After surging in March, luxury home sales and the median sale price in Marin County took a breather in April with both indicators down from the previous month and a year ago, according to a new market report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the region’s leading provider of luxury real estate services. 

A total of 49 homes sold for more than $1 million in Marin County last month, down from 62 sales in March and 65 a year ago. The median sale price for a million-dollar property dipped to $1,525,000, down 3.5 percent from March and 4.4 percent from April 2010.

Other metrics indicated a mixed luxury market in the county. The number of multi-million-dollar sales edged higher in April, totaling 17 homes over $2 million versus 16 the previous month. And sellers received an average of 95.8 percent of their asking price, up from 94.7 percent in March. However, it took a little longer for homes to sell with the average days on market reaching 114 last month, up from 106 in March.

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

“We’ve seen gradual improvement in the luxury market over the past year, but the gains month to month aren’t always a straight line, as evidenced by the jump in sales in March and then a drop in April,” 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.

While completed sales were down last month, Turley noted that those sales actually were a reflection of initial sales contracts in February in most cases since it typically takes a couple months for sales to close escrow. A more timely indicator of the current market is pending sales, he said.

“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 luxury report:

  • The most expensive sale in Marin County last month was a four-bedroom, four-bath 5,135-square foot home in Kentfield that sold for $4,650,000;
  • Mill Valley boasted the most million-dollar sales with 10, followed by Tiburon with eight, and San Rafael and Sausalito with four;
  • Sellers received on average 95.84 percent of their asking price, up from 94.72 percent the previous month but down from 96.59 percent a year ago.

The Marin County Luxury 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 Marin County with six offices: 83 Beach Road in Belvedere; 350 Bon Air Ct., Suite 100, in Greenbrae; 500 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Greenbrae; 36 Tiburon Blvd. in Mill Valley; 1737 Grant Avenue, Novato; and 1 Harbor Drive, Suite 110, in Sausalito. For more information, please call 925-275-3085.