The decision to purchase real estate or to place your home for sale in the Santa Barbara real estate market can be one of the biggest you and your family will make at any given time. This decision can be made easier if you are adequately informed about the buying and selling process, the local real estate market and the neighborhoods and communities in which you are interested. As a local real estate professional with more than thirty years of experience helping buyers and sellers just like you, it would be my great pleasure to introduce you to the Santa Barbara Real Estate Services I offer to both buyers and sellers.
For sake of simplicity, buying a home is a three-step process: finding the right community, finding the right home and negotiating the best contract terms. For your convenience, I have compiled a wealth of information on local communities and their real estate trends as well as provided you access to the search the entire Santa Barbara MLS to view available properties. Once we have narrowed down the ideal community and the right home, I will use my many years of experience and expertise and my Santa Barbara Real Estate Services to negotiate the contract terms to suit your needs and to exceed your expectations.
For sellers, I believe you will find my commitment to untiring communication and service, masterful marketing and negotiation skills to be most refreshing. Resulting from years of extensive experience and research, a superior ability to anticipate problems and solve them and unsurpassed ethics and professionalism, you will find these qualities will help your home sell quickly and for its highest dollar.
Whether you are moving across town or across the country, it would be my great pleasure to assist you with all your housing needs and to share my Santa Barbara Real Estate Services with you and your family. Please feel free to browse my Santa Barbara Home Buying and Selling Tips at your leisure and do not hesitate to contact me, Stan Tabler at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon and to assisting you with all your real estate goals, big and small.
Santa Barbara South Coast Real Estate Update
May 17, 2019
Direct from the County Recorder’s Office by way of Fidelity National Title, the overall number of property sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County was up 8% from 153 in April 2018 to 165 in April 2019, the January-April median sales price was up 2.4% from 2018 to $1,025,000 in 2019 and the January-April average sales price was up 5% from 2018 to $1,541,233 in 2019. In April 2019 there were 106 House/PUD sales with a median sales price of $1,336,250 and an average sales price of $1,945,516. In April 2019 there were 59 Condominium sales with a median sales price of $704,500 and an average sales price of $772,112.
In Carpinteria there were a total of 12 sales in April 2019. The median sales price of the 6 House/PUD sales was $1,230,000 and the average sales price was $1,141,000. In April 2019 the median sales price of the 6 Condominium sales was $420,000 and the average sales price was $460,333. The lowest priced Carpinteria sale in April 2019 was a Condominium on Hickory Street @ $382,500 and the highest was a House on 8th Street @ $1,500,000.
In Summerland there was only one sale in April 2019: a House on Whitney Avenue for $1,525,000.
In Montecito there were a total of 22 sales in April 2019. The median sales price of the 20 House/PUD sales was $3,013,750 and the average sales price was $4,197,450. In April 2019 the median and average sales price of the 2 Condominium sales was $2,024,500. The lowest priced Montecito sale in April 2019 was a Condominium on Jameson Lane @ $749,500 and the highest was an oceanfront estate on Posilipo Lane @ $12,230,000.
In Santa Barbara there were a total of 71 sales in April 2019. The median sales price of the 55 House/PUD sales was $1,300,000 and the average sales price was $1,452,582. In April 2019 the median sales price of the 16 Condominium sales was $755,000 and the average sales price was $812,790. The lowest priced Santa Barbara sale in April 2019 was a Condominium on San Pascual Street @ $455,000 and the highest was a House on Las Tunas Road @ $3,750,000.
In Hope Ranch there were a total of 2 sales in April 2019. Both the median and average sales price of the 2 sales was $4,400,000. The lowest priced Hope Ranch sale in April 2019 was an estate on Mariposa Drive @ $3,000,000 and the highest was an estate on Via Tranquila @ $5,800,000.
In Goleta there were a total of 57 sales in April 2019. The median sales price of the 22 House/PUD sales was $1,112,250 and the average sales price was $1,146,033. In April 2019 the median sales price of the 35 Condominium sales was $712,500 and the average sales price was $735,400. The lowest priced Goleta sale in April 2019 was a Condominium on Surfrider Way @ $325,500 (price controlled unit) and the highest was a House on Fairview Avenue @ $1,855,000.
A limited supply of available properties along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County is keeping values higher than one might expect as compared to many inland areas of California and most areas of the United States. While the appreciation rate along the South Coast has softened, there are still a few areas where multiple offers are possible. On the South Coast of Santa Barbara County as of May 5th there were 378 active House/PUD listings (down from 384 in early April) and 125 active Condominium listings available for purchase (up from 124 in early April). Generally, there is much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges as 146 (38.6%) of the 378 active House/PUD listings are located in Montecito and Hope Ranch. Compare these low totals to the years 2007 to 2011 when the total number of available listings ranged between 734 and 1,026. Historically the highest number of available listings along the South Coast was recorded in June of 1992 when there were 1,297 listings available for sale!
After having no bank-owned sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara since September 2018, in March 2019 there were 3 bank-owned sales and in April there was 1 bank-owned sale: a House on Bel Air Drive @ $944,900. There is 1 bank-owned listing available for sale: a House on Painted Cave Road @ $2,695,000 (same listing as in March). There are 3 bank-owned properties in escrow: a Condominium on Palmetto Way @ $459,900, a House on Portesuello Avenue @ 1,250,000 and a House on Hill Road @ $2,600,000. During the last few years, the foreclosure activity along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County has diminished dramatically. CoreLogic’s latest (February 2019) reports that the national mortgage delinquency rate is now at its lowest point in nearly 2 decades: https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2019-05-14/corelogic-reports-u-s-overall-delinquency-rate-lowest-for-a-february-in-nearly-two-decades . Also check out California’s foreclosure list by RealtyTrac: California Foreclosure Trends by County .
As of March 2019 (the latest data available from CoreLogic), the highest recorded County median sales price in California was in San Francisco County @ $1,380,000 (up 5.3% from 2018) and the lowest recorded County median sales price was in Siskiyou County @ $185,000 (up 5.7% from 2018). The median sales price in the County of Santa Barbara was $553,500 (up 5.2% from 2018) and the median sales price in the City of Santa Barbara was $1,125,000 (down 13.4% from 2018). The lowest median sales price recorded in any California city was in Niland in Imperial County @ $48,000 (up 71.4% from 2018) and the highest was in Atherton in San Mateo County @ $5,215,000 (down 25.7% from 2018). You could buy 109 median priced houses in Niland, 9.4 in the County of Santa Barbara or 4.6 in the City of Santa Barbara for the same price as 1 house in Atherton. If you care to see what you can buy in the Niland area for $29,900 check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2167-2nd-Ave_Calipatria_CA_92233_M13544-01593?view=qv . If you care to see what you can buy in Atherton for $5,395,000 check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/357-Walsh-Rd_Atherton_CA_94027_M19319-52994?view=qv . You will note that the Atherton property has more grass than the Niland area property.
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) raised the short term rate four times in 2018, the last raise was to 2.5% at their December meeting. As of the May 1st meeting, the Fed seems to have abandoned any further interest rate hikes in 2019. The 30-year mortgage interest rate still remains at a low 4.125%, the lowest rate since April 2018 and far down from 4.94% in November 2018.
Of the 165 sales in April 2019 there were 89 sales over $1,000,000 which equates to 53.9% of the total sales, up from 47% in April. The South Coast of Santa Barbara is not an inexpensive place to purchase real estate as compared to most areas of the United States, but again many people will pay more to live and invest in Santa Barbara. According to Forbes the national average for all cash sales is about 20%; of the 165 sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County in April 2019, 26% were cash transactions.
On April 30th the Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index stood at 129.2, up from 124.2 in March. The highest recent Index levels were 136.4 in November 2018 and 137.9 in October 2018. Lynn Franco, the Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, stated: “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace into the summer months. These strong confidence levels should continue to support consumer spending in the near-term.” The highest historical Consumer Confidence level was last seen in September 2000 when the Index stood at 142.5.
As for the cost of living, Numbeo compiles data for its cost of living index for major cities in the Western Hemisphere. Numbeo’s indices are relative to New York City, which means that for New York City, each index should be 100%. If another city has, for example, a rent index of 120, it means that on an average in that city rents are 20% more expensive than in New York City. If a city has rent index of 70, that means on an average in that city rents are 30% less expensive than in New York City. The highest City index on the 2019 list was New York (#1) @ 100, the highest City Index in California was San Francisco (#4) @ 91.67, the lowest City Index in California was Bakersfield (#45) @ 67.35, the lowest City Index in the United States was Boise, ID, (#79) @ 58.85 and the lowest City Index on the list was Caracas, Venezuela (#119) @ 25.01. This is a very interesting comparison list to check out: Cost of Living in the Western Hemisphere .
Data from the latest April 2019 realtor.com report indicates that 6 of the 20 Hottest Housing Markets in the United States were in California, down from 7 in March and 8 in February. The 20 top ranked California cities ranged from San Francisco as #3 to Santa Cruz as #15. It is interesting to note that once again all of California’s Hottest Housing Markets were located in the Northern part of the state. Check out the Realtor.com list at https://www.realtor.com/research/april-2018-hottest-markets/ .
Historically the highest January-April median sales price recorded on the Santa Barbara South Coast was recorded in 2007 at $1,031,500. The April 2019 median sales price was $1,025,000. The current median sales price has now been hovering near that historic high for most of 2017, 2018 and now 2019, which would indicate a leveling off in our market values.
Based on the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service, as of May 5th, in Goleta there were 60 active House/PUD listings and 35 pending sales, which equates to only a 1.7 month supply of listings for Buyers to choose from. Generally under 3 months of inventory would be considered a Seller’s market and lower than 2 months points to a feverish Seller’s market. Historically a 4 to 5 month supply of available inventory would indicate a well-balanced market between Buyers and Sellers and typically over a 6 or 7 month supply would be considered a Buyer’s market with multiple listings to choose from. Based on Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data and as of May 5th, Carpinteria/Summerland had a 5.3 month supply, Montecito had a 6.4 month supply, Santa Barbara had a 2.6 month supply and Hope Ranch had a 4 month supply. These inventory statistics indicate that Goleta is in a Seller’s market, the Santa Barbara and Hope Ranch markets are becoming balanced and the Carpinteria/Summerland and Montecito markets are in a Buyer’s market. With a total of 145 House/PUD pending sales and only 378 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a 2.6 (down from 3.1 in early April) month supply of House/PUD listings to choose from. With a total of 61 Condominium pending sales and only 125 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a 2.1 month supply (down from 2.6 in early April) of Condominium listings for Buyers to choose from. It is too soon to know how the Montecito disaster will affect the Montecito values in the very long term, but pressures on Hope Ranch and the upper price rangers of Santa Barbara and Goleta housing supply still seems to be very evident. Buyers do seem to be moving much more cautiously than they did just a few months ago and some are taking their time assessing all their options along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. There is a very informative article by local economist Robert Niehaus on the impact of the January 9, 2018 debris flow on the Montecito real estate market, check it out at http://www.rdniehaus.com/rdn/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RDN_Montecito-Debris-Flow_Housing-Market-Impact_03-19.pdf
The ramifications of the Federal tax cuts, planned increase in government spending, limits on mortgage interest deductions, rising insurance premiums, the trade tensions between China and Europe, the Federal $10,000 limit on State tax deductions and the memories of the fire damage & debris flows in Montecito are a concern to many Buyers along the South Coast of Santa Barbara. The median sales priced Santa Barbara home would translate to a real estate tax of $14,190 per year. Only time will tell how these new tax rules will play out and how they will affect our real estate values in the long run. Supply and demand dynamics have and will affect the South Coast of the Santa Barbara Real Estate Market for a long time to come.
Feel free to contact me with any real estate related questions.
Stan Tabler, CRS, GRI, ABR, GREEN
801 Chapala Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
CalBRE Brokers License #00774377 since 1980