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Dropping rents in Oakland enticing new residents to the East Bay

Drop in Oakland rent prices draws new residents to the city
Drop in Oakland rent prices draws new residents to the city 02:57

As expensive as it can be to live and work in the Bay Area, one East Bay city is seeing a significant drop in rent prices.

India Rose Carter-Bolick just moved from San Francisco to an apartment in Oakland with her partner.

"I can't afford to live in San Francisco anymore and so this kind of felt like the only option that was relatively close to home," said Carter-Bolick. 

India says they toured dozens of apartments during their search and noticed the lower prices in Oakland.

"We were aiming for a two bedroom with the hopes that we would have a space for an office," said Carter-Bolick. 

Here they were able to get that. They landed in a modern two bedroom, two bath unit near Lake Merritt.

"We're going to have a desk and we're actually going to move that small blue couch out there in here so that we have a little lounge space to work in," said Carter-Bolick. 

Local rental experts say Oakland is one of the only cities in the Bay Area seeing a decrease in rental prices right now. They say the main factor contributing to that is the volume of empty rental units in the city.

Many new apartment buildings sprouted up before the pandemic. Now with remote work and the issues the city has seen with crime and safety, not as many people are choosing to live in Oakland. That means some landlords have decreased their rents to attract new residents.

But even with the decrease in prices, the cost of renting an apartment in Oakland remains high compared to other cities across the country, and still prices out many people who've lived in Oakland for years.

That's something Carter-Bolick said she thinks about a lot.

"I don't really know if the apartments that are more accessible to lower class incomes are having that same change. I don't know if they've decreased as much as like these apartments in downtown Oakland have changed," said Carter-Bolick. 

India told me she hopes the city can be a place were everyone who wants to live here can find an affordable and comfortable place to live.

She and her partner are already hitting the ground running excited to call this city their new home.

"Every morning I wake up and I'm so excited to be here. And I'm really excited to get to know this community and create more connections with the different pockets of communities within Oakland," said Carter-Bolick. 

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