Friday, June 20, 2008

Santa Barbara's North County Sales Numbers

The Santa Maria, and Lompoc areas home sales have shown signs of improvement the last couple of months. Specifically the number of sales has been trending upwards.

Santa Maria had 137 properties transfer in May as compared to 103 in 2007. I'm no genius but I was able to figure out that is a 33% increase in the number of sales year over year. If you look at the same numbers for April you will see an even bigger increase, almost 60%.

I took a glance at who the sellers were and it isn't any surprise that a good percentage of the properties that transferred in the Santa Maria area were sold by banks. One other thing I noticed is that the developers with projects in the area seem to have sold a number of their properties as well.

The 137 sales in Santa Maria is the highest number dating back to December of 2005 where it hit 156. In March of 2006 we also saw 137 sales occur.

Lompoc's market hasn't seen the same percentage increase year over year that Santa Maria has, but they did experience a 24% increase in the number of sales from May of 2007. Those numbers were 41 and 51.

Both areas can certainly do better and most likely will, when is the question. Seeing these markets improve and knowing that these communities make up a good portion of the affordable housing in Santa Barbara County gives me hope. I still maintain that the point at which the volume begins to grow is the point where more sellers have figured out what the price point is for the buyers.

I'm not able to tell you if investors have begun to get back in the market yet, but I would expect them to be if they aren't already.

I would love to hear your comments on what you believe is happening.

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