After a strong performance in June, the luxury housing market in the East Bay took a breather in July with sales down from the previous month and year-ago levels, according to a new market report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the region’s leading provider of luxury real estate services. 

A total of 128 homes sold for more than $1 million in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties last month compared with 159 transactions in June and 160 in July 2010. Multi-million-dollar sales were also down, totaling 10 in June compared to 16 a year ago.

The median sale price of a million-dollar home in the East Bay stood at $1,247,500 last month, down 2.2 percent from June and 3.7 percent from a year ago, when the median was $1,295,000.

Other metrics also showed a fairly flat East Bay luxury market: Homes sold in an average of 49 days, the same as June and up slightly from 47 days in July 2010. And sellers received 97 percent of their asking price on average compared to 97.7 percent in July 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.

“Like the overall market, the luxury segment of the East Bay housing market took a step back in July after a robust June,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It’s hard to put your finger on any single reason, but continued uncertainty over the economy and the geo-political events taking place, both in Washington and overseas, probably played a role. High-end buyers appeared to be sitting on the sidelines last month waiting for things to get sorted out.”

Turley said the same softness in the East Bay was seen throughout the Bay Area in July. According to DataQuick, the La Jolla-based information service company, 6,887 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was down 13.9 percent from 7,998 in June and up 1.7 percent from 6,773 in July 2010.

Last month’s sales fell harder in the higher price ranges, DataQuick noted. The number of $500,000-plus homes sold dropped 25.4 percent month-to-month and 19.2 percent year-over-year, analysts said.

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

  • The most expensive sale in the East Bay last month was a six-bedroom, six-bath 7,136-square foot home in Blackhawk that sold for $3.58 million;
  • Pleasanton boasted the most million-dollar sales with 16, followed by Danville and Piedmont with 15, and Berkeley and Lafayette with 13;
  • Sellers received on average 97 percent of their asking price, down from 99.3 percent the previous month and 97.7 percent a year ago;
  • Homes closing last month took an average of 49 days to sell, the same as the previous month and up from 47 days 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.