Silicon Valley’s Luxury Housing Market Improves in February, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Reports

Million-dollar sales and prices up from previous month, but off slightly from year ago

Silicon Valley’s million-dollar housing market gained strength in February compared to the previous month, with both sales and the median sale price moving higher, according Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the South Bay’s leading provider of luxury real estate services.

A total of 101 homes sold for more than $1 million in Santa Clara County last month, up from 98 in January. At the same time, the median sale price of the properties climbed 4.5 percent to $1,356,000. Additionally, the number of $2 million homes rose sharply with 18 changing hands last month compared to just 10 in January.

While the market showed solid improvement last month, sales and prices were marginally lower than the same month a year ago when 104 million-dollar homes sold. The median sale price in February was 1.2 percent shy of last year’s level.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in Santa Clara County for more than $1 million last month.

“In general, there has been more buyer interest and activity since the beginning of the year in many markets, especially here in Silicon Valley,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “High-end buyers are still cautious and want to make sure they’re getting the best value they can, but many have started moving back into the market in recent weeks. We’ll see how this all shakes out in the weeks and month ahead.”

Turley noted that comparisons with last year are difficult because the first-time homebuyer tax credit was still being offered through the spring of 2010. Although the million-dollar market wasn’t directly affected by the incentive, the tax credit did encourage more transactions in general and led to more move-up buyers in the upper end.

While he’s encouraged by the uptick in sales this year, Turley cautioned that economic and global issues could pose headwinds to the housing recovery.  The gradual pace of the U.S. economic recovery, coupled with concerns about the Middle East unrest and the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan, may make buyers a bit more cautious in the short-term.

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

  • The most expensive sale in Santa Clara County last month was a five-bedroom, seven-bath 5,695-square foot home in Palo Alto that sold for $4,225,000;
  • San Jose boasted the most million-dollar sales with 24, followed by Los Altos with 17, Palo Alto with 12, Los Gatos and Saratoga with 10, and Cupertino with nine;
  • It took an average of 63 days to sell a million-dollar home in the county, up from 59 days a year ago but down from the previous month’s average of 68 days;
  • Sellers received 99 percent of their asking price on average compared to 97 percent the previous month and 96 percent a year ago.

The Santa Clara County Million-Dollar 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, the company is recognized around the world for its expertise in the luxury housing market.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage serves Santa Clara County with 21 offices from Palo Alto to Hollister. For more information, please call 925-275-3085.



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