East Bay luxury home sales up 22% in May

Region one of 'hottest housing markets in country,' real estate firm reports

The East Bay's luxury housing market closed out the spring home buying season on a roll with sales climbing more than 22% last month from a year ago.

A report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million in May in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, showed that a total of 485 luxury homes changed hands, up 22.7% from the 395 high-end sales in May 2014. Sales in April were also up sharply from the 424 transactions in April 2015.

As has been the trend lately, the upper end of the luxury market continued to be strong in May with 62 sales over $2 million, up from 55 during the same month a year ago and 50 sales at that level the previous month.

Meanwhile, the median sale price of a luxury home in May was $1.3 million, the same as a year ago and down fractionally from April's $1,312,722 level.

"The East Bay continues to be one of the hottest housing markets in the entire country in all segments, and that certainly is driving the luxury market as well," said Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. "A very strong economy, solid gains in the stock market, and greater affordability compared with Silicon Valley and San Francisco continue to fuel a red-hot luxury market."

Some key findings from Coldwell Banker's report:

o The most expensive sale in the East Bay last month was a six-bedroom, seven-bath approximately 6,900 square foot home in Lafayette that sold for $7.2 million;

o Fremont boasted the most luxury sales with 57, followed by Oakland with 51, San Ramon with 47, Danville with 44, Pleasanton and Lafayette with 37 each, Berkeley with 31, Walnut Creek with 30 and Orinda with 21;

o Homes sold in an average of 20.1 days on the market, down from 21.2 days a year ago and up from 17.6 the previous month;

o Sellers received an average of 108% of their asking price, up from 106% a year ago and the same as previous month.

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