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
February 15, 2020
Direct from the County Recorder’s Office by way of Fidelity National Title, the total number of residential sales on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County was up 7% from 120 in January 2019 to 129 in January 2020. In January 2020 there were 96 House/PUD sales, up 14% from 2019, with a median sales price of $1,302,500 and an average sales price of $1,687,451. In January 2020 there were 33 Condominium sales, down 11% from 2019, with a median sales price of $740,000 and an average sales price of $829,121. The total 2020 Year-to-Date sales were 129, up 7% from 2019, with a median sales price of $1,135,000 and an average sales price of $1,467,878.
In Carpinteria there were a total of 14 sales in January 2019. The median sales price of the 6 House/PUD sales was $1,342,500 and the average sales price was $2,104,000. In January 2020 the median sales price of the 8 Condominium sales was $508,250 and the average sales price was $552,188. The lowest priced Carpinteria sale in January 2020 was a Condominium on Via Real @ $347,000 and the highest was an ocean front House on Avenue Del Mar @ $6,400,000.
In Summerland there were a total of 3 sales in January 2019. The median sales price of the 3 House/PUD sales was $1,237,200 and the average sales price was $1,283,667. In January 2020 there were no Condominium sales. The lowest priced Summerland sale in January 2020 was a House on Whitney @ $1,100,000 and the highest was another House on Whitney @ $1,479,000.
In Montecito there were a total of 20 sales in January 2019. The median sales price of the 18 House/PUD sales was $2,720,000 and the average sales price was $3,029,028. In January 2020 the median and average sales price of the 2 Condominium sales was $1,950,000. The lowest priced Montecito sale in January 2020 was a House on El Rancho Road @ $1,250,000 and the highest was an Estate on Bella Vista Drive @ $5,775,000.
In Santa Barbara there were a total of 59 sales in January 2019. The median sales price of the 47 House/PUD sales was $1,159,000 and the average sales price was $1,262,989. In January 2020 the median sales price of the 12 Condominium sales was $709,750 and the average sales price was $896,583. The lowest priced Santa Barbara sale in January 2020 was a House on N. Alisos Street @ $525,000 and the highest was a House on Santa Teresita @ $2,550,000.
In Hope Ranch there were a total of 2 sales in January 2019. The median and average sales price of the 2 House sales was $4,167,163. There are no Condominiums in Hope Ranch. The lowest priced Hope Ranch sale in January 2020 was a House on Vieja Drive @ $2,345,000 and the highest was a House on Marina Drive @ $5,989,325.
In Goleta there were a total of 30 sales in January 2019. The median sales price of the 19 House/PUD sales was $1,055,000 and the average sales price was $1,118,053. In January 2020 the median sales price of the 11 Condominium sales was $745,000 and the average sales price was $753,136. The lowest priced Goleta sale in January 2020 was a Condominium on Hollister Avenue @ $512,000 and the highest was a House on San Antonio Creek Road @ $2,060,000.
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. The appreciation rate along the South Coast has softened and there are fewer multiple offer situations, but they still do exist. On the South Coast of Santa Barbara County as of February 8th there were 292 active House/PUD listings and 74 active Condominium listings available for sale. Generally, there is much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges as 126 (43.2%) of the 292 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!
Sales of bank-owned properties ranged between zero and three for each month of 2019. There were no bank-owned sales in January 2020. As of February 8th there is 1 bank-owned listing available for sale: a House on Orena Street now reduced to $1,199,000. Foreclosure activity along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County has diminished dramatically. In November 2019 3.9% (the latest data available from CoreLogic) of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency, down from 4.0% a year earlier and the lowest for the month of November in more than 14 years. To check out California’s foreclosure by county, visit this RealtyTrac link: California Foreclosure Trends by County .
As of December 2019 (the latest data available from CoreLogic), the highest recorded County median sales price in California was in San Mateo County @ $1,257,500 (up .6% from 2018) and the lowest recorded County median sales price was in Siskiyou County @ $200,000 (up 21.2% from 2018). The median sales price in the County of Santa Barbara was $575,000 (up 5.5% from 2018) and the median sales price in the City of Santa Barbara was $1,200,000 (up 3.7% from 2018). The lowest median sales price recorded in any California city was in Orange Cove in Fresno County @ $30,000 (down 83.3% from 2018) and the highest was in Atherton in San Mateo County @ $5,250,000 (down 41.7% from 2018). You could buy 175 median priced houses in Orange Cove, 9.1 in the County of Santa Barbara or 4.4 in the City of Santa Barbara for the same price as 1 in Atherton. If you care to see a 644 square foot House you can buy in Orange Cove for $85,000 check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/420-10th-St_Orange-Cove_CA_93646_M15790-55493?view=qv . If you care to see a 2,345 square foot House you can buy in the Atherton area for $5,295,000 check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/19-Tamal-Vista-Ln_Kentfield_CA_94904_M12731-54962?view=qv .
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) raised the overnight rate four times in 2018 with the last raise to 2.5% in December 2018. In 2019 the Fed lowered the overnight interest rate numerous times, thereby reversing all of 2018’s rate increases. Fed directors see greater risks of surprises that could prompt another decrease in the overnight rate, than they do in raising the rate anytime soon. They have said the coronavirus is an example of a “wild card” and are concerned about the effect it may have on the world economy. The average of the 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate as of February 8th was in the 3.375% range, far below their recent November 2018 highs of 4.94%, and the rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.875%. If you borrowed $750,000 in November 2018, your monthly payment would be $688 higher than it would be today; that would be a savings of $8,256 a year! To put this all in historical perspective, the lowest 30-year mortgage interest rate since 1970 was recorded in 2012 @ 3.31%, and the highest was recorded in 1981 @ 18.63%.
Of the 129 sales in January 2020 there were 78 over $1,000,000 which equates to 60% of the total sales. 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 real estate sales averages 20%; on the South Coast in January 2020, 28% were cash sales. See the attachment for the total list of the 129 properties sold on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County in January 2020.
On January 28th the Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index stood at 131.6, up from 128.2 in December. The highest recent Index levels recorded were 136.4 in November 2018 and 137.9 in October 2018. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, stated “Consumer confidence increased in January, following a moderate advance in December, driven primarily by a more positive assessment of the current job market and increased optimism about future job prospects. Optimism about the labor market should continue to support confidence in the short-term and, as a result, consumers will continue driving growth and prevent the economy from slowing in early 2020.” Historically the highest Consumer Confidence Index level was recorded in September 2000 when the Index stood at 142.5.
As for the cost of living in February 2020, Expatistan has compiled data from 274 major metropolitan areas worldwide. Expatistan’s list indicates Mountain View, CA at #2 is the most expensive area in the USA with a Price Index score of 252 and Memphis, TN at #152 is the least expensive with a score of 125. Of the top 20 most expensive areas worldwide, 3 were in California: #1 Mountain View @ 252, #6 San Francisco @ 241 and #12 Oakland @ 213. In Southern California Los Angeles came in as #21 @ 198 and San Diego as #34 @ 182. The most expensive area to live in the world is #1 Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands) and the least expensive is #274 Madras (India). Santa Barbara is not on the list since it is not rated as a major metropolitan area. This is a very interesting list to check out if you want to compare the cost of living in areas around the world: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index .
As per the November 14, 2019 article by Nicolas Bedo at Realtor.com®, “California luxury markets have been struggling for the past several months, with price growth decelerating over time. However, August marked some troubling milestones for some key California markets. Los Angeles, California’s largest luxury market, saw its first price declines since 2016, as prices dropped 0.5 percent year-over-year. Million-dollar sales in Los Angeles are also down 4.5 percent since last year. Santa Clara experienced its largest decline since realtor.com started tracking luxury markets in 2010, with prices reaching $2.8 million in August, down 2.6 percent compared to a year ago. Million-dollar sales in Santa Clara are also down 23.2 percent. Marin County also saw its largest price decline since we started tracking luxury sales, with luxury prices reaching $3.1 million, down 6.5 percent year over year. San Mateo prices were flat, one of only a handful of months on record not showing price growth. Million-dollar sales were down 9.1 percent in August. Luxury home prices were also flat in Orange County for the first time since 2012. Million-dollar sales in Orange County were down 10.1 percent. The saving grace for California continues to be the center-coastal markets of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties. Santa Barbara was the fastest growing market in the country, with luxury entry point prices growing 20.1 percent year-over-year, reaching $2.7 million. San Luis Obispo prices reached $1.3 million this month, up 7.6 percent year-over-year. Million-dollar sales in San Luis Obispo were up 17.9 percent compared to last year. Monterey luxury prices reached $2.1 million this month, up 7 percent year-over-year. Riverside and San Diego, two of California’s southernmost counties are also showing signs of resilience in a tough market. Riverside County luxury prices reached $791,000 this month, up 3.6 percent year over year. Million-dollar sales in Riverside were up 62.8 percent in August. Likewise, San Diego prices reached $1.5 million, up 2.7 percent year over year. Sales in San Diego were up 9.2 percent.” Check out the whole article: https://www.realtor.com/research/tag/luxury-homes/
Historically the highest Year-to-Date median sales price recorded on the Santa Barbara South Coast was recorded in 2007 at $1,031,500. The January 2020 Year-to-Date median sales price was $1,135,000. The median sales price has been hovering just below or just above that historic high for most of 2017, 2018 and 2019. This is an indication of a leveling off in market values along the South Coast of Santa Barbara.
Based on the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service, as of February 8th, in the City of Santa Barbara there were 101 active House/PUD listings and 24 pending sales, which equates to a 4.2 month supply of listings for Buyers to choose from. Generally up to 3 months of inventory would be considered a Seller’s market where demand is high and inventory is scarce; lower than 2 months of inventory points to a more 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 see everything on the market. Based on Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data and as of February 8th, Carpinteria/Summerland had a 3.6 month supply, Montecito had a 7.85 month supply, Goleta had a 1.38 month supply and Hope Ranch had a 24 month supply. These inventory statistics indicate that Carpinteria/Summerland and Goleta are in a Seller’s market, Santa Barbara’s market is fairly balanced, while Hope Ranch and Montecito are in a Buyer’s market. With a total of 72 House/PUD pending sales and only 292 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is a 4 month supply of House/PUD listings to choose from. With a total of 38 Condominium pending sales and only 74 active listings on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is a 1.9 month supply of Condominium listings for Buyers to choose from.
The ramifications of the Federal tax cuts, planned increase in government spending, home insurance availability & rising premiums, trade tensions between China, Canada, Mexico and Europe, worries about the coronavirus and how it may effect the world’s economy, the Federal $10,000 limit on State tax deductions and the memories of the fire damage & debris flows in Montecito are still concerns 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 $15,000+/- per year. Only time will tell how all these influences will play out and how they will affect Santa Barbara neighborhood values in the long run. As always, 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