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Daniel Encell's
Quarterly Real Estate Update
~ Archives ~

2nd Quarter 2008

The purpose of this newsletter is never to be overly optimistic, or pessimistic, about the local real estate market. Instead, the purpose is to provide property owners with an accurate assessment of current market conditions and trends. Having stated that, 2008 is off to a difficult start for real estate along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. Overall, the number of sales is down 28% compared to the same period in 2007 (300 versus 418). For the second straight quarter, the median price declined, dropping 4% to $962,500, a level last seen in late 2004. And, for the first time in over a decade, average prices declined, falling 12% to $1,788,370. This is due in large part to a significant decline in sales of high priced beach properties.

On a national level, foreclosure rates continue to climb to record levels, prompting the government to put a tremendous amount of effort into stabilizing real estate values. The Federal Reserve has dropped its discount rate dramatically (although this has not translated into significantly lower mortgage rates). Various forms of legislation are being proposed to offer relief to distressed homeowners. And, in an effort to increase Buyer demand, the limit for conforming loans has been increased in many areas, climbing from $417,000 to $729,000 in our area. Hopefully these efforts will bring desired relief soon to distressed real estate markets.

Montecito
In Montecito, statistics for the number of sales mirror what is happening in the rest of South Santa Barbara County, dropping 30% to 49 closed transactions. Average prices declined 18% to $3,753,449. Despite these discouraging figures, median prices posted a solid gain of 19%, to a record $3,100,000. In fact, Montecito was the only market along the South Coast that enjoyed an increase in median price during the first quarter of 2008. Activity has been particularly robust in the $4-10 million range.

If you are interested in finding out what has sold in the past year and for how much, we now have the following sales lists available to view: Montecito, Beachfront and Hope Ranch sales. Please click here to request these lists.


 

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