As we outlined back in August:

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!”

Yesterday, the sale of 864 Wood Street closed escrow with a contract price of $1,267,500, which was officially “41 Percent Over Asking!” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports (and likely a headline and postcard or two).

But having been purposefully underpriced, the sale represented actual appreciation of 12.6 percent over the past five years for the modern West Oakland home on an apples-to-apples basis or a “hot” 2.3 percent per year.  The widely misunderstood and misrepresented Case-Shiller index for Bay Area (“San Francisco”) home values was up 47.6 percent over the same period of time.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by unlivablecity

    These win for me if for no other reason than the setback. In a time when designing with other people (neighbors, neighborhoods, neighborliness) in mind is laughed at as irrelevant and insufficiently narcissistic and Ayn Randian, it’s great to see homes that are flush to the front side with those adjacent. Startling, but great.

    • Posted by KOBking

      “Startling, but great” for no one that actually intends to live here beyond a year or two. Lacking any idea of identity, Its a dead cultural space. Just a resting point for soulless corporate drones.

    • Posted by sockettome

      Except…Why the big flat parapet concealing the gable roof behind? It’s heavy and clumsy looking. It would have been a better fit with the gable expressed, as that is the character of houses on that block

      • Posted by Hayes Valley Denizen

        Because that’s the wall on a roof deck; you can see it on the adjacent one.

        • Posted by sockettome

          Seriously HVD…look again and think about it.

  2. Posted by maurice

    West oakland is such an unsual market, and such a bracing case of gentrification. This house is among the most bracing examples of genetrification.

    it looks like a nice, large house, but it’s pretty out of character, and not in the most pleasant stretches of West Oakland. Very pinned in by the 880 Freeway, The Port of Oakland and BART.

    I don’t think a person who understands the oakland market well would want to buy this.

  3. Posted by Lance

    Complete negative bias to the reporting on this. I can say with a GREAT deal of authority that the nice parts of Oakland are up 30-40 percent during that time frame. West Oakland has not aged well in 5 years (and is defiantly not “nice”), and that is a good outcome for that area. I will admit that I expected it to go even a bit higher, but that is not a bad return on a $200K down payment:

  4. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Seemingly JIPB wins the thread by Price is Right rules. Lance was close but over.

    • Posted by JIPB

      Jeffrey, thanks for remembering. My post and estimate took a lot of sh-t from a lot of people who apparently have very little understanding of the West Oakland market. It is beautiful, convenient, and has much less crime than any other Bay Area neighborhood I have lived in (Mission, Potrero Hill, SOMA). And there is going to be around $1B in construction starting next year including housing, retail and office space (Golden West, 212 units, 500 Kirkham St., 1000+ units and $300M, and the West Oakland BART redevelopment, $690M). I suppose the developers and investors in those projects don’t know much about real estate valuation or West Oakland’s “problems” either.

      • Posted by DK

        I would be very surprised if West Oakland has less crime than Potrero Hill and the Mission (east side), at least the last couple years.

  5. Posted by WiseGuy

    Another cherry-picked example by SS of a relatively poorly performing sale. Super easy just to go on Zillow and look at some recent sales in SF that are *actually* selling above asking and much higher then in previous years. Not sure why you never showcase those.

    • Posted by anon

      Can you point to some other genuine apples to apples to look at? I’m interested. Thanks.

  6. Posted by JIPB

    Could someone please explain to me why the “asking price” is a metric of anything other than a real estate agent’s desire to set low expectations for the seller to (i) make it easier to accept an offer ASAP and get their commission and (ii) look like a hero for selling above asking? And the price can be reset whenever the seller wants. It strikes me as utterly irrelevant to any meaningful analysis of the market.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      You are absolutely correct. My house is on the market. My asking price is $20,000,000. For $20,000,000, I will be out tomorrow morning. 🙂

  7. Posted by Brandon

    This was the house used as the representation of Oakland gentrification in Trainspotting. Hilarious

    • Posted by KellyB

      I know! I was surprised they didn’t mention it in the article!

    • Posted by Matt in Uptown


  8. Posted by Frisco

    Every house in Oakland (and Berkeley) listed for a million-ish is not a real price. The sellers would not accept that price and realtors continue to list low in order to boost their record of “over asking” sales. It’s ridiculous but everyone knows that’s how it is.

    • Posted by KellyB

      I always thought it was to attract more offers and start a bidding war to drive up the selling price but also as you say to boost the agents “over asking” numbers.

    • Posted by Lance

      It’s been that way for a while too. I have actually seen some nice ones list around $2M them go for $1M over asking. Agent looks like a hero…and the seller is happy with their haul too. Win, win

  9. Posted by R.L.

    Realtors are not concerned about their record of “over asking” sales. They couldn’t care less. They list low because it attracts more lookers and more bidders. The seller knows this. Everyone knows this. All they care about is getting the best price. It seems to work well at the moment. Different tactics may be useful at other times/places.

    • Posted by Anon

      Several years ago when looking for a house, bidded on several houses and had to play the guess how much over asking to pay. Lost out everytime. Finally found a house listed at the absolute top of our budget that was on the MLS for 2 months. Great house and listing agent said the listed price was the actual selling price. Paid that price and got the house.

      I think the “low listing” tactic would have sold the house immediately.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Bingo. A listing agent’s job is to get the highest possible price for their client’s home. In a market like this, the best way to accomplish that is to list low and let buyers bid against each other.

  10. Posted by thattechguy

    I would much rather have quality of life rather and NOT live in west oakland for 5 years for 12.6% appreciation.

  11. Posted by Willow

    Who cares about the 41%? Why focus on that SS? It’s really amateurish…This is a very positive outcome for the seller @ $1.2675M in a very marginal Oakland neighborhood.

  12. Posted by BHG

    Kudos on the (modest) price pop and playing a difficult hand as best as possible. A decent result in a grim neighborhood.

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