The largest reason for this was simply a dearth of high-priced options after the feeding frenzy of the past few years. The ultra-prime market ($10 million-plus) did show some impressive sales and volume in line with what we’ve come to expect, but a shortage in the $3-to $10-million range led to a general drop in average sales prices and sales volume for Q1. However, the lower-tier of the luxury market did show some strong results.
San Francisco was most representative of this quarter’s overall trend. The city saw its average home sale price of $4.79 million down 9 percent year-over-year, with the 35 total home sales also down 13 percent from Q1 2015. Those looking to move high-priced homes in the spring shouldn’t be too concerned by these figures, as it’s more a byproduct of a depleted high-end market than any tangible value change. This was evidenced by homes in this sector moving on average in just 29 DOM—that’s 33 percent faster than during the previous year, and also the lowest figure among all four regions.
A different dynamic was found in the East Bay, where luxury properties without the high-end price tag continue to drive an increasingly popular market. The $2.075 million average sale here was a massive 22 percent year-over-year gain, as well as a 23 percent gain from Q4 2015. Standout areas included Lafayette and its four $3 million-plus sales, as well as Alamo and its five $2.9 million-plus closings. The East Bay also featured the highest sale among all four regions in the form of a $20.5 million closing in Oakland. The flip side to these stellar numbers was the region showing only 227 total sales, down 38 percent year-over-year.
The Mid-Peninsula and North Bay acted more as medians between the more pronounced figures of San Francisco and the East Bay. The Mid-Peninsula saw its average home sale price drop by 8 percent year-over-year, while sales volume rose 4 percent. The North Bay saw a 1 percent drop in average sales price and just a 3 percent drop in sales volume.
BAY AREA LUXURY MARKET SHARE
The East Bay dominated the luxury market this quarter, with 35 percent of all sales and 42 percent of total cash share. The Mid-Peninsula added 29 percent of sales and 25 percent of cash share. The North Bay provided 19 percent of all sales and 18 percent of cash share, and San Francisco tallied 17 percent of sales and 14 percent of total cash share. In all, this amounted to 1,779 properties netting $3.094 billion in the Bay Area during Q1.