Designed by Baran Studio Architecture and listed for “$849,000” in June of 2016, despite its nearly identical sister home with a yellow door having sold for $1.025 million the month prior, the sale of the modern West Oakland infill home at 864 Wood Street closed escrow with a contract price of $1.125 million that August, which was officially “33 percent over asking!” according to all industry stats and aggregate market reports.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, which is located near West Oakland BART and offers “a straight shot down 7th Street to the Crucible, Orbit coffee and downtown Oakland,” measures nearly 2,300 square feet, with modern finishes, a “multitude of windows,” two private outdoor spaces and a large one-car garage.

And while the Bay Area Index for single-family home values is up 42 percent since August of 2016, 864 Wood Street has just returned to the market listed for “$899,000,” a sale at which would represent a 20 percent drop in value over the same period of time on an apples-to-apples basis while a sale at $1.125 million, the price at which it was purchased five years ago, would count as being “25 percent over asking!”

If you think you know the market for modern single-family homes in West Oakland, now’s the time to tell.

38 thoughts on “West Oakland Déjà Vu”
  1. Even 1.125 would be high for this block and the parcel has one big negative counting against it: the bombed-out shell of the house directly across the street was just sold a week ago, undoubtedly to flippers but at a minimum to people who intend to extensively rework the place, in all likelihood from the ground up. So you’ll be waking up to air hammers and concrete trucks for the next year and a half in your million-dollar outpost, that is, if you were able to get to sleep in the first place between the roar of BART and I-880, 18 inches from your bed.

    $1.05 million.

      1. Yeah well I didn’t want to aim high, because of Price is Right rules. But I won’t be surprised if someone loses money or just barely breaks even ignoring transaction and carrying costs, given the particular situation of this property.

        1. Redevelopment of bombed-out shells tend to be a net positive for surrounding property values, even when accounting for near-term inconveniences and prior to said redevelopment(s) having been completed.

    1. not sure where is the bay area you can escape construction. houses get flattened all the time in the most expensive neighborhoods and on the most expensive streets.

      also, props for the flush base

        1. The baseboard is flush w the sheetrock. If it’s done right there’s a nice 1/4″ reveal between. Nice detail.

  2. I used to live up the street, and tbh, I have no idea why any sane person would spend $1m to live here. West Oakland has been up and coming for too long, the homeless situation/trash/dumping (including the recycling plant, which recently caught fire) is far worse than it has ever been, crime is rising, and the police department has been decimated. It’s not a good feeling to walk at home at night with an elevated pulse and adrenaline coursing through your veins, watching for danger.

    1. I agree that it’s not close enough yet to move in now, but gentrification seems to be accelerating. There are a bunch of large residential projects in the works near West Oakland BART. Howard Terminal seems likely to happen. Individual flips like above, are happening. All of those will radiate out and foster even more.

      It’s probably a similar situation to Dogpatch SF in 2005-2010. Everyone can see the writing on the wall. It’s just a matter when it actually happens and whether your’e willing/able to wait it out. IMO, West Oakland 2035 will be a very different place.

      1. People have been saying that for decades, though. If it is a very different place in 2035 it will be on different terms than people imagined five years ago because the apparent value of being ten minutes to Embarcadero has fallen. Nobody cares right now, possibly never again. That’s why I guessed the value of this place is either flat or slightly down. All the negatives are still there: this parcel is surrounded by underground toxic waste plumes (lead, TCE, gasoline, benzene, PCE, everything), is on the EDF’s map of blocks where you are virtually guaranteed to get asthma and where the mortality rates are 20x higher than Oakland average, and the hyperlocal crime rate rivals Mogadishu. So with all the standing negatives and the possible removal of some positives associated with the BART trip to SF, I can see it being down a bit.

        You’ll note also that BART weekday ridership peaked in 2016. The shine was already coming off even before COVID.

        1. Decades ago, the approval of a $10B mixed use project with a baseball stadium was not imminent, nor were the massive residential projects linked above. These are tangible reasons to point to increased development, not handwaving with no citations, as was done decades ago.

          It’s still a single family home neighborhood that’s walkable. Those are in high demand right now.

          1. Well, actually, please excuse me if I’ve been around long enough to have seen it before. The first time a mixed-use development project for that site was proposed was 2001, in the West Oakland Transit Village Action Report, literally none of which has ever materialized. There was one actual physical building they started building that some black bloc arsonists stopped in 2012.

            Not trying to dissuade anyone from this area, of course. I wish them the best of luck. It’s just that good luck would be a huge turnaround from the past half century of actual events.

          2. “Good luck” for gentrifiers, in the assumed form of even higher property values, will be bad luck for the people who have lived and worked in West Oakland for decades who will be targeted even more by usurping, yield-chasing property pirates.

            The working class people of West Oakland should be grateful for dispossession and displacement just like the tens of thousands of Afghani men, women and children we bombed into Paradise in a glorious pink mist. It was for their own benefit. You’re welcome, innocent dead Afghanis! You’re welcome, defenestrated working class people of West Oakland!

          3. That’s some bad reasoning as usual, two beers. Gentrification can benefit everybody, especially if there’s sufficient development to keep housing costs down. Here’s one paper and there are many many many more. Where’s your evidence?

          4. That paper is a hoot, a nice towering pile of inscrutable maths serving the neo-classical objective of devising models to fit cherry-picked data to a predetermined outcome that just so coincidentally puts money in the pockets of the people who fund the econ departments and think-tanks where jokers like these get their cushy sinecures. Can I interest you in a used Laffer Curve?

            My evidence is twenty-five years of watching affordable eastern neighborhoods start to get unaffordable with the arrival of the first RBA faux live-work lofts in the mid-90s, seeing the subsequent sunami of evictions and displacement, and watching rent increases accelerate with the addition of every “market rate” project.

            The more luxury units added, the more upward pressure on rents. This is the reality of the eastside for the last twenty-five years, but I’ll defer to your inscrutable maths from hack saltwater economists paid to justify a corrupt ideology.

          5. What…. you object to the claim that gentrification “reduces exposure to poverty”??

          6. Well, it certainly keeps the developers and other high net worth folks out of poverty!

            Unfortunately, rentier capitalism is a zero sum game, as anyone who has played Monopoly knows..

      2. There’s a big big difference between fixing a broken area and adding life to an empty area. I don’t recall Dogpatch being a really bad place, just industrial and slightly deserted. There are many places in SF and the wider Bay area that have been “transitioning” for decades and seem like they’ll still be transitioning for decades to come. One exception that people highlighted here is the Mission. But it took actually effort to clean up the crime and gang issues there. I don’t see the political will or economic conditions necessary to target and fix crime and QoL issues in the medium term.

        I do think that neighborhoods that are overlooked, but not “bad” have a good shot of being discovered and spruced up though.

        1. I used to live in the Dogpatch in 2009. I would call in to ask for delivery, and the restaurant would hang up as soon as they heard my address.

      3. The Port of Oakland is the 5th busiest port in the US. As long as the Port is still active, West Oakland will always have a heavy concentration of industry, which will make it less attractive as a neighborhood where people of means will be inclined to settle and linger for long periods of time.

        What makes the Dogpatch different from West Oakland is that Pier 70 and the 22nd Street Power Plant have been shut down for a while. There may still be some pockets of light industry or “PDR” here and there, but the SF waterfront’s role of being a major hub of shipping and industry are long gone.

        1. This is so depressing! I’m a flipper real estate developer. If buying up relatively affordable properties, evicting the long-term tenants, and “improving” the properties by turning them into ersatz live-work lofts with bespoke appliances and finishes that no actual artist would be caught dead near doesn’t pencil out, what am I supposed to do? If I can’t wage class war on behalf of high-value asset owners against the unwashed losers who make and deliver everything I actually need, what value do I have?

    1. I’d be surprised (but not THAT surprised) if you’re correct on that. Haven’t noticed any other high-end or even new construction SFHs in Lower Bottoms, seems like a bit of a wildcard for the neighborhood.

      1. It is true for the best properties, not the degraded properties that need to be flipped. Plus this property is literally a 5 minute walk from the BART, which is set to have a $690M mixed use development breaking ground in early 2021, and may be walking distance to $12B or so if the new ball park is built. The life science industries are at capacity in Emeryville and making their way south towards West Oakland. There also seems to be a huge appetite for nice (and modern) SFHs on their own lots after Covid. If you are working from home, you might as well have a yard. And aside from one BART stop to downtown SF, it is right next to the Bay Bridge, 580, 880 and a short easy walk/bike/bus/BART to an ever expanding Downtown and Uptown Oakland business district, which is seeing a lot of building and selling of commercial buildings even during this Covid period. Basically, it is a great building adjacent to everything. And the weather in West Oakland is similar to Redwood City, best in the East Bay.

    1. Prominently so – just ring up the movie trailer on YouTube. Who knows… perhaps the seller gets lucky and somebody picks the property up for the LULZ

  3. $1.125 million. I am amazed. I’m in this neighborhood at least once a week for the past several years for work – and it’s crazy town. Burnt out cars. Dozens if not a hundred severely mentally ill homeless wandering the streets. Giant heaps of trash on the corners that blow everywhere. It’s depressing to be present there if you have the least bit of empathy for other people.

    Of all the amazing wonderful places to live in the Bay Area – I really do not understand why someone would invest $1.125 million here. Feels like 2006 all over again to me….

  4. West Oakland is well…West Oakland. It’s not a great neighborhood & the convenience of BART is definitely not as beneficial as it was pre-pandemic.

    Long term though I think this will be a good buy from a pure financial perspective, but really, why spend so much when you have to deal with so many challenges? (That apartment complex on the corner also is not going to help the seller get the 2016 price & the lot appears to be on the smallish side.)

    I’m going to say 1.075M but I wouldn’t be surprised if this property despite the neighborhood fetches 1.2M.

  5. “Good Oakland” is VERY hot right now, but this is unfortunately not in Good Oakland. That said, it is a nice redesign (albeit completely out of character for the area), and it is close to things. You just have to get past multiple homeless, delapadated buildings, and people with substance abuse issues to get there.

    All that said, I’m going to go with $1.2M or just over $500 a square. And it might surprise and go a bit higher.

    1. I actually think I’m too low. Most of Good Oakland is up 30% since 2016, and it is not unusual to see houses go $1M over asking. However, this area didn’t fare well during the pandemic. Even still, I think it still probably appreciated ~15%. I’m going to raise my forecast to $1.35M or ~600 per square. That’s my final guess.

    1. That’s officially “33 percent over asking!” for 1008 Wood, which was listed for “$899,000” despite having sold for $1.11 million in 2017, representing total appreciation of 8.1 percent for the single-family home in “Hot West Oakland!” since the second quarter of 2017 on an apples-to-apples basis or under 2 percent per year.

      The Bay Area index for single-family home values was up 40.4 percent over the same period of time.

      All of which brings us back to the listing at hand…

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