Million-dollar home sales jump 55 percent from last year

Santa Clara County’s million-dollar home sales rose year over year for the second consecutive month in December as the high-end market continued to show signs of improvement, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 172 homes sold for more than $1 million, up 55 percent from last December’s total of 111 properties. The median sale price of a million-dollar property was $1.3 million, down slightly from last December’s $1.35 million level. Sellers received a higher percentage of their asking price as well – 93 percent compared to just 76 percent a year ago.

The figures indicate a potential stabilization in the high-end housing market in the South Bay, especially in comparison to a year ago when the nation’s economy was approaching the depths of the recession and the credit markets were seizing up.

“The housing market has come a long way in a year,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  “While we’re not out of the woods, the last three months have been very encouraging. Usually at the end of the year things slow down and sales are down. But this year we continue to see improvement in sales in the upper end of the market, and sellers are getting a higher percentage of their asking price.”

Turley attributed the gains to a declining inventory of homes above $1 million on the market and an increasing interest for among buyers, who are gaining confidence in the economy and seeing good values in the market. “The mix of business is changing where people in the middle-end and higher-end are starting to come around. That’s pulling prices up,” Turley said.

However, Turley cautioned that it’s too early to say for sure whether the housing market has turned the corner given unemployment that’s still high and another wave of foreclosures possibly looming.

Santa Clara County’s high-end market echoed an improving overall housing market in the county and throughout the Bay Area. DataQuick, the La Jolla-based research firm, announced last week that Bay Area homes sales in December were at the highest level for the month since 2006. Sales were up 13.6 percent year over year for the region, while median prices rose 15.2 percent. Santa Clara County saw a whopping 51 percent jump in sales and 9 percent rise in prices.

Some key findings from this month’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage million-dollar home report:

  • The most expensive sale in Santa Clara County in December was a five-bedroom, six-bath 5,150-square-foot home in Palo Alto that sold for $4.83 million;
  • San Jose boasted the most million-dollar sales in December with 42, followed by Los Altos with 30, Palo Alto with 21 and Cupertino with 16;
  • It took an average of 61 days to sell a million-dollar home in the county, up from 60 days the previous month and 50 days a year ago;

The Santa Clara County Million-Dollar Home Report is a monthly report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a specialist in high-end real estate sales. Through its internationally renowned Coldwell Banker Previews® program, the company is recognized around the world for its expertise in the luxury housing market.  The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage serves Santa Clara County with 21 offices from Palo Alto to Hollister. For more information, please call 925-275-3085.

About Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the largest residential real estate brokerage in Northern California and serves the markets from Monterey to Tahoe and nearly every market in between.  The company has 61 office locations and more than 3,600 sales associates throughout Northern California.  Last year the company handled more than 16% of all home sales in the Bay Area, more than double its nearest competitor.  Through its internationally renowned Coldwell Banker Previews® program, the company leads the luxury home market, selling more than 27% of properties that sold for more than $3 million and more than 33% of homes priced above $5 million.  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. NRT has more than 900 offices and 56,000 sales associates operating in more than 35 major metropolitan areas. A subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, NRT operates Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage offices. For more information please visit or call 925.275.3085.

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