On the east side of San Francisco, you will find the bustling and extremely expensive city of Oakland. It is the biggest city in the Bay Area region and is considered the country’s main west coast port. Oakland has a population of 425,000 people, and this is why it is California’s 8th most populous city.

This gives us some hint why Oakland is so expensive. Here’s some information according to Maxwell Drever that will drive the point home: Oakland is known as Bay Area’s popular trade center and it’s a reputation in the business industry.

The below table compares the rising costs in Oakland with its country and the US:

Cost of LivingOaklandSan FranciscoNew YorkCaliforniaUSA
Median Home Cost$923,400$1,471,200$654,300$684,800$291,700

*National Average: 100

Oakland sits at 174.4 on the national average index of 100, which is higher than many other US cities. Apart from housing costs, other extremely expensive things in Oakland include groceries and health care. Some suburbs in Oakland are costlier. These include Piedmont, Crocker Highland, and Claremont.

From the weather to food and transport, everything is fantastic in Oakland. However, on the index scale, the rating is still above 100 in some areas, making this city so expensive. The biggest reason behind the rising prices is housing costs. Let’s take a look at all this in detail:

Costly Living and High Housing Costs

Since Oakland is close to many cities, it experiences the trickle effect, which is when people from populated cities move to nearby ones that are less populated. The Bay Area already has limited land, and demand for housing is increasing day by day, whereas supply is low.

As a result, builders are constructing upwards rather than on new land. Oakland’s natural beauty, economy, and culture make it an attractive place. There are heavy regulations in Oakland, so contractors have to fight tooth and nail to get a project approved. When construction is costly, the demand is costlier. The super-rich can easily afford houses, which leaves the working class in the dust.

Most of the land in Oakland is zoned for single-story houses, which means that multi-unit properties are expensive to build.

With so many people still flocking to Oakland, medical costs also shot up Maxwell Drever, the Founder and Chairman of DCM says. Lack of competition was partly responsible for this. As the 6th most expensive city in the US, Oakland has a 49% higher living cost than the national average.

An individual needs to earn at least $125,000 annually to live comfortably in Oakland. The minimum wage in Oakland is $14/hour. Based on this rate, it is highly unlikely that low-income workers will ever be able to catch up with the high living costs.