Average home price for East Palo Alto expected to hit the $1M mark

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Million dollar home prices are nothing new in the Bay Area, but what may surprise you is the city that's expected to welcome a million dollar median price next year.

Once the nation's murder capital, East Palo Alto is now a place of million dollar real estate listings with a home median price that's tripled since 2012, according to online real estate database company, Zillow. 

Longtime homeowners are cashing in on the rising real estate values. 

Annie Fuller's three-bedroom, three bath house on Colley Avenue is getting the final fixes before hitting the market. Her parents bought the house back in 1977 for $39,000. Her asking price: $1.2 million. 

"There's too much traffic. It's too congested and I want to go to a smaller community where it's warmer," Fuller told us. "I'd like to go to Las Vegas." When asked if she'd like to go with a million dollars in her pocket, she simply responded, "yeah." 

Fuller's bank account will likely inflate by seven figures; a surprising feat for the city once riddled by crime and neglect. 

"The seven-figure mark is spilling down into places that have historically not been associated with that extreme affluence," said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas. She said a third of all cities with an average home price of a million dollars are in the Bay Area. 

East Palo Alto's $964,000 median is expected to crack the million dollar mark next year. 

Experts say fueled in part by population growth and a housing shortage; Morgan Hill, Alameda, Newark, and Daly City are positioned to join the million dollar club as well. 

The influx of tech-fueled jobs is the common thread that connects the rise in property values. Fuller's home comes with a view: of Amazon. 

"Everyone's being pushed there. They want to live closer to where they work. And East Palo Alto is not what it used to be years ago. It's getting better and it's going to continue to get better," said Autumn Sparks, a Century 21 realtor. 

But city officials worry long-time home renters will be pushed to other communities. Experts say the current property appreciation rate of 23 percent here can't hold forever.

"There are a number of changes coming in the pipeline; higher mortgage rates, changes in the tax code, that should be a headwind to home appreciation values in this area," said Aaron Terrazas, a Zillow senior economist. 

Fuller is flying the coop while the winds are favorable. 

"I'm getting out at a good time I hope." 

She's hoping to land in the Nevada sun with a nice seven-figure nest egg.