Luxury home sales and the median sale price in the East Bay both rose once again in April from the previous month although the indicators were off from their year ago levels, according to a new market report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 105 homes sold for more than $1 million in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in April, up nearly 17 percent from the 90 sales in March. The median sale price also edged up 1.2 percent last month to $1,275,000.

While sales continued to improve in the new year, last month’s total fell below year-ago levels when 129 million-dollar properties changed hands. The median sale price was off fractionally from April 2010 when it stood at $1,285,000.

Other market indicators also offered reason for encouragement. It took just 48 days on average to sell a luxury home, down from 72 in March and 52 a year ago. And sellers received an average of 98 percent of their asking price, up from 96.5 last year and 97 percent the previous month.

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.

“We’ve seen gradual improvement in the luxury market over the past year, but the gains aren’t always a straight line, as evidenced by the year-over-year decline in sales last month,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It’s not surprising to see a bit of volatility in the market at this stage as the overall economy and job market try to build some momentum.”

Turley said it’s difficult to measure sales in April with last year since the federal tax credit was still in effect a year ago. Although the credit supported more entry and mid-priced home sales, it indirectly spurred activity in the million-dollar market as more sellers of lower-priced homes took the opportunity to move up to more expensive properties.

“The encouraging fact for the Bay Area is that pending sales are actually on the rise when compared to last year, both in terms of number of homes and especially in the median sale prices,” he said. “Given those sales in the pipeline right now, there’s reason for optimism as we head into June and the summer months.”

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 seven-bedroom, seven-bath 6,754-square foot home in Piedmont that sold for $4.5 million;
  • Piedmont boasted the most million-dollar sales with 15, followed by Lafayette with 13, Pleasanton with 12, Fremont with 10 and Danville with eight;
  • There were six multi-million-dollar sales last month, exactly the same number as the previous month and 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.