Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - August 12, 2011

Pleasanton leads way in East Bay luxury home sales in June

22 homes sold here for $1-million-plus

by Jeb Bing

Luxury home sales in the East Bay reached their highest level in nearly one year in June as the high-end market continued to bounce back from the recessionary downturn, according to a new market report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a provider of luxury real estate services.

Pleasanton boasted the most million-dollar sales with 22, followed by Danville with 20, Fremont and Lafayette with 19 each, and Piedmont with 11.

A total of 159 homes sold for more than $1 million in Alameda and Contra Costa counties last month, up from 126 sales in May and the most since July 2010. Sales did trail last June, when 178 high-end properties changed hands.

The median sale price of a million-dollar home in the East Bay continued to improve in June, reaching $1,275,000, up 2% from May's median of $1.25 million and up 12.8% from June 2010, when the median stood at $1.13 million.

Other metrics continued to show steady improvement for the East Bay market: Multi-million-dollar home sales soared to 16 transactions in June compared with just four a year ago and nine in May. And sellers received an average of 99.3% of their asking price last month, up from 97.2% the previous month and 97.8% a year ago.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties for more than $1 million last month.

"After a fairly quiet spring, the housing market really is heating up this summer and the East Bay's luxury market in particular is gaining momentum," said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. "The high-end segment normally leads the way for the rest of the market in a housing recovery, so this is encouraging news for the entire market."

Turley said Coldwell Banker is seeing similar improvement in other luxury markets around the Bay Area, including San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin County and Silicon Valley. All of those markets have bounced back from their recessionary lows and in some cases are nearing their pre-recession levels in sales.

Although the high-end markets have done best, Turley noted that many entry-level and mid-level markets around the Bay also showed solid gains last month. Bay Area home sales overall in June rose to their highest level for any month since June 2010, when expiring tax credits gave housing a final boost, according to DataQuick, the La Jolla research firm.

Other findings from the June Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report show that:

* The most expensive sale in the East Bay in June was a four-bedroom, four-bath 4,970-square foot home in Lafayette that sold for $5.8 million;

* Sellers received on average 99.3% of their asking price, up from 97.2% in May and 97.8% a year ago;

* Homes closing in June took an average of 49 days to sell, the same as the previous month and up from 44 days a year ago.

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