Marin County’s luxury housing market got off to a fast start in 2012 with both sales and the median sale price of million-dollar homes climbing in January, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s leading provider of luxury real estate services. 

There were 33 sales in excess of $1 million last month, up sharply from 18 transactions a year ago. Sales did ease slightly from December’s level of 37 properties, although a drop from December to January isn’t unusual.

Meanwhile, the median sale price for a luxury home in Marin County reached $1,537,500, up 8.3 percent from January 2011. The median price was below December’s level of $1,595,000.

Other market indicators offered encouraging signals. There were 12 multi-million-dollar sales last month, double the number the previous January. And sellers received 94.3 percent of their list price on average, up from 90.9 percent last year.

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

“The luxury market continues to gain momentum in the new year, and we’re encouraged by the level of buyer interest,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The only thing holding back sales is that we don’t have enough inventory to meet buyer demand. But as word gets out that the housing market is steadily improving and homeowners are getting good prices for their properties, I think more sellers will get off the fence and jump in.”

Turley said a variety of factors are spurring activity in the luxury market, including an improving economy, continued low mortgage rates, and sharp gains in the financial markets.

“With the rebound in the stock market, especially in the past few months, I think more buyers have the resources to make a sizeable purchase and are feeling more confident about the state of the economy going forward,” he said.

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

  • The most expensive sale in Marin County last month was a five-bedroom, seven-bath 10,291-square-foot home in Kentfield that sold for $5,150,000;
  • Tiburon and Mill Valley boasted the most million-dollar sales with seven each, followed by San Rafael with six;
  • Homes sold in 150 days on average, up from 106 days the previous month and 110 days a year ago;
  • Sellers on average received 94.3 percent of their asking price compared to 95 percent the previous month and 90.9 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.