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East Bay luxury home sales soar more than 35% in May

High-end market remains strong heading for summer, report shows

Luxury home sales in the East Bay soared more than 35% in May as the high-end market remained strong heading into summer.

A new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Pleasanton, based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million in May in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, listed a total of 392 luxury homes changing hands in May, up 35.6% from the 289 transactions in May 2013. High-end sales were also substantially higher than April's 313 transactions.

The upper end of the luxury market turned in a particularly strong performance in May with 55 sales over $2 million, more than double the 27 sales at that level a year ago and ahead of the previous month's 42 transactions.

Meanwhile, the median sale price of a luxury home in May remained at $1.3 million, the same as April and May 2013.

Other key market indicators were all positive last in May with homes selling faster on average and sellers receiving a higher percentage of their asking price compared to a year ago.

"While sales overall in the market have leveled off somewhat, primarily because of the limited inventory of listings, the luxury end of the East Bay's housing market really is showing no signs of cooling off," said Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

"The East Bay is a highly desirable area for luxury buyers, and the demand for high-end homes remains very strong," he said. "The issue really comes down to having enough listings to meet the demand, but hopefully we'll see more inventory come on the market as we head through the summer home buying season."

Some key findings from May's Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report:

The most expensive sale in the East Bay in May was a five-bedroom, five-bath approximately 6,500-square-foot home in Piedmont that sold for $4.25 million.

Danville boasted the most luxury sales with 49, followed by Oakland with 43, Fremont with 42, Pleasanton with 33, Lafayette with 28, San Ramon and Piedmont with 25 each, and Orinda with 22.

Homes sold in an average of 21.3 days in May, down from 25.7 days a year ago and 22.1 days the previous month.

Sellers received an average of 106% of their asking price, up from 105% a year ago but down from 107% 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.

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