Santa Maria Homes Report – First Half of 2010

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 Lic. #01871795
The first half of 2010 has been pretty dramatic with the $8000 federal tax credit extension and the introduction of the $10,000 California new home and first time home buyer credit.  Buyers were on a roller coaster with the first two months having moderate activity, then a blaze of activity in March and April followed by low activity in May and June.  Overall sales for the 6 month period were high with 553 properties being sold in the Santa Maria Orcutt area.

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The average selling price in Santa Maria and Orcutt for homes, PUDs and condos was $248,639 with 71 days on market and $152 per square foot paid.   Looking at just single family homes during this same time period, the average was higher at $261,975 with the same 71 days on market and $157 per square foot paid.  (For you math geeks, the mean of this category was $245,000.)  Average price for condos was $148,340 with 76 days on market and an average of $122 per square foot paid.

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Taking a look at just the bank owned property (REO) market during this same time frame, you see a much lower average at $215, 456 from the 197 REO properties sold with $140 per square foot paid and 35 days on market (about half the average days on market).  So, buyer's perceptions that foreclosure offer better bargains are correct.  Overall, REOs are selling for about 18% or about $46,000 less in the Santa Maria and Orcutt market. Search for Santa Maria Homes $250000 - $350000

This may be slightly influenced by the type of homes that are coming up as foreclosures (i.e. the foreclosures may be cheaper homes to start with as some think that banks are not releasing higher end foreclosures as quickly).  However, as an agent out in the field in Santa Maria and Orcutt I would have to agree with the conclusion that these statistics imply.  Foreclosures are cheaper.  However, the condition also usually requires additional money to repair the home and the cheapest homes and best deals are typically going to all cash buyers, as many banks seek to unload homes without doing the repairs required for FHA and VA financing.  Also important, the average list price for REOs was $214,719 and the average selling price was $215,456 indicating that it is still routine for buyers to bid over list price for a foreclosure. 

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Figures for short sales are slightly different with $229,207 being the average selling price with a striking 162 days on market and $145 per square foot paid.  So, short sales do offer bargains, not as deep a discount as foreclosures, but still good prices.  Also, it is usually possible for buyers with FHA or VA financing to compete to buy short sales.  Most banks simply want to see the highest offer when considering a short sale and will not discount an FHA or VA offer.  The trick is whether you can wait the agonizing average wait time of 162 days in order to get short sale approval.  As an agent in the field, I would have to say that most buyer can not and do not.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Santa Maria or Orcutt market, please contact my office at (805) 938-9950 and set up an appointment.  I handle first time buyers, short sales, and foreclosure purchases.

Tni LeBlanc, JD, M.A., e-PRO
Broker/Owner, Mint Properties
(805) 878-9879,

*Based on the information from the Central Coast Regional MLS. Neither the Association, the Multiple Listing Service, or Mint Properties guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.