Discovering El Sobrante, Pinole and San Leandro As Options For Affordable East Bay Living


We all know that inventory is tight, really tight and that multiple offers are so common place in Berkeley that a listing price is merely a suggestion to start the bidding. The median price for a home in Berkeley is $1.1 million. Let’s take a different look at ways to compete in this competitive market if you are looking to be a homebuyer before Fall in the East Bay.


There are opportunities in the market, you just need to expand your horizons at bit. How far? Well, Pinole and El Sobrante are options if you are looking for a bit more inventory and a lower median home price. If you need to commute, there are backroads that can take you from these two northern cities to Berkeley through a beautiful park. Both Pinole and El Sobrante offer benefits for local people looking for local businesses and still are within the commuter circle of the East Bay and San Francisco.



The median price for single family homes as of April 19th is $470k. Homebuyers who found Pinole in September have already realized a 10% increase in their home value as other East Bay home seekers are discovering this little town. Located 12 miles north of Berkeley and 22 miles from San Francisco, Pinole has a culturally and educationally mixed group of residents and plenty of great neighborhoods. One local resident said It is a very calm city that has small town charm with nice people and you always feel welcome. Pinole has the amenities of a nice town including restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, good schools, and nearby movie theaters, shopping malls, golf courses, and much more.


El Sobrante

El Sobrante has some lovely areas with larger lots, more reasonable prices, and a semi-rural atmosphere. It is slowly evolving into a more sophisticated area,  it is in close proximity to recreational areas such as San Pablo Reservoir and the Briones and Kennedy Grove areas. It is also close to Tilden Park. A big benefit of El Sobrante, versus other towns that are quickly becoming more urban, is the space/land/access to nature than in many other parts of the East Bay.

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Median home prices have been rising, again, as more homebuyers are looking for affordable housing. The median price of single family home in El Sobrante, according to Trulia, is $420,000.


San Leandro

San Leandro is a low key town located about 15 miles from Berkeley. Known for its great weather and central location to Highways 580, 880 and 238, as well as two BART stations, and the Oakland airport, this town has quaint neighborhoods. Residents say they enjoy the proximity to their larger sister cities, but enjoy the parks, the Farmer’s Market at Bayfair on Saturdays, the libraries and lots of places to go biking. The median price of a single family home in San Leandro is $540,000 and is on the upswing in housing prices according to Trulia trends report.


If you are looking for an affordable home, Berkeley Hills Realty has a new listing coming on the market next  week in the $400’s in Richmond in an area called Richmond North and East. Call us for more information if you are interested!



Now, the good news about Oakland for buyers is that according to both Altos Research and Trulia Market Reports, inventory is increasing and sales price is coming down slightly. Interesting to note, according to Trulia, the median price of a four bedroom home in Oakland dropped 2% year over year, but two bedroom homes increased by 21%. The median price of all homes in Oakland is $606,000.

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Berkeley Hills Realty agents are reporting that homes are still getting multiple offers with over bidding occurring on most homes due to a continued lack of available homes for sale. According to Trulia, the price for a four bedroom home in Berkeley has dropped 13% year over year, much like the Oakland statistics. However, two and three bedroom homes have increased year over year and for all properties, the median price is $1,045,000, a 11.5% increase from 2016.

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We shall see in next month’s market update if a price softening continues in these two hot markets.


For more information about what is happening across all cities in the East Bay, we encourage you to contact one of our Realtor team members at Berkeley Hills Realty.