As a real estate market, East Palo Alto is known for high crime rates, problem tenants, rent control, and an unfriendly city government that always sides with tenants - regardless of the situation.
One might be suprised to know that over the past 10 years or so, property values have increased over 200% in East Palo Alto while in Palo Alto they have increased over 100%. East Palo Alto has been hurt by the sup-prime mortgage crisis which effects lower cost areas more than higher cost areas. There is also a portion of East Palo Alto that is west of HWY 101. I bought my first home in that area in 1980. Average price now in East Palo Alto is around $500,000 and inventory is high. Average price in Palo Alto is about $1,800,000 and inventory is low.
Palo Alto is a different breed of city with a lot of old money.
East Palo Alto was formerly known as Ravenswood which still is referenced in the school district by the same name.