What the Money Bought in Oakland, California — $1,500,000

What the Money Bought in Oakland, California — $1,500,000

What does $1.5 million buy you in Oakland, California? Let’s find out as today we’re continuing this series “What the Money Bought.” Today, we’re going to look at the $1.5 million price point in Oakland, California.

What The Money Bought – Oakland Series

Before everything else, I just want to say two things first. When I started the Oakland series, I pulled the data a few days before I pooled this data we will look at today. So, you’ll see that the unit numbers have actually increased a little bit compared to the $1,000,000 price point. However, this year, there’s something I find fascinating in Oakland, California. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s that we’ve sold more units than all three years prior on an annual basis. There’s been about a unit more per day sold in Oakland, California this year compared to 2018, 2019, and 2020. 

Interestingly, you’ll also see that the houses at this price point have gotten, on average, a little bit smaller. However, the bed-bath count hasn’t really changed that much. What has changed an awful lot, though, is the list price-to-sales price ratio. 

Number of Houses and Days-on-Market

According to the data, in 2018, there were 24 houses sold at that $1,500,000 price point. Then, the following two years saw both 22 homes sold at the same price point. In 2021, the number of houses sold for $1,500,000 increased substantially, to a total of 48.

In addition, for the 24 homes sold for $1.5 million in 2018, their average days-on-market, or DOM, was 13 days. Meanwhile, the houses sold in 2019 for the same price had an average DOM of 21 days. In other words, it took a week longer on average to sell those houses in 2019 compared to 2018. Then, in 2020, the homes sold that year for the same price took an average of 2 weeks to get off the market. 2021 has the shortest DOM so far, with an average of 11 days.

Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Moreover, in 2018, the average number of beds in the houses sold at this particular price point was 3.16. There were more bedrooms, on average, in 2019 and 2020, with 3.5 and 3.45 bedrooms, respectively. Homes sold for $1.5 million in 2021 have the lowest average number of bedrooms, with only 2.7 bedrooms per house. There is nearly a half bedroom less compared to 2018 and almost one full bedroom less than in 2019 and 2020.

Unlike the bedroom count, which except for 2019 had an average of 2.7 bathrooms, the average number of bathrooms of homes sold at $1.5 million almost stayed the same. On average, there were 2.33 bathrooms in 2018, 2.27 in 2019, and 2,29 in 2021.

Based on those numbers, the makeup of the houses and how quickly they sold didn’t change all that drastically. That is surprising because homes in Alameda and other price points have become much smaller in terms of area. Granted, the numbers changed a bit, but it’s not like the drastic change seen in some of the other markets and price point

Square Footage

It is also interesting to note the differences in the houses in those four years in terms of size or square footage. The size of houses has gone down quite substantially over the last few years. In 2018, homes in Oakland sold for $1.5 million on average and had a decent area of 2,227 square feet. Homes sold at the same price point in 2019 enjoyed more space, with an average of 2,483 square feet, before dropping to an average of only 2,073 square feet in 2020. It shrank further in 2021, with an average of only 1,886 square feet. In other words, the average area of houses in 2021 is smaller by 541 square feet than in 2018 and 579 square feet than in 2019. So, it’s safe to say that you’re packing more into a smaller footprint at this $1,500,000 here in Oakland, California.

List Price vs. Sales Price

Next is the list price versus the sales price. People ask me all the time how I figure those two out. Well, for starters, let’s take a look at what the data tells us.

In 2018, the average list price of the 24 houses sold for $1,500,000 was $1,216,500. That is equivalent to a 23.38% difference between the listing and final sales prices. Meanwhile, in 2019, the average listing price of the 22 homes sold for $1.5 million was $1,249,682. That is equivalent to 20.04% over the asking price. In 2020, sellers enjoyed a 16.45% increase in their final sales price from their average listing price of $1,288,000. Then in 2021, the 48 houses sold at the same price point had an average asking price of $1,155,992. In other words, the sales price for those houses exceeded their initial asking price by 29.80%.

Based on those numbers, in 2021, if you’re looking for something that you want to spend $1.5 million on, you need to be looking at houses listed at around $1,150,000. Probably $1.1 million, $1.2 million, or somewhere in that ballpark. Think 30%, which is a pretty big jump up from the last handful of years, by 10% to 15% over the list price.

Dollars per Square Foot

According to the data, houses sold at the $1.5 million price point in 2018 had an average price of $737.41 per square foot. In 2019, it decreased to $699.41 per square foot, while in 2020, it jumped back higher to $782.29. So far, 2021 holds the highest record in those four years, with a hefty $858.46 per square foot.

No. of Properties Sold Above the $1.5 Million Price Point

Another interesting thing to see is the number of properties sold above $1,500,000 in those four years. To start, in 2018, 275 homes, or 7.98% of the total 3,447 units sold that year, were sold for over $1,500,000. In 2019, 8.17%, or 285 out of the 3,476 homes sold, were also priced over $1.5 million. The number of homes sold over the $1,500,000 price point increased further in 2020, with 363 out of 3,510 total, or 10.34%. Then, in 2021, it jumped to 17.97%, or 697 of the 3,878 houses sold.

Type of Units

Another exciting thing to note is that we’ve got a couple of condos and townhouses that got into this price point in 2021 as well, which is really rare according to the last handful of years. Two townhouses and a condo were sold for $1,500,000 this year. Also, the only other time a townhouse was sold for the same price was in 2018. So you’re really seeing the value of existing real estate increase. And this only tells us that the price point is clearly becoming more and more competitive.


To recap, at the $1.5 million price point in 2021, the dollar per square foot has gone up to $858.46/ft2. Also, houses today have gotten a little smaller, having an average of 1,886 square feet. However, even though homes have become a little smaller, the bed-bath count hasn’t changed all that drastically. Also, the days-on-market have gone down, and the market has moved up. That means that more and more transactions are happening over the $1.5 million price point today than they used to.

You’ll also see these trends in the $1 and $2 million price points, and you can also check those out to help you understand what your money is buying today. After all, that’s what this series is all about. Lastly, I will also continue to do more cities around the East Bay with this same format. So if you want to see more data about your city or about a city you’re looking into, drop it down below in the comments and stay tuned!

I hope my blog and video on what the money bought in Oakland, California for $1.5 million has helped you.

If I can give you more context on the process of buying or selling your home, please do not hesitate to reach out. My information is below. 

Here’s to all your success!

What the Money Bought in Oakland, California — $1,500,000

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What the Money Bought in Oakland, California — $1,500,000

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