Like most parts of the country, real estate along the South Coast experienced a very challenging first half of 2008. Contributing factors include: (1) an eroding stock market; (2) rapidly escalating fuel prices; (3) more stringent lending guidelines; and (4) overall consumer pessimism regarding the economy.
Although we have not been hit as hard as many communities, it is difficult to be optimistic about the data. In South Santa Barbara County, the number of sales for the first 6 months of the year is down 25% (694) compared to 2007 (and down 48% compared to 2004). The average price declined 12% to $1,721,495, and the median price dipped below one million for the first time in several years, dropping 13% to $949,500. In fact, the average price declined in every local community, while the median price declined in all local communities except Hope Ranch and Montecito.
While the market is probably not at its bottom yet, there will hopefully be some signs of stabilization in the second half of 2008.
Montecito continues to be one of the strongest markets in our area. Fortunately, inventory levels remain relatively low, at 146 active listings.
Despite a 20% decline in the number of sales (120), and a slight decline in the average sales price (2% to $3,866,133), the median price rose 10% to a new record of $2,975,000!
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.