Luxury home sales and the median sale price in the East Bay were flat last month, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 51 homes sold for more than $1 million in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in February, up from 49 in January but down from 53 during the same month a year ago. The median sale price dipped fractionally to $1,198,000, down 1.8 percent from January and 2.6 percent from February 2010.

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.

“In general, there has been more buyer interest and activity since the beginning of the year in many communities, but high end buyers are still being cautious,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “Home buyers are moving back into the market gradually, but they want to make sure they’re getting the best value they can. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out as we move into the spring homebuyer season.”

Turley noted that comparisons with last year are difficult because the first-time homebuyer tax credit was still being offered through the spring of 2010. Although the million-dollar market wasn’t directly affected by the incentive, the tax credit did encourage more transactions in general and led to more move-up buyers in the upper end.

While he’s encouraged by strong buyer interest in recent weeks, Turley cautioned that economic and global issues could continue to pose headwinds as the housing market recovers.  The slowly growing U.S. economy, coupled with concerns about the Middle East unrest and the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan, may make buyers a bit more cautious in the short-term.

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 last month was a six-bedroom, eight-bath 8,415-square foot home in Pleasanton that sold for approximately $2.6 million;
  • Fremont boasted the most million-dollar sales with nine, followed by Danville with eight, Pleasanton with six and San Ramon with five;
  • It took an average of 70 days to sell a million-dollar property in the East Bay last month, down from 85 days the previous month and 87 a year ago;
  • Sellers received on average 95.7 percent of their asking price, down from 95.9 percent the previous month but up from 95.5 percent a year ago.

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.