Santa Barbara South Coast Real Estate Update
February 16, 2018
Direct from the County Recorder’s Office, the overall number of property sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County was down 26% from 121 in January 2017 to 89 in January 2018, the median sales price was up 5% from $860,000 in January 2017 to $900,000 in January 2018 and the average sales price was up 10% from $1,248,504 in January 2017 to $1,371,989 in January 2018. In January 2018 there were 62 House/PUD sales with a median sales price of $1,204,000 and an average sales price of $1,659,718. In January 2018 there were 27 Condominium sales with a median sales price of $578,000 and an average sales price of $711,278.
In Carpinteria the number of sales was down 57% from 14 in January 2017 to 6 in January 2018. The median sales price was down 5% from $689,500 in January 2017 to $655,250 in January 2018 and the average sales price was down 11% from $743,571 in January 2017 to $659,417 in January 2018. The lowest priced Carpinteria sale in January 2018 was a Condominium on Carpinteria Avenue for $520,000 and the highest was a PUD on Cambridge Lane for $800,000.
In Summerland the number of sales was down 50% from 2 in January 2017 to 1 in January 2018. The median and average sales prices were up 26% from $975,000 in January 2017 to $1,225,000 in January 2018. There was only one Summerland sale in January 2018 on Shelby Street for $1,225,000.
In Montecito the number of sales was down 31% from 13 in January 2017 to 9 in January 2018. The median sales price was up 33% from $2,250,000 in January 2017 to $3,000,000 in January 2018 and the average sales price was down 9% from $3,344,462 in January 2017 to $3,038,611 in January 2018. The lowest priced Montecito sale in January 2018 was a House on Jameson Lane for $1,220,000 and the highest was a House on El Rancho Road for $5,200,000.
In Santa Barbara the number of sales was down 9% from 58 in January 2017 to 53 in January 2018. The median sales price was up 1% from $837,671 in January 2017 to $845,000 in January 2018 and the average sales price was up 18% from $1,020,500 in January 2017 to $1,202,311 in January 2018. The lowest priced Santa Barbara sale in January 2018 was a Condominium on Por La Mar Circle for $459,000 and the highest was a House on El Cielito Road for $3,500,000.
In Hope Ranch the number of sales was down 50% from 4 in January 2017 to 2 in January 2018. The median sales price was up 55% from $2,737,500 in January 2017 to $4,245,000 in January 2018 and the average sales price was up 64% from $2,581,250 in January 2017 to $4,245,000 in January 2018. The lowest priced Hope Ranch sale in January 2018 was an Estate on Via Esperanza for $3,090,000 and the highest was an Estate on Via Tranquila for $5,400,000.
In Goleta the number of sales was down 40% from 30 in January 2017 to 18 in January 2018. The median sales price was up 16% from $726,500 in January 2017 to $840,750 in January 2018 and the average sales price was up 35% from $715,950 in January 2017 to $964,750 in January 2018. The lowest priced Goleta sale in January 2018 was a Condominium on Armitos Avenue for $340,000 and the highest was a House on Cambridge Drive for $1,875,000.
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. On the South Coast of Santa Barbara County as of February 11th there were only 264 active House/PUD listings (up from 257 in January) and 71 active Condominium listings (no change from January) available for purchase. Generally, there is much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges as 118 (45%) of the 264 active House/PUD listings are located in Montecito and Hope Ranch (even with the tragedy in Montecito taken into account). 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; now that was a Buyer’s market!
On the South Coast of Santa Barbara, in January 2018, there was 1 bank-owned property sale on Sea Ranch Drive for $2,887,500. As of February 11th there was one bank-owned listing in escrow: a house on Las Canoas Road for $1,649,000. There is only one bank-owned listing available: a house on Conejo Road for $1,350,000. Compare our market’s less than 1% in foreclosure sales as a percentage of homes sold to 17% in New Jersey and 6% nationwide. Check out Realty Trac’s list: http://www.realtytrac.com/statsandtrends/foreclosuretrends/ca . I know that there are a few more high-end Santa Barbara properties working their way through the foreclosure process.
As of November 2017 (the latest data available from CoreLogic) the highest recorded median County sales price in California was in San Mateo County @ $1,200,250 (up 19.1% from 2016) and the lowest recorded median County sales price was in Siskiyou County @ $162,000 (up 9.8% from 2016). The median sales price in the County of Santa Barbara was $472,000 (up 3.6% from 2016) and the median sales price in the City of Santa Barbara was $1,241,000 (up 31.3% from 2016). The lowest median sales price in any California city was in Stratford in Kings County @ $50,000 (no sales in 2016) and the highest was in Newport in Orange County @ $4,900,000 (up 31.1% from 2016). You could buy 98 median priced houses in Stratford, 10.4 in the County of Santa Barbara or 4 in the City of Santa Barbara for the same price as 1 house in Newport.
Jerome Powell has now succeeded Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve Chairperson. The Fed raised rates 3 times last year, but they did not raise the rates at their January meeting. At the meeting, the policymakers stated that they expected “further gradual” rate increases will be warranted in 2018 that will hinge upon the pickup in inflation rates. Mortgage rates still are near historic lows, but they will not stay that way for long.
Of the 89 sales in January 2018, 39 were over $1,000,000 which equates to 44% of the total sales, down from 56% in December (which tied for the highest percentage rate recorded in recent history.) 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. Of the 89 January 2018 sales, 28 sales (31%) were for cash with no mortgages involved.
On January 30th the Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index stood at 125.4, up from 123.1 in December. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, stated “Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan.”
Data from Realtor.com indicates that 13 of the 20 Hottest Housing Markets in January 2018 were in California, ranging from San Francisco as #1 to Santa Cruz as #18. These are the markets seeing the quickest sales and most buyer demand online; Santa Barbara did not place on this list. To see the whole article: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/20-hottest-markets-real-estate-america-january-2018/ . Looking at the heated San Francisco market, it is not unusual to see listings generating multiple offers and being bid up much higher than the list price. The number 1 of top 20 January overbids in San Francisco was the sale on Fell Street which was listed at $748,000 and sold for $1,250,000, 67.1% over the list price. The 20th sale on the list was on Margaret Avenue which was listed at $998,888 and sold for $1,300,000, 30.1% over the sales price. For the full list: https://www.compass.com/c/kim.wiley/january-2018-top-20-overbids?ct=t(Newsletter_December_2017)&mc_cid=9809c034a7&mc_eid=bb5629d88.
Historically the highest year-to-date December median sales price recorded on the Santa Barbara South Coast was recorded in 2006 at $980,000 until December 2017 came along with a median sales price of $986,000. The median sales price retreated in January 2018 to $900,000.
The decline in the frequency of owners deciding to market their homes has played another critical role in pressurizing the many markets; owners are now staying in their homes at a median rate of 10 years, the highest level since the National Association of Realtors started tracking this statistic in 1985. Take for example the available inventory as of February 11th in Goleta where there were only 38 active House/PUD listings and 19 pending sales, which equates to only a 2 month supply of properties for Buyers to choose from. Under 3 months of inventory would typically 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 balanced market between Buyers and Sellers and typically over a 6 month supply would be considered a Buyer’s market. Based on Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data and as of February 11th, Carpinteria/Summerland had a 5 month supply, Montecito had a 20 month supply, Santa Barbara had a 1.9 month supply and Hope Ranch had an 3.6 month supply. These inventory statistics indicate that Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch and Goleta markets are still tilting in the Seller’s favor while Carpinteria/Summerland and Montecito are in or are shifting into a Buyer’s market. With a total of 86 House/PUD pending sales and only 264 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a 3 month supply of House/PUD listings for Buyers to choose from. With a total of 38 Condominium pending sales and only 97 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is a 2.6 month supply of condominium listings for Buyers to choose from. In the short term it seems apparent that the disaster in Montecito has dampened demand in that market as there was a 7 month supply of active listings for sale in early January and now there is a 20 month supply. The reverse is true in Hope Ranch where there was a 13.6 month supply of active listings in early January and now there is a 3.6 month supply. It is too soon to know how the Montecito disaster will affect values in the sort and long run, but it has put pressure on the Hope Ranch market.
The changes in the income tax laws may also have an effect on California real estate values. Only time will tell, but available inventory still remains near an all time low. Supply and demand dynamics have and will continue to affect the South Coast of Santa Barbara Real Estate Market.
Feel free to contact me with any real estate related questions.
Stan Tabler, CRS, GRI, ABR, GREEN
1002 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
CalBRE Brokers License #00774377 since 1980