Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Santa Barbara Area Sales Hitting Bottom?

January was very slow with respects to home sales in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and Montecito areas.

Maybe even a record low. That is the lowest number I can remember, and I've been around since the mid 80's. The map below shows the sales that did occur. Feel free to check out your favorite neighborhood.

This would lead me to believe the bottom is here!

(Edited 2-27-09) For those of you that may have found this from this link; http://santabarbarasblog.com/?p=2816 I do appreciate you coming by. As for the folks who have commented on that blog let me clear the record about a couple things. I am not a realtor and never have been. I also think the number of transactions is what has hit bottom, not prices. I do believe that prices will take quite a bit more time to recover. Thanks for the exposure santabarbarablog.com.

If you don't believe the number of transactions will start to improve then how do explain what is going on in Santa Maria and Lompoc and across the rest of the state? The bottom of the market is certainly showing a higher number of transactions and I would think that will hit us on the south coast some time this year.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

January in Santa Barbara

There certainly are more positive things to talk about in this terrific destination spot for the rich and famous than the number of homes that sold in January, but I am cursed with being the messenger in this industry that is taking it's share of lumps.

In January there were 64 transactions that closed in the communities of Goleta, Carpinteria, Montecito, and Santa Barbara. That is 30 transactions less than the 94 in January of 2008.

I had the privelage of hearing Leslie Appleton Young speak last week and she predicted there would be more sales this year than last. Good thing we have 11 months left to catch up. Her prediction wasn't any kind of overwhelming number. If my memory serves me right, she thought we would see about an 8% increase statewide.

I do know our resale openings have begun to pick up, nothing real significant yet, but with the rates being as low as they are and the prices of properties being down I'm sure some people are seeing a reason to buy and some sellers are needing to sell.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Foreclosure Data Showing Some Signs of Slowing

The most recent foreclosure information here in Santa Barbara County certainly needs some interpretation. For the months of September, October, & November the number of recorded defaults was down significantly. There is an easy explanation as to why this happened.

Banks in California had a new requirement put on them before they could record a notice of default. They had an extra step or two added to their process. Making an extra effort to contact any borrowers that were in default before recording the notice of default slowed up that process and we experienced the slowing of those recordings as was obvious during those months.

It is also why I believe the December and January numbers are a little inflated.

If you use that information to adjust the number of notices of defaults filed in December I think that number should be much less than the number in December of 2007. January 2009 is already lower than January 2008, but it would be an even larger seperation after adjusting the numbers.
The other 2 categories that are being tracked on this chart are also showing a softening of the foreclosure market here in Santa Barbara. Could that be due to the same issue the banks faced regarding contacting the borrowers that were in default, possibly. 
There has been quite a bit of talk recently about loans that are scheduled to adjust this year and how that is going to cause the foreclosures to increase again. I'm not so sure that we are going to see the impact some people are expecting. With the surge in refinancing and the banks learning how to handle loan modifications many of these loans that are expected to recast may be off the books. 
Time will tell though. Stay tuned!