Santa Barbara South Coast Real Estate Update
July 14, 2021
Direct from the County Recorder’s Office by way of Fidelity National Title, the total number of monthly residential sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County was up 20% from 162 in June 2020 to 194 in June 2021. In June 2021 there were 130 House/PUD (Planned Unit Development) sales, up 10% from 2020, with a median sales price of $1,868,250 (up 31% from 2020) and an average sales price of $2,677,592 (up 17% from 2020). In June 2021 there were 64 Condominium sales, up 49% from 2020, with a median sales price of $844,250 (up 30% from 2020) and an average sales price of $1,048,445 (up 30% from 2020). There have been a total of 1,154 residential sales in 2021 (up 59% from 2020), with a median sales price of $1,529,000 (up 39% from 2020) and average sales price of $2,523,670 (up 59% from 2020).
In Carpinteria there were a total of 23 sales in June 2021, up from 14 in May. In June 2021 the median sale price of the 7 House/PUD sales was $1,200,000 and the average price was $1,639,643. In June 2021 the median price of the 16 Condominium sales was $665,000 and the average price was $723,844. The lowest priced Carpinteria sale in June 2021 was a Condominium on Sandyland Road @ $435,000 and the highest was a House on Toro Canyon Road @ $3,025,000.
In Summerland there were a total of 3 sales in June 2021, up from 0 in May. In June 2021 the median and average sale price of the 2 House/PUD sales was $3,050,000. In June 2021 there was 1 Condominium sale at $700,000. The lowest priced Summerland sale in June 2021 was a Condominium on Foothill Road @ $700,000 and the highest was a House on Asegra Road @ $3,650,000.
In Montecito there were a total of 26 sales in June 2021, up from 25 in May. In June 2021 the median sale price of the 21 House/PUD sales was $3,795,000 and the average price was $4,968,489. In June 2021 the median price of the 5 Condominium sales was $1,950,000 and the average price was $2,141,600. The lowest priced Montecito sale in June 2021 was a Condominium on Coast Village Road @ $1,150,000 and the highest was an Estate on Park Lane @ $28,500,000.
In Santa Barbara there were a total of 84 sales in June 2021, down from 95 in May. In June 2021 the median sale price of the 59 House/PUD sales was $1,680,000 and the average price was $1,998,676. In June 2021 the median price of the 25 Condominium sales was $935,000 and the average price was $1,184,100. The lowest priced Santa Barbara sale in June 2021 was a Condominium on Por La Mar Circle @ $619,000 and the highest was an ocean front House on Edgewater Way @ $6,300,000.
In Hope Ranch there were a total of 9 sales in June 2021, up from 8 in May. In June 2021 the median sale price of the 9 House sales was $6,300,000 and the average price was $6,391,667. There are no Condominiums in Hope Ranch. The lowest priced Hope Ranch sale in June 2021 was a House on Mariposa @ $3,125,000 and the highest was an ocean front House on Creciente Drive @ $12,625,000.
In Goleta there were a total of 50 sales in June 2021, up from 41 in May. In June 2021 the median sale price of the 33 House/PUD sales was $1,350,000 and the average price was $1,569,220. In June 2021 the median price of the 17 Condominium sales was $850,000 and the average price was $852,353. The lowest priced Goleta sale in June 2021 was a Condominium on Dearborn Place @ $430,000 and the highest was a House on San Antonio Creek @ $3,635,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected our daily lives, but also how everyone buys and sells real estate. As of June 15th, open houses and Broker Tours are now once again allowed. Many Sellers who had avoided listing their homes due to COVID-19 concerns are now moving forward and listing their properties for sale, but inventory still remains very low. Historically low mortgage interest rates and the glut of Buyers are driving real estate values upward along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.
The limited supply of available properties along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County keeps values higher compared to other areas of California and of the United States. Along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County as of July 1st there were 117 active House/PUD listings (up from 89 in June) and 28 active Condominium listings available (down from 30 in June). Historically there has been much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges; as of July 1st , 27% (down from 38.2% in June) of the 117 active House/PUD listings were located in the higher valued Montecito and Hope Ranch areas. Compare these current low totals to the inventory levels from 2007 to 2011 when the total number of active listings ranged between 734 and 1,026. Historically the highest number of active listings along the South Coast was recorded in June of 1992 when there were an astounding 1,297 active listings available.
In 2021 there have been only 2 bank-owned sales along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County and as of July 1st there were no bank owned listings for sale or pending on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. There was 1 bank-owned sale in January on Cresta Avenue @ $3,040,000 and 1 in February on Las Positas Place @ $981,000. There have been very few distress sales due to homeowner equity rising so quickly which allows them to “bail out” of their financially distressed properties, pay off their mortgage and avoid foreclosure. To check out California’s foreclosure list, visit this RealtyTrac link: California Foreclosure Trends by County .
As of May 2021 (the latest monthly data available from CoreLogic), the highest recorded median sales price in any California county was in San Mateo County @ $1,525,000 (up 3% from 2020) and the lowest recorded county median sales price was in Siskiyou County @ $250,000 (up 28.2% from 2020). The median sales price in Santa Barbara County was $727,000 (up 45.4% from 2020) while the median sales price in the City of Santa Barbara was $1,822,500 (up 45.2% from 2020). Other than residential fire-lot sales, the lowest median sales price in any California city was recorded in Boron in Kern County @ $45,000 (sales date from 2020 is unavailable) and the highest was in Atherton in San Mateo County @ $8,375,000 (down 25.7% from 2020). You could buy 186 median priced Houses in Boron, 11.5 in Santa Barbara County or 4.6 in the City of Santa Barbara for the same price as 1 House in Atherton. If you care to see a House you can buy in Boron for only $75,000, check https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/12045-Kostopolous-Ave_Boron_CA_93516_M17959-53979 . If you care to see a House you can buy in Atherton for $8,495,000, check https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/358-Walsh-Rd_Atherton_CA_94027_M26449-47750 .
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) has maintained a near zero rate since early 2020 due to the negative effects on the economy due to COVID-19. On June 16th the Fed indicated that uncertainty about the economy in the near past had required the Fed to further push any rate increase into the future. While the economy is roaring out of its doldrums, the Fed still believes this is a temporary surge. As of July 2nd you could lock in a $510,000 30-year fixed rate loan at 2.65%, down from 2.99% in June. Historically the lowest 30-year mortgage interest rate since 1970 was recorded in February 2021 at 2.65%, which has now been matched. The highest mortgage rate was recorded in 1981 @ 18.63%. As an example, your payment on a $510,000 mortgage in 1981 would have been $7,949/month; as of July 2nd it would now be $2,055/month.
Of the 198 sales in June 2021 there were 146 over $1,000,000 which equates to 79% of the total sales, up from 73.7% 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 CNN the national average for all cash real estate sales is 25% (up from 15% in 2020); on the South Coast in June 2021, 34% were cash sales, down from 39% in May. See the attached list of the 208 properties sold on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County in June 2021 and/or contact me for information on specific sales.
On June 29th the Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index was 127.3, up from 120.0 in May, up from 117.5 in April, up from 109.7 in March, 90.4 in February and 88.0 in January. In recent years the highest recent Index level recorded was 137.9 in October 2018 and it was recently as high as 132.6 in February 2020, prior to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically the highest Consumer Confidence Index level was recorded in September 2000 when the Index stood at 142.5. “Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved again, suggesting economic growth has strengthened further in Q2. Consumers’ short-term optimism rebounded, buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead.” To review the full report: https://conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm .
As for the cost of living as of July 2021, Expatistan compiled an index of 212 major metropolitan areas worldwide. Expatistan’s list indicates #6 Mountain View, CA with a 236 Price Index score is the most expensive area in the USA (a gallon of regular gas costs $3.95) and the least expensive was a tie between Memphis, TN and San Juan, PR @ 122 ($2.59/gallon & $2.91 respectively). Of the top 25 most expensive areas worldwide, 4 are in California including: #8 San Francisco @ 231 ($4.43/gallon), #21 San Jose @ 205 ($4.17/gallon) and #24 Los Angeles @ 198 ($3.79/gallon). The most expensive area to live in the world is #1 Hamilton (Bermuda) @ 276 ($8.27/gallon) and the least expensive is #212 Antalya, Turkey @ 53 ($3.50/gallon). Santa Barbara is not on the list as Expatistan does not rate it as a major metropolitan area, but gas prices of $4.05/gallon are similar to other coastal California areas. The cost of living list is interesting to check out if you care to compare the cost of living in cities around the world: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index .
- “The national inventory of active listings declined by 43.1% over last year, while the total inventory of unsold homes, including pending listings, declined by 20.3%.
- Newly listed homes on the market are up 5.5% nationally compared to a year ago, and 11.7% higher for large metros over the past year. However, sellers are still listing at rates lower than previous years.
- The June national median listing price for active listings was $385,000, up 12.7% compared to last year. Large metros saw median listing prices grow by 5.3%, on average, compared to last year.
- Nationally, the typical home spent 37 days on the market in June, much less than the 72 days during the same month in 2020.”
Historically the highest Year-to-Date median sales price recorded on the Santa Barbara South Coast had been recorded in 2007 at $1,031,500. The median sales price for all of 2020 was $1,200,000. In June 2021 the median sales price soared to $1,529,000, which is up 27% from June 2020. The median sale price had been hovering near 2007’s historic high for most of 2017, 2018 and 2019, but now new record highs have been set each month of 2021. In June 2021 the average sale price was $2,523,670.
Based on the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data, as of July 1st, in the City of Santa Barbara there were 51 active House/PUD listings and 58 pending sales, which equates to a very low .88 month supply (up from .55 in June) of listings for Buyers to choose from. Generally a “one month’s supply” would indicate the listings would all be sold within one month. Under 3 months of inventory would be considered a basic Seller’s market where demand is high and inventory is scarce, lower than 2 months supply of inventory indicates a heated Seller’s market and lower than 1 month supply indicates a feverish Seller’s market. Historically a 4 to 5 month supply of available inventory would indicate a fairly well-balanced market between Buyers and Sellers. Typically a 6+ month supply is considered to be a Buyer’s market where inventory is plentiful; Buyers are slower to make decisions and want to compare everything on the market. Based on Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data and as of July 1st, Carpinteria/Summerland had a .82 month supply (up from 1.2 in June), Montecito had a 2.1 month supply (down from 2.3 in June), Goleta had a .74 month supply (up from .28 in June) and Hope Ranch had .67 month supply (down from 1.3 in June). These inventory statistics indicate that Carpinteria/Summerland, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch and Goleta are all in a feverish Seller’s market with less than a month’s worth of available inventory. Montecito remains in a basic Seller’s market. These supply levels are all extremely low for all of the areas, but it is very interesting to note how low the supplies are in Hope Ranch with only a .67 month supply (down from a 3.6 month supply in July 2020). With a combined total of 119 House/PUD pending sales and only 117 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a .98 month supply of House/PUD listings which Buyers may choose from. With a combined total of 62 Condominium pending sales and only 28 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a .45 month supply of Condominium listings which Buyers may choose from.
The ramifications of the concerns about COVID-19 and how it has and will continue to affect our world, government spending in response to COVID-19, the Federal & State stimulus packages and property insurance scarcity amid rising premiums are concerns to many Sellers and Buyers along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. Now that Proposition 19 has taken full effect, all older (55+) homeowners can transfer their existing real estate tax base to a new home anywhere in California; hopefully this will bring a few more listings onto the market. Historically low interest rates, and extremely low inventory have boosted real estate values along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. COVID-19 restrictions have actually made many people realize they have the flexibility to work virtually from anywhere; they move to areas like Santa Barbara because they desire a more comfortable and “safer” lifestyle. This migratory trend has led to a surge in local property values. With a glut of potential Buyers and low inventory, it is now the Buyers who are determining the price of homes. Supply and demand dynamics have and will continue to affect the South Coast of the Santa Barbara Real Estate Market now and for a long time to come.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Stan Tabler, CRS, GRI, ABR, GREEN
801 Chapala Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
CalBRE Brokers License #00774377 since 1980