Sales and prices of high-end homes rise from last month and year ago levels

Silicon Valley’s high-end housing market continued to rebound from its recessionary lows with both sales and the median sale price climbing once again in April, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 229 homes in Santa Clara County sold for more than $1 million in April, more than double last April’s level of 104 home sales when the nation’s economy was just beginning to pull out of the long downturn. Sales last month were also up 32 percent from the previous month’s total of 173 homes.

At the same time, the median sale price of million-dollar homes in Silicon Valley last month reached $1,395,000, up 7.3 percent over the same period a year ago and level with March’s median sale price.

Also encouraging, high-end homes continue to sell at a faster pace. The average Silicon Valley million-dollar sale in April occurred after just 39 days on the market, down from 53 days for March sales and 51 days for April 2009 sales.  And sellers received nearly 99 percent of their asking price, up from 91 percent a year ago.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in Santa Clara County for more than $1 million last month.

“Sales have been strong in the entry level market in Santa Clara County and throughout the Bay Area for some time, and now it appears that the mid and upper end of the market is rebounding as well,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Bay Area.

The mix of homes selling in the county has been steadily changing with fewer foreclosures and distressed property sales and more mid- and high-end home sales, helping revive the luxury market. Single-family homes in the low $1 million range are moving quickly with multiple offers in many cases.

Turley said the April 30 deadline for first-time homebuyer and repeat-buyer federal tax credits may have helped sales last month, even in the million-dollar market. Although the credits primarily benefited entry-level buyers, the chain effect likely spurred more move-up buyers looking to take advantage of lower prices in the million dollar-plus market.

Despite the improvement, Turley warned that there are still hurdles ahead for the local housing market.

“The economic recovery is still quite fragile, unemployment remains high and we’re still battling macro economic issues here in the U.S. and worldwide with the debt crisis in Europe,” he said. “This all affects consumer confidence here at home, which is critical for the financial markets and housing market.”

Nonetheless, Turley said he’s encouraged by the steady improvement in all segments of Silicon Valley’s real estate market.

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

  • The most expensive sale in Silicon Valley in April was a four-bedroom, nine-bath 5,050-square-foot foot home in Los Altos that sold for $4 million;
  • San Jose boasted the most million-dollar sales in April with 39, followed by Saratoga with 38, Los Altos with 37, Cupertino with 31 and Palo Alto with 30;
  • It took an average of 39 days to sell a million-dollar home in the county, down from 53 days the previous month and 51 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.

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