Marin County’s luxury housing market capped a strong year in 2013 with sales moving higher once again in December from a year ago, according to a new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the leader in Marin County real estate services.

The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1.5 million last month in Marin County.

This month’s luxury market report featured properties that sold for more than $1.5 million for the first time, up from the $1 million minimum of past luxury reports. Turley said the decision to increase the luxury threshold reflected a steady increase in property values since of the economic downturn several years ago.

A total of 31 homes sold for more than $1.5 million in December, up from 25 in December 2012, a 24 percent increase. Sales last month were down from the 50 transactions in November, although it’s not unusual to have a drop from November to December.

Meanwhile, the median sale price of a luxury home last month was $1.8 million, down 6 percent from the median in November and 9.3 percent from the median price a year ago, when the median stood at $1,995,026.

Other key market indicators were mixed last month with sellers receiving a higher percentage of their asking price on average compared to a year ago, but homes taking slightly longer to sell on average.

“Marin’s luxury housing market had a great year in 2013 with sales increasing consistently on a year-over-year basis, especially in the upper end of the market,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The only thing that kept sales from going even higher was the severe shortage of homes on the market.”

“We continue to have an imbalance between the supply of homes and the extremely strong demand from buyers in Marin,” he said. “There are signs that is gradually starting to change with more inventory expected to come on the market in the weeks ahead. Hopefully that will bring the market back into a healthier balance in 2014, which will be good for everyone – buyers and sellers alike.”

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

  • The most expensive sale in Marin County last month was a six-bed, eight-bath approximately 9,300-square-foot home in Ross that sold for $15 million;
  • Mill Valley boasted the most million-dollar sales with 12, followed by Tiburon with seven, and San Rafael with five;
  • Homes sold in an average of 123 days compared to 120 days a year ago and 87 days the previous month;
  • Sellers received an average of 97.1 percent of their asking price, up from 93.9 percent a year ago but down from 98.7 percent the previous month.

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, Coldwell Banker is recognized around the world for its expertise in the luxury housing market.