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Renter's Guide to Oakland
Oakland, California is a vibrant, multicultural port city that has been going through tremendous upheaval as rents and mortgages skyrocket. Then again, the area is known for its progressive activism and has been through turbulent times before.
Oakland is the third largest city in the Bay Area; although it’s just below San Francisco on the list, its population is half the size. Oakland is just 12.3 miles from San Francisco and 81.9 miles from Sacramento. Los Angeles to Oakland is 370.3 miles, up the Interstate 5 freeway. Berkeley, California is its neighboring city 5.2 miles north.
Weather in Oakland, CA is a major attraction as its Mediterranean Climate is usually 10 degrees warmer than foggy San Francisco. July’s hottest days average 72 degrees, while the low in January is 45. In other words, a weather forecast for Oakland is kind of useless: it’s pretty darn nice all year round.
Oakland, CA Demographics
- Total Population408,073
Female 197,843Male 210,230
- Median Age36.3
Cost of Living in Oakland, CA
Oakland, CA is along the line of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (aka BART), which has been voted one of the best transportation systems in the country; however, it is also one of the most expensive, with a one-way trip from Oakland to San Francisco costing about $3.45, depending on the length of your trip. To get around Oakland, residents have the AC Transit, which is $2.10 for a regular adult fare.
Oakland was named Best Food City by USA Today in 2015, as its restaurant scene is diverse and booming. This also means you’ll be paying more out for a dinner for two, as an “inexpensive” restaurant will set you back around $70.00.
Utilities for an Oakland 915 sq. foot apartment is on average $115.85, considerably lower than the U.S. average of $146.37. (This is of course due to the wonderful Oakland California weather we mentioned earlier.)
Average Rent in Oakland, CA
- Oakland, CA Average Rental Price, November 2018$2,527/mo
- 1 Bedroom$2,330
- 2 Bedrooms$3,191
Oakland, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00064%
Oakland, CA Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Nov / 2018||$2,527||$1,761||$2,330||$3,191|
|Jan / 2018||$2,497||$1,726||$2,294||$3,173|
|Sept / 2017||$2,455||$1,751||$2,226||$3,177|
|May / 2017||$2,442||$1,673||$2,207||$3,225|
|Jan / 2017||$2,363||$1,626||$2,128||$3,126|
|Sept / 2016||$2,379||$1,591||$2,142||$3,173|
|May / 2016||$2,390||$1,565||$2,123||$3,280|
|Jan / 2016||$2,332||$1,550||$2,080||$3,180|
|Sept / 2015||$2,215||$1,451||$2,002||$2,914|
|May / 2015||$2,132||$1,406||$1,911||$2,837|
Average rent is projected to grow by 1% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 9460194602946039460594606946079460994610946119461294613946189461994621
Living in Oakland
Oakland is one of the hottest housing markets in the country, because of its desirable location and overall livability. It’s still cheaper than San Francisco or Berkeley. You can find some of the world’s best restaurants in the area and there’s a booming cultural scene.
However, its current renaissance has not impacted all residents or areas equally. There is a high level of violent crime, amongst the highest in the U.S. Commuting to San Francisco can be a drag in the car and expensive via BART. Still many people are willing to forgo these negatives and are helping to revitalize the area.
Oakland has regularly been voted the most ethnically diverse area in the entire United States, with around 34% Caucasian, 25% black or African American, and 18% Asian. Its residents speak 125 languages. Oakland, CA also has the largest number of artists per capita, even more than New York, and has a tradition of political and sexual progressiveness.
Things to do in Oakland
Oakland has a wide variety experiences for singles, couples, and families both indoors and out. Perhaps the biggest attraction in the hills east of Oakland is Redwood Regional Park, which allows picnicking, camping, and hiking. The historic Fox Theater in Oakland has been lovingly restored and features many famous comedians or touring music acts like The Kills.
Restaurants in Oakland are often crowded with locals as well folks from the Bay Area seeking out a delicious meal. Vegetarian and/or veganism is quite popular in the region, and Millennium Restaurant is voted one of the area’s best. There’s also hokkaido miso ramen at the Ramen Shop, and Burmese food at Burma Superstar. Looking for a place to enjoy some delicious American comfort fare? Check out Chop Bar, a rustic-chic gastropub near Oakland's Jack London Square serving exquisite treats for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner! And then there’s Round Table Pizza – a must for all pizza fans out there!
There’s lots of free things to do in Oakland, including Off the Grid nights, which have music and food trucks at the Oakland Museum of California. You can also Walk the Invisible City, and visit 37 markers around Downtown Oakland that are designed to make you think more about its people and history.
Sports fans, this is for you! Oakland has world-class professional baseball and football teams: the Oakland A’s, and Oakland Raiders respectively. (The Golden State Warriors played their last game in Oakland in 2016 and now shoot hoops in SF.)
Every year, Oakland is host to an eclectic mix of events, as diverse as the city itself including the Lunar New Year Bazaar in February, the Oakland Pride Festival in September, and the Black Cowboy Parade in October.
Employment and Economy in Oakland
Jobs in Oakland are plentiful in many sectors. Oakland has the fifth busiest port in the U.S. There are also a lot of government and health care workers, with the Oakland Unified School District and Kaiser Permanente being amongst the area’s top employers. Tech is hot too, as Uber has bought the Sears Building in Downtown Oakland with plans to open offices. Oakland is becoming a tourist destination in its own right, so hospitality and service industries are also booming.
Oakland, CA Households
- Total Number of Households158,424
Family 87,150Non-family 71,274
Children 45,943No Children 112,481
- Average People Per Household2.53
- Median Household Income$54,618
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,309
Education in Oakland
Education is of primary importance to Oakland residents, as more than a third of its residents have bachelor’s degrees. Sadly, the Oakland Unified School District has many underperforming schools, predominantly in its poorer neighborhoods. More affluent residents send their kids to private schools in Oakland like The College Preparatory School and Head-Royce School.
There are several community colleges in Oakland, including Laney College and Merritt College. Samuel Merritt University’s nursing program is well regarded in the East Bay and many of its graduates staff area hospitals.
Oakland, CA Education Statistics
- No High School10%
- Some High School26%
- Some College22%
- Associate Degree5%
- Bachelor Degree21%
- Graduate Degree15%
Tips for Renting in Oakland
The progressive city of Oakland means that it has fairly strong renter’s rights for new and existing tenants. In addition to having to provide a habitable space (as required by California Law) all landlords must give tenants the "Notice to Tenants of the Residential Rent Adjustment Program,” (aka RAP) at the beginning of any tenancy. All rental increases are set by RAP and the entire program is overseen by the Housing and Community Development division of CEDA.
Because the Oakland real estate market is so competitive for rentals, homes, and condos, it’s essential every prospective tenant puts their best foot forward. Always be on time for a rental appointment in Oakland, and be sure to look your best. Fill out your application as honestly and completely as you can, before your appointment, if possible, to give you that extra jump. Looking for the best apartment rentals in Oakland? You’ll find them right here on RENTCafe.com!
RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in Oakland, CA. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in Oakland, CA, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse Oakland, CA apartments with rents starting from $1,298 and submit your rental application today!