Real estate: luxury home sales dip sharply in East Bay

The East Bay’s luxury home market took a downward turn in January. Sales fell sharply, while prices declined modestly from the year before.

A monthly report from Coldwell Banker shows there were 54 sales of homes priced at $1.5 million or higher in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties — that’s a 19.4 percent drop from 67 such sales in January 2016 and a 41.3 percent plunge from 92 sales in December 2016.

January’s median price for luxury homes slipped about two percent to $1,760,000 from $1,795,000 a year earlier and was down 7.4 percent from the $1.9 million median price in December 2016.

The report is based on sales transactions recorded in the two counties by the Multiple Listing Service.

“The high-end market in the East Bay retreated in January, and we have seen some signs of a more balanced market between home sellers and buyers in that sector,” said Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “Still, luxury homes in the region overall sold in a faster time-frame compared to the prior year, and 40 percent of the homes sold at or above the list price, which points to solid buyer demand.”

Luxury homes spent an average of 51 days on market, better than two weeks faster than the average of 68 days on market a year earlier.  Also, 22 of the 54 luxury homes sold at or above listing price. According to the report, sellers received an average of 101 percent of their asking price — up from 96 percent in January 2016.

And where do you think luxury home sales were concentrated? Oakland had the most high-end sales, with 12, followed by Danville, with eight. But the most expensive East Bay sale was in Discovery Bay in eastern Contra Costa County — a 9,364 square-foot home with six bedrooms and nine baths that went for $4 million, a relative bargain when you imagine what a similar mansion might sell for in Palo Alto.

Top: Home for sale in Walnut Creek in 2014.  (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)



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