OAKLAND (KCBS) – The East Bay economy is poised to take off, as the boom times in San Francisco and Silicon Valley spread across the Bay, that according to a leading California economist.

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, was commissioned by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance to study the local economy. He told the group at a meeting in Oakland on Thursday that the outlook is bright, with more jobs, higher home prices and increasing business and trade investment.

Thornberg said that is in part due to what is happening on the other side of the Bay.

“All the heat in the West Bay right now is causing home prices to go up, affordability to go down, and you’re creating a situation in which office buildings are becoming more and more expensive,” Thornberg said. “There will inevitably be, and you’re starting to see, the beginning of what I would call the backlash or reaction to that. For example, suddenly, more and more folks are moving to this side of the Bay. They may have jobs in San Francisco or San Jose, but they’re starting to live here – quality of life, affordability, issues like that. Businesses will eventually follow as well.”

Thornberg said the rising real estate prices are not a bubble, that they’re a function of low inventory and high demand, and that pressure will remain one of the greatest economic challenges. But he sees strong growth overall, and a stable, healthy East Bay economic environment.


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