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 assisting you with all your real estate goals, big and small.
Santa Barbara South Coast Real Estate Update
June 12, 2022
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 down 33% from 209 in May 2021 to 140 in May 2022. In May 2022 there were 92 House/PUD (Planned Unit Development) sales (down 42% from 2021) with a median sales price of $2,225,000 (down 2% from 2021) and an average sales price of $3,228,543 (down 9% from 2021). In May 2022 there were 48 Condominium sales, (down 2% from 2021) with a median sales price of $1,107,500 (up 34% from 2021) and an average sales price of $1,092,141 (up 7% from 2021). Year to date, there were a total of 685 residential sales in 2022 (down 29% from 2021), with a median sales price of $1,800,000 (up 16% from 2021) and an average sales price of $2,809,808 (up 16% from 2021).
In Carpinteria, there were a total of 18 residential sales in May 2022, up from 11 in April. In May 2022 the median price of the 11 House/PUD sales was $2,250,000 and the average price was $3,206,496. In May 2022 the median price of the 7 Condominium sales was $735,000 and the average price was $738,929. The lowest-priced Carpinteria sale in May 2022 was a Condominium on Hickory Street @ $525,000 and the highest was a House on Shepard Mesa Road @ $8,050,000.
In Summerland, there were a total of 4 residential sales in May 2022, up from 3 in April. In May 2022 the median price of the 3 House/PUD sales was $2,300,000 and the average price was $2,333,333. In May 2022 the median and average price of the 1 Condominium sale was $1,820,000. The lowest-priced Summerland sale in May 2022 was a Condominium on Banner Avenue @ $1,820,000 and the highest was a House on Banner Avenue @ $2,650,000.
In Montecito, there were a total of 16 residential sales in May 2022, down from 24 in April. In May 2022 the median price of the 15 House/PUD sales was $5,250,000 and the average price was $6,800,000. In May 2022 the median and average price of the 1 Condominium sale was $1,735,000. The lowest-priced Montecito sale in May 2022 was a Condominium on Coast Village Road @ $1,735,000 and the highest was a House on Forge Road @ $15,050,000.
In Santa Barbara, there were a total of 49 residential sales in May 2022, down from 59 in April. In May 2022 the median price of the 35 House/PUD sales was $2,413,000 and the average price was $2,774,847. In May 2022 the median price of the 14 Condominium sales was $1,262,500 and the average price was $1,240,071. The lowest-priced Santa Barbara sale in May 2022 was a House on N. Nopal Street @ $710,000 and the highest was a House on Campanil Drive @ $7,000,000.
In Hope Ranch, there was 1 sale in May 2022, down from 5 in April. In May 2022 the median and average price of the 1 House sale was $3,200,000. There are no Condominiums in Hope Ranch. The only sale in May 2022 was a House on Via Dichosa @ $3,200,000.
In Goleta, there were a total of 52 residential sales in May 2022, up from 34 in April. In May 2022 the median price of the 27 House/PUD sales was $1,740,000 and the average price was $1,941,704. In May 2022 the median price of the 25 Condominium sales was $1,150,000 and the average price was $1,053,371. The lowest-priced Carpinteria sale in May 2022 was a Condominium on Dearborn Place @ $540,000 and the highest was a House on Via Clarice @ $4,600,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected our daily lives but also how everyone buys and sells real estate. Open houses and Broker Tours are once again allowed with optional mask-wearing. Many Sellers who had avoided listing their homes due to COVID-19 concerns have now moved forward and listed their properties for sale as sale prices have surged, but inventory still remains very low. Still, historically low mortgage interest rates and Buyers are still driving real estate values upward along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.
All markets are hyper-localized, including the real estate market on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County with limited inventory and relatively higher values as compared to other areas of California and the United States. Focusing on the supply in any market is a good way to anticipate where the markets are heading. Along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County as of June 1st, there were 118 active House/PUD listings (up from 82 in May) and 16 active Condominium listings available (down from 19 in May). Historically there has been more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges; as of June 1st, 29% of the 118 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 fluctuated 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 for Buyers to choose from.
In all of 2021, there were only 2 bank-owned sales along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County and as of June 1st there was only 1 bank-owned pending sale on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County: a long-delayed foreclosure at 374 Cinderella Lane listed @ $1,155,000. There have been very few distress sales due to homeowner equity rising so quickly which allows them to “bailout” their financially distressed properties, pay off their mortgage and avoid foreclosure. To check out California’s foreclosure list by County, check out this link: California Foreclosure Trends by County .
As of April 2022 (the latest monthly data available from CoreLogic), the highest recorded median sales price in any California county was in San Mateo County @ $1,665,000 (up 9.5% from 2021) and the lowest recorded county median sales price was in Siskiyou County @ $225,000 (down .7% from 2021). The median sales price in Santa Barbara County was $767,000 (up 4% from 2021) while the median sales price in the City of Santa Barbara was $2,100,000 (up 18.3% from 2021). The lowest residential median sales price in any California city was recorded in Mojave in Kern County @ $90,000 (down 43.4% from 2021) and the highest was in Atherton in San Mateo County @ $11,780,000 (down 3.2% from 2021). You could buy 131 median-priced Houses in Mojave, 15.4 in Santa Barbara County, or 5.6 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 Mojave for only $95,000, check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/26341-Olanche-St_Mojave_CA_93501_M29373-47157?ex=2943023766 . If you care to see a House you can buy in Atherton for $11,988,000, check out https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/97-Ridge-View-Dr_Atherton_CA_94027_M25697-33706?ex=2943585463 .
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) has maintained a near-zero rate since early 2020 due to the negative effects on the world economy due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues. Jerome Powell took office as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2018. He was sworn in on May 23, 2022 for a second term as Chairman ending May 15, 2026. The early May half-a-point hike was the biggest rate increase in 22 years and came as the Fed is trying to pull down inflation running at a 40-year high. Not only did policymakers see the need to increase benchmark borrowing rates by half a point, but they also said similar hikes would likely be necessary at the next several meetings. Mortgage interest rates have increased close to 2% since the beginning of 2022 and many economists predict they will continue climbing. As of June 4th, you could lock in a $640,000 30-year fixed-rate loan at 5.25% with a 1% closing fee. Strange as it may seem, if you borrow more than $642,700, the interest rate will actually go down to 5%. Historically the lowest 30-year mortgage interest rate since 1970 was recorded in February 2021 at 2.65%, which was matched again in July 2021. The highest historical mortgage rate was recorded in 1981 @ 18.63%. As a comparison, a payment for a $640,000 mortgage in 1981 would have been $9,975/month; as of June 4th, it would be $3,534/month with a fee of $6,400. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications have decreased to their lowest levels since December 2018.
Of the 140 sales in May 2022, 115 were over $1,000,000 which equates to 82% of the total sales, up from 80% 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 PropertyShark, California has 89 of the 127 most expensive median-priced sales’ ZIP codes in the country with New York being the next highest with 17 ZIPs. Santa Barbara has 4 of the pricey ZIPs with Montecito’s 93108 ZIP coming in at #7 nationally. https://www.propertyshark.com/Real-Estate-Reports/most-expensive-zip-codes-in-the-us
The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index is a good indicator of where home builders see the national real estate home market going. In May their confidence fell 8-point, more than expected, to 69. Any reading above 50 on this index still signals expansion and while an index of 69 is not necessarily bad, the drops since December 2021 have been significant. We shall see where this index goes in the future.
According to USA Today, the national average for all-cash real estate sales was 33% in the first quarter of 2022, 25% in 2021, and 15% in 2020. On the South Coast in May 2022, 26% of the sales were cash sales, down from 28% in April. Review the attached list of the 140 properties sold on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County in May 2022 and/or contact me for information on specific sales.
On June 1st UCLA presented its Economic Outlook which essentially suggests that the economy peaked a few months ago and is now slowing down, but it is not in a recession. The Outlook predicts a recession is at least a year away, but maybe as much as 3 years away. To watch the entire Economic Outlook click HERE.
On May 31st the Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index was 106.4, down from 108.6 in April. In recent years the highest Index level recorded was 137.9 in October 2018 and it was more recently as high as 132.6 in February 2020, at the start 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 dipped slightly in May, after rising modestly in April,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “That said, with the Expectations Index weakening further, consumers also do not foresee the economy picking up steam in the months ahead. They do expect labor market conditions to remain relatively strong, which should continue to support confidence in the short run. Meanwhile, purchasing intentions for cars, homes, major appliances, and more all cooled—likely a reflection of rising interest rates and consumers pivoting from big-ticket items to spending on services. Vacation plans have also softened due to rising prices. Indeed, inflation remains top of mind for consumers, with their inflation expectations in May virtually unchanged from April’s elevated levels. Looking ahead, expect surging prices and additional interest rate hikes to pose continued downside risks to consumer spending this year.” To review the full report: https://conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm .
As for the worldwide cost of living as of June 3rd, Expatistan compiled an index of 267 major metropolitan areas. The cost of gasoline was checked on June 3rd. Expatistan’s list indicates #3 San Francisco with a 240 Price Index score is the most expensive area in California (a gallon of regular gas costs $5.68) and the least expensive is #99 Modesto with a Price Index score of 136 ($5.30/gallon). In the USA, #2 New York City @ 250 ($4.99/gallon) was the most expensive and the least expensive was #143 Cedar Rapids, Iowa @ 115 ($4.37/gallon). Of the top 25 most expensive areas worldwide, 4 are in California including San Francisco at #3, #11 Los Angeles @ 213 ($5.39/gallon), #18 San Diego @ 197 ($5.25/gallon), and #23 Sacramento @ 192 ($5.49/gallon). The most expensive area to live in the world is #1 Hamilton (Bermuda) @ 273 ($8.81/gallon) and the least expensive is #267 Visakhapatnam (India) @ 44 ($5.09/gallon). Santa Barbara is not on the list as Expatistan does not rate it as a major metropolitan area, but local gas prices of $5.87/gallon are higher than larger California urban areas. As of June 9th the highest gas price in California was $9.60/gallon in Mendocino. Expatistan’s Cost of Living index is interesting to check out to compare the cost of living in cities around the world: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index .
On June 2nd, Danielle Hale at realtor.com wrote about national housing trends @ https://www.realtor.com/research/weekly-housing-trends-view-data-week-may-28-2022/
“The median listing price maintained a surprising amount of momentum this week even as recent monthly data show signs of a growing gap between buyer and seller expectations in today’s housing market. The reasons are explored in more depth in today’s May Housing Trends Report, but in short, the median asking price may not be the earliest signal of shifting momentum. Our monthly measure of the share of sellers having to reduce their asking price to find a buyer, for example, rose from one year ago in March, April, and May. Even this measure remains lower than what is historically normal, a reminder that sellers remain more in control of the real estate transaction than has generally been the case, but it is a reminder, like the still low but growing number of homes for sale, that the tide is turning.”
Historically the highest Year-to-Date median sales price recorded on the Santa Barbara South Coast was recorded back in 2007 at $1,031,500. In May 2022 the median sales price was $1,800,000, equal to $1,800,000 in April and up 21% from 2021. The median sales price had been hovering near 2007’s historic high for most of 2017, 2018, and 2019, started an upward creep in 2020 and then accelerated in 2021. Now in 2022 new record high median sales prices are being set. In May 2022 the average South Coast sales price was $2,890,808.
Based on the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service data, as of June 1st in the City of Santa Barbara, there were 43 active House/PUD listings and 28 pending sales, which equates to a low 1.5 month supply (up from .96 in April) of listings for Buyers to choose from. Generally a “one-month supply” would indicate the listings would all be sold within one month. A two-to-three-month supply of inventory would be considered a basic Seller’s market where demand is high and inventory is scarce, a one-to-two-month supply of inventory indicates a heated Seller’s market and a lower than one-month supply indicates a feverish Seller’s market. Historically a four-to-six-month supply of available inventory would indicate a fairly well-balanced, normal market between Buyers and Sellers. Typically more than a six-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 June 1st, Carpinteria/Summerland had a 2.5 month supply (up from 1.4 in May), Montecito had a 2.5 month supply (up from 1.9 in May), Goleta had a .87 month supply (up from .56 in May) and Hope Ranch had a 1.8 month supply (down from 2 in May). These inventory statistics indicate that Carpinteria/Summerland and Montecito are in a basic Seller’s market. Santa Barbara and Hope Ranch are in a heated Seller’s market. Goleta remains in a feverish Seller’s Market. With a combined total of 76 House/PUD pending sales (down from 73 in May) and 118 active listings (up from 82 in May) on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a 1.6 month supply (up from 1.1 in May) of House/PUD listings from which Buyers can choose. With a combined total of 30 Condominium pending sales (up from 28 in May) and only 19 active listings (same as 19 in May) on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, there is only a .53 month supply (down from .68 in May) of Condominium listings from which Buyers can choose. All areas, except Hope Ranch, now have more House/PUD listings to choose from than there were in May, but the South Coast market still remains in a heated Seller’s Market, a step down from a feverish Seller’s Market in April. The market has calmed and instead of seeing 7+ offers on a listing, we are only seeing 3. The South Coast Condominium market is still in a feverish Seller’s Market.
The ramifications of the concerns about COVID-19 and how it has and will continue to affect our world, the war in Ukraine, inflation, the cost of gasoline, scarcity of insurance companies in California, rising mortgage rates, and rising insurance premiums are all concerns to many Buyers, and Sellers. Now that Proposition 19 has taken full effect, 55+ year-old homeowners can transfer their existing real estate tax base to a new home anywhere in California. Mortgage interest rates have risen lately but are still near historical lows. Extremely low inventory and the COVID-19 migratory trends toward smaller cities all have led to a surge in Santa Barbara property values. With a number of qualified Buyers and lower inventory, do not expect to see values going down anytime soon. 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