline in April.

Pending sales are recovering more quickly in Oakland than San Francisco, down 41.6% in Oakland in the first half of May, versus a 55.1% drop in San Francisco. That’s after pending sales plummeted more than 60% year over year in San FranciscoSan Jose and Oakland in April.

New listings in Oakland were down 39.2% year over year in the first half of May. That’s up from April, but still makes for a tighter housing supply than in San Francisco, where new listings were down 29.7% year over year in the first half of May.

“Move-in ready houses in Oakland are selling in five to 10 days with multiple offers. There are fewer homes on the market, but almost as many people searching as there were pre-pandemic,” said Oakland Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa. “One of my clients started looking at homes close to the city, but ended up buying further east, near Walnut Creek, where they could afford a bigger house. Nowadays, buyers want offices where they can work from home, they want to be able to talk on the phone in different rooms, they want space, and they want yards where the kids can play.”

Bay Area market summary: Four weeks ending May 11, 2020


San Francisco

San Jose


Median sale price




Median sale price YoY




Homes sold YoY




Pending sales (Four weeks ending May 17)




New listings YoY (Four weeks ending May 17)




All homes for sale YoY (Four weeks ending May 17)




Median days on market




Median days on market YoY




About Redfin
Redfin ( is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $115 billion.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin’s press release distribution list, email

See Campaign:
Contact Information:

, Wire Real Estate, Wire, United States, English