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11 month Evaluation of Santa Barbara Real Estate Activity

Real Estate Agent with Village Properties

Analysis of the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Real Estate Activity as of November 30, 2010  

Single Family and Planned Unit Development Homes   The first 11 months of 2010 indicate that sales are up about 9% over the same period of 2009, for a total of approximately 850 closed sales. Escrows (not closed yet) are also up about 8% for the year with a median list price on those escrows  of $880,000...almost identical to 2009.  New listings are up 8% for the year, but the median list price on new listings fell from approximately $11.2 million in 2009 to just under $1 million this year.  

Condos   After being ahead of the 2009 sales pace for most of the year, number of closed sales are ending up almost exactly where they were last year with 297 in 2010 as compared to 292 in 2009. The number of escrows fell about 6% from 2009, declining from 324 last year to 311 this year. New listings, sales price to original list price ratio and average sales price remain almost exactly as they were at this time last year.  

Forecast   The general consensus for the greater Santa Barbara area is that real estate activity will remain about the same as this past year.  Homes with good bones, charm, great condition, unique amenities (such as views, walk to town and/or school district, depending on the buyer profile) AND aggressively priced will continue to attract buyers....yes even multiple offers!  In 2010  850+/- single family/pud home listings  have sold/closed and 942 are under contract. That's not a great year...but it it's evidence that there are buyers looking to find their dream home...and yes, they are picky.   One of the remaining difficulties is the tight credit standards in lending practices.  Great interest rates don't help if a buyer can't get a loan.  Many self employed buyers continue to have a difficult time obtaining a loan. However, given a good job with a good outlook, good credit and desire....this is a FABULOUS TIME TO BUY YOUR DREAMHOME! If Congress tampers with the Mortgage Interest Deduction that will definitely affect housing prices. It is also important for FNMAE and FHA to remain healthy because loans are sold in the secondary market.  There are currently few, if any Lenders holding loans in their portfolio.   If you want to sell, prices today are back to around 2002 prices. If you've owned you home a long time, this is as good a time to sell as it was then, and may be as good as it is for the next five plus years. I've been an active Realtor for 30 years and have experienced the recent breath-taking explosion in housing prices only once in my career, whereas I have seen 4 recessions.  It is likely that there will be another housing bubble, but it will take a lot longer than 5 years for that to arrive.   If you'd like to have statistics for your particular neighborhood, please let me know.  I'd be happy to send them to you by email, snail mail or bring then to you in person. I am always happy to provide you with a market evaluation for your trust.  

(My personal thanks to Gary Woods and the SBMLS Statistical Committee for providing the above MLS Stats).

Posted by

Carla B. Reeves, REALTOR