San Francisco's luxury housing market may be among the most expensive in the nation, but it was Oakland's that saw big growth numbers over the past 12 months. We just reported that Oakland's rental market is getting more expensive, and when real estate website Redfin took a look at housing priced in the top five percent in major cities around the country, they found that Oakland had some of the most significant growth at the top of its market. The average sale price at the high end of Oakland's market rose by eight percent in the past year to $1.71 million. San Francisco's top five percent of sales had an average price of $3.99 million, but saw just three percent growth in the last 12 months.
Markets like Washington D.C., Denver, Delray Beach (Florida), and Bend (Oregon) had the biggest high-end price gains, but Oakland wasn't far behind. The Bay Area's Fremont also saw big year-on-year gains of nine percent in its luxury market. So why the big jump in these cities? Not surprisingly, it comes from an extreme lack of inventory and affordability in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Redfin agent Mia Simon pointed to the mix of city and suburban life (with features like good elementary schools and walkability) in Oakland's high-end neighborhoods. She says Fremont benefits from great schools and proximity to Silicon Valley.