Million-dollar home sales in the East Bay declined in November from year-ago levels, but the median sale price was up and high-end homes sold faster than last year, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 87 homes sold for more than $1 million in the East Bay in November compared to 103 during the same month last year, a 15.5 percent drop. Sales were also off from October’s level of 107. However, the median sale price of million-dollar homes was $1,232,000 last month, up 6.4 percent from November 2009.  The median price was slightly lower than October’s level of $1.25 million.

The upper end of the luxury market showed improvement with 10 homes selling for more than $2 million compared to seven last November.  Additionally, million-dollar properties sold in an average of 58 days compared to 67 days a year ago. And sellers received an average of 98 percent of their asking price, up from 96 percent last year.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in Alameda and Contra Costa counties for more than $1 million last month.

“For the most part, the East Bay’s luxury housing market has improved in 2010, but the recovery hasn’t always been even or smooth as the November closings prove,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “Nonetheless, the high-end market gained momentum this year as it worked its way back towards a healthier market. Hopefully that will cascade down to the rest of the market in 2011.”

Turley said that while the housing market continues to face challenges from the slow economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment levels, the opportunities for buyers are many in this market. “Buyers are enjoying a rare trifecta of near historically low interest rates, extremely attractive prices and a high level of inventory,” he said. “That combination won’t last as the economy starts picking up again.”

Some key findings from this month’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage East Bay luxury housing market report:

  • The most expensive sale in the East Bay in November was a five-bedroom, six-bath 5,879-square foot home in Piedmont that sold for $3.4 million;
  • Alamo and Berkeley boasted the most million-dollar sales with 12 each, followed by Fremont with 10, Pleasanton with nine, Lafayette with eight, and Oakland and Piedmont with six;
  • It took an average of 58 days to sell a million-dollar property in the East Bay last month, down from 67 days a year ago and 72 days in October;
  • Sellers received on average 98 percent of their asking price, up from 96 a year ago and 95 the previous month.

Through its internationally renowned Coldwell Banker Previews® program, the company sells more multi-million dollar properties in Northern California than any other company. Last year, Coldwell Banker sold more than 27% of properties over $3 million and more than 33% of homes priced above $5 million.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has 10 East Bay offices serving Berkeley, Castro Valley, Danville, Fremont, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, Orinda, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek. For more information, please call 925-275-3085.