The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million last month in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
A total of 73 homes sold for more than $1 million in January, up sharply from the 40 transactions in January 2012. The median sales price of a luxury home last month dipped 4.9% year over year to $1.25 million. But it was up 2% from December.
On a monthly basis, sales in January were down sharply from December's level of 125 transactions, although a seasonal drop from December to January is normal. Additionally, last December saw an unusually high spike in sales as many sellers worked to close deals before tax increases took effect Jan. 1.
Most other key indicators for the luxury market improved last month compared to a year ago. There were seven sales over $2 million versus six a year ago, homes on average sold in fewer days, and sellers on average received a higher percentage of their asking price.
"As expected, the East Bay's luxury market took a bit of a breather in January after all of the activity at the end of last year, but when compared to a year ago it was still a very strong month," said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
"The biggest challenge to the market in the new year continues to be the severe shortage of inventory," he said. "We have highly qualified buyers ready to purchase luxury homes, but there just aren't enough properties on the market to meet their demand."
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 five-bedroom, six-bath approximately 6,600-square-foot home in Pleasanton that sold for $2.8 million;
* Alamo boasted the most million-dollar sales with 10, followed by Lafayette and Oakland with eight, and Danville, Fremont and Pleasanton with seven;
* Homes sold in an average of 52.7 days, down from 60 days a year ago but up from 50.2 days the previous month;
* Sellers received an average of 100% of their asking price, up from 95.6% a year ago and the same as the previous month.
The East Bay Luxury Housing Market 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(r) program, Coldwell Banker is recognized around the world for its expertise in the luxury housing market.