Median East Palo Alto home prices reaching $1 million

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- What was once the murder capital of the U.S. is now a town selling multi-million dollar homes - East Palo Alto.

Reggie Page was born and raised in East Palo Alto, or EPA, as natives call it. "Lots of bodies, lots of body counts," he remembers. "It was a warzone."

Tiny East Palo Alto, which is 2.5 square miles, used to have lots of poverty and crime - 42 murders in 1992 alone.

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This happened in a town of only 25,000 people.

Close to Google and Facebook, it also reaped the benefits of the booming Silicon Valley. Amazon opened a branch here and IKEA and other big retailers set up shop.

"Bringing jobs into the area and helping clean up the area provided a big boom to the area," said East Palo Alto shopper Mark Stem.

Jim Rogers is in real estate. "East Palo Alto is well located on the Peninsula. Location, location, location," he said.

The median price of a home here is now close to $1 million.

VIDEO: $97 million Palo Alto home is most expensive for sale in Bay Area
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Business Insider says a home in Palo Alto is the most expensive home now for sale in the Bay Area. Asking price -- just under $97 million.

Some people are trying to take advantage of it, including Charles Cheadle's mother, who is selling her home after living here for 50 years.

He says many longtime homeowners are also leaving. "They're fortunate enough to have the property to be able to do this. So maybe their last years will be nice," he said.

Rental prices have also skyrocketed here. Families who rent are being driven out.

Forty-four percent of students in the Ravenswood School District are considered homeless.

Schools Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff said, "Families that are split up with children in a friend's house and another child in a friend's house. Their parents are sleeping in cars."

East Palo Alto has always been a working community. Most residents hold down two jobs to survive.

Simply put, the socio-economic condition has not caught up with the rising home and rental prices.

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