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Daniel Encell's
Quarterly Real Estate Update
~ Archives ~

1st Quarter 2008

2007- The Year in Review
Thanks to the strength of the high-end segments of the market, the statistics for 2007 indicate a relatively solid market, especially compared to our neighbors to the south. Overall, along coastal Santa Barbara County, median prices climbed 5% to $1,049,000 and average prices rose 9% to $1,806,726. Contrast this to the latest figures for a six-county region of Southern California where median home prices for December plunged more than 13% compared to a year ago.

Montecito, Hope Ranch and beach properties have continued to be the pillars of strength for values along the South Coast. Hope Ranch had an increase in number of sales (36) and saw average sales prices rise to $4,328,202. Montecito also experienced a rise in number of sales (243) and enjoyed its 5th straight year where both average price and median price rose ($3,835,891 and $2,650,000 respectively).

Unfortunately, other areas did not perform as well. Santa Barbara saw a slight decline in both the number of sales (837) and median price ($1,015,000). Goleta had its 3rd straight year of declining sales (347) and 2nd straight year of both falling average price ($1,037,621) and median price ($825,000).

Perhaps the most troubling indicator is the decline in the number of sales. Although the total number of sales (1662) is down only 3% compared to 2006, we have experienced nine straight months of decreased sales since March 2007. Only Carpinteria, Hope Ranch and Montecito experienced an overall gain in sales during the year.

Fortunately, mortgage rates continue to be very low and attractive loans are still available to borrowers with good credit who have the ability to actually pay the loans off.

Predictions for 2008
Regardless of area, the lowest-priced segments of our market have not yet hit bottom. Estate properties should enjoy another solid year as inventory levels remain low. Overall demand will be influenced by: interest rates, the strength of the economy, and the performance of the stock market.


 

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