Real Estate Report – Third Quarter

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Q3 Market Report


Santa Barbara Real Estate Report – Market is Still Strong Through 3rd  Quarter

Wow!  Here we are in October of 2017. There is so much going on in the world today, but none of it appears to be affecting the real estate market. It has been moving along steadily with no real apparent change.

The graph below shows the 16 year history of the number of houses (single family homes and Planned Unit Developments) and condominiums that have sold year-to-date between Carpinteria and Goleta.  There have been roughly 6% more sales of houses this year than last year.  It is not a record breaker, but it does show a fairly active market.

There have been more condos sold this year than last, up by about 3%.  This may seem low but the 3% increase represents primarily re-sales, not new condo sales.  There have been over 100 brand new condo sales that are not recorded through the MLS.  If these were included, it would probably exceed our 16 year high in 2015.

Sold Listings Jan to Sept


The next graph demonstrates the year-to-date median price.  This is a form of measurement or a “mathematical result” that indicates that half of the homes sold are above this price and half are below. This does not represent any one property or group of properties, geographically or by price range.

The median price for houses in our area has somewhat stalled.  It is the same as it was at the end of last quarter when there were just 583 house sales.  I don’t think this is something to be concerned about.  It appears that at the end of the third quarter over quite a few years, the median typically did go down; at least this year we stayed the same. The current median price is 5.6% higher than what it was last year at this time.  This indicates that prices continue to increase slowly.  It is still flirting with the all-time highs back in 2007. (What you see on the graph as a high of $1,263,000 in 2005, was an anomaly and is not repeated over the next few months in that year.)

The median price for condos has flattened out and is a tad less than last year’s.  Again, this represents sales that are pre-owned condos and does not take into consideration the 100+ brand new condos that have sold this year.

Median Price Sold Listings


The following chart breaks down the year-to-date information by area.  This gives a better understanding of how each area is doing.  It should be noted that the Hope Ranch area consists of less than 1,000 properties, so the numbers will be much smaller there.  Also,Carp/Summerland have fewer properties than the other areas.

(Note: the area indicated as “Goleta” encompasses the city of Goleta along with the unincorporated area between Goleta and Santa Barbara.)

SB South Coast


Reviewing the Year-to-Date information, all of the areas had more sales than last year.  The median price on each area went up at least 4% except for Hope Ranch; but again, their numbers are so small that it’s hard to draw conclusions from them.

Looking at the monthly figures for houses, overall, 105 sales pending is a good steady number.  The number of active (available) listings has gone down from last year which was at 420 and is now 388 – a difference of almost 8%.  Even though it is lower, it still provides for a variety of properties in each area.

The Months of Inventory (MOI) is an interesting number to watch.  This indicates roughly how long it would take to sell all of the current active listings without adding additional inventory.  The overall for houses is currently at 3.7.  This reflects that we are in that active, steady market.  When the number is between 0 and 3, the market is favoring the seller.  If the number is between 3+ and 6, we have a steady, normal market.  Anything over that, then the market is favoring buyers.  Goleta Valley and Santa Barbara are both seeing a lot of activity.  The MOI for Hope Ranch is not really valid due to the small numbers of both pending sales and active listings.

The MOI for condos is 2.2. These tend to be the “starter homes” for many first-time home buyers and step-down homes for empty nesters and the condo market remains strong.

As a matter of information, the following table compares the number of all closed sales of houses for the first nine months of the year, by sold price range.

Santa Barbara Market


Over the last few years, most of the sales have been under the $2,000,000 mark. The above is interesting where it shows the first two percentages flip-flopped from one year to the next.

Comparing the price ranges of active (available) listings at a point this point in time:

Santa Barbara Real Estate


We are not surprised to see inventory under a million continue to dwindle.  But for there to be so many properties over $8M is interesting.  They do tend to stay on the market for a much longer time. As indicated above, only 0.8% of the sold properties are within this high price range.  Also note that possibly a bulk of these are over the $10M mark.

As indicated earlier, the real estate market continues on a steady path.  A healthy number of properties are selling with a median that is going up gradually.  The economy is still on the upswing and makes people more comfortable which can only be good for the real estate market.  There is talk of another quarter point of the Fed Funds rate going up, which may slow things down just a bit.  Barring any natural or man-made catastrophe, the market should stay strong.

There are always people who need or want to sell, and we still have a great pool of buyers anxious to buy in our lovely area.  If you or someone you know is thinking of selling, buyers are anxious to see the new listings coming on the market.  Be sure to contact your Village Properties agent who can guide you through the process.

A huge thank you for this article to Carol Kruckenberg of Village Properties Realtors