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Census: Decade Later, More East Bay Dwellings Unoccupied

The number of unoccupied homes in San Leandro more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Census: Decade Later, More East Bay Dwellings Unoccupied

The number of homes that are unoccupied has doubled in the East Bay during the past decade.

Census figures show the vacancy rate rose sharply in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties between 2000 and 2010.

It more than doubled in the cities of Benicia, Castro Valley, Concord, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Pinole, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Union City.

In San Leandro, the number of unoccupied homes went from 692 in 2000, or 2 percent of the total available, to 1,702 in 2010, or 5.5 percent of the homes available, according to census data. The census figures don’t reveal what percentage of the vacancies are single-family homes, apartments, condominiums or mobile homes.

At the same time, data collected by the Department of Finance show a 3.5 percent increase in total housing units in the city — 32,419 units in January 2010 compared to 31,334 in April 2000, according to the data, an increase of 1,085 units. 

It appears the real estate market collapse over the past three years and the increase in foreclosures has overshadowed the rise in new homes, though not as badly in San Leandro as in other parts of the state and country.

“There’s definitely been a slowdown” in housing construction, said Tom Liao, Planning and Housing Manager for the City of San Leandro. He said the city had also been struck by foreclosures, but not as badly as some neighboring communities.

"We’re definitely not immune, but there are certainly surrounding cities that were hit harder, Liao said.  

Wayne Gregori with Gregori Group Real Estate, said he was surprised by the rise in unoccupied homes. However, he acknowledged, “There is a lot of word on the street about real estate agents getting into the short sale business.”

The total number of living units available in Alameda County went up, from slightly more than 540,000 in 2000 to 582,000 in 2010. However, the number of unoccupied residences jumped from 16,817 to 37,411.

The vacancy rate climbed from about 3 percent to 6 percent.

In Contra Costa County, the number of living units increased from 354,000 in 2000 to 400,000 in 2010. The number of unoccupied residences leaped from 10,448 to 24,899.

The vacancy rate rose from about 2.5 percent to 6 percent.

Most communities in these counties experienced similar increases, no matter what their socio-economic demographics.

Albany went from 237 unoccupied living units in 2000 to 488 in 2010, despite only a small rise in the total number of living units. The vacancy rate rose from about 3 percent to more than 6 percent.

Concord went from 1,083 vacant living units to 2,847 in 2010, sending its vacancy rate from about 2.5 percent to 6 percent.

Walnut Creek rose from 1,124 unoccupied living units to 2,238 units in 2010, increasing its vacancy rate from about 3.5 percent to 7 percent.

Even the high-income enclave of Diablo went from 6 unoccupied dwellings in 2000 to 27 in 2010. Its vacancy went from less than 2 percent to 6 percent.

 

2000 Census

2010 Census

City or county

Number of unoccupied units

Percent vacancy

Number of unoccupied units

Percent vacancy

Alameda County

16,817

3

37,411

6

Contra Costa County

10,448

2.5

24,899

6

Solano County

4,110

3

10,940

7

Alameda

1,418

5

2,228

7

Alamo

91

2

226

4

Albany

237

3

488

6

Benicia

219

2

620

5.5

Blackhawk/Tassajara

55

2

142

3

Castro Valley

397

2

1,044

4.5

Cherryland

165

3.5

332

6.5

Clayton

41

1

80

2

Concord

1,083

2.5

2,847

6

Danville

314

2

514

3

Diablo

6

1.5

27

6

Dublin

547

5

869

5.5

El Cerrito

254

2.5

574

5

Hercules

120

2

438

5

Lafayette

182

2

428

4.5

Livermore

487

2

1208

4

Martinez

297

2

689

4.5

Moraga

98

2

184

3

Newark

158

1.5

442

3

Orinda

148

2

251

4

Pinole

85

1.5

383

5

Pleasanton

657

2.5

808

3

San Leandro

692

2

1,702

5.5

San Lorenzo

109

1.5

249

4

San Ramon

608

3.5

938

4

Union City

235

1.5

825

4

Walnut Creek

1,124

3.5

2,238

7

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