Sales of million-dollar homes in Santa Clara County declined sharply in January from December and a year ago, although the median sale price edged higher, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 54 homes sold for more than $1 million in the county, down from 172 in December and 98 a year ago. While home sales typically fall from December to January, the decline was sharper than normal. While sales fell, the median sale price climbed 3.6 percent from the previous month and 4 percent from January 2009 to $1.35 million.

“While we’ve seen definite improvement in the market compared to a year ago, the road to recovery is going to have some bumps and potholes along the way,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  “Anecdotally, we’re actually seeing a fairly strong start to the new year with lots of buyer interest, which could translate into closed sales in the coming weeks and months.”

Turley said he expects to see a much earlier spring selling season this year due to the upcoming deadline for the home buyer tax credit. The season typically runs from March through May, but buyers who want to claim the credit of $6,500 to $8,000 must purchase their home by April 30 and close by June 30.

“One of the challenges we’re facing in the South Bay – and many other parts of the Bay – is that there aren’t enough properties in the high end on the market, which slows down the number of sales,” he said. “The lack of inventory continues to make well-maintained, reasonably priced homes stand out.” As many as half of the sales in some communities, such as Cupertino, are resulting in multiple offices.

Santa Clara County’s luxury market in January echoed the overall market in the Bay Area.  DataQuick, the La Jolla-based research firm, reported this week that sales of new and existing houses and condominiums fell 38 percent from December and 3.9 percent from a year ago. Sales typically fall from December to January, with the average drop 28 percent, according to DataQuick. The median sale price in the Bay Area also dipped eight percent from the previous month, although it was up 16.7 percent from a year ago.

Some key findings from this month’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report:

  • The most expensive sale in Santa Clara County in January was a five-bedroom, four and a half-bath 4,656-square-foot home in Monte Sereno that sold for $4.195 million;
  • Palo Alto boasted the most million-dollar sales in January with 12, followed by Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Gatos with eight each, and San Jose with seven;
  • It took an average of 73 days to sell a million-dollar home in the county, up from 61 days the previous month and 71 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 58 office locations and more than 3,300 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 760 offices and 46,000 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. DRE # 00313415.

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