Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Southern Santa Barbara Real Estate Numbers

July was a pretty lack luster month for home sales on the South Coast. The South Coast includes many incredible communities like, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Montecito, and Goleta. The number of sales was 118 but that doesn't tell the entire story. Real Estate is a very local commodity and is getting more local by the minute. Looking in to the specific area that is of interest to you is very important. So let's do that!

The Santa Barbara real estate market appears to me that it just hasn't really got it's legs under it yet. It's trying, but as you can see from the accompanying chart one month it's heading up the next month it is heading down, and overall it is way behind last year and the year before. March and April were showing some good signs and then we had a drop in May and a tick up June, and then July dipped again to 56 sales.

In Montecito the real estate market has had a pretty good year but is appearing to be taking the summer off. June and July's numbers were slightly below the numbers for 2007 and 2006. If you look March, April and May though you can see there were quite a few sales and the last report I saw showed median home prices up a bit. If I had to hazard a quess for this market I would think it is going to continue to average around 16 or 17 sales for the rest of the year, making this year a pretty decent year for Montecito.

Carpinteria and Summerland appear to be in the same boat as Santa Barbara. These communities are just ticking along at a pretty sleepy pace. July was the first time all year that there were more sales (10) than in one of the previous 2 years. Carpinteria has some of the more affordable neighborhoods on the south coast and so I would expect them to begin to pick up as prices have dropped pretty significantly.

Last but not least is the Goleta real estate market. As Carpinteria does Goleta has many of the more affordable housing tracts around. I believe this is why we are seeing the numbers in Goleta beating last year. If you look at the 2nd quarter as a whole this year beat last year by 1 transaction. Not only that but July of this year was ahead of July last year. I think the price point in Goleta is starting to be discovered. Buyers are beginning to pay what sellers are asking for. The sellers have come down enough to where buyers are seeing these properties as bargains. This is one of those markets to watch. It may be the first one that signals a turn around on the south coast.

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