The first quarter statistics for our area show a real estate market that is nearing stabilization. Inventory levels remain almost unchanged with 1,427 active listings in the Santa Barbara M.L.S.
The number of properties sold, total sales volume and the median sales price, each declined compared to the 1st quarter of 2010 (7%; 5%; and 2% respectively). This is not surprising, as there were federal tax credit incentives for home buyers in place a year ago which artificially supported the number of home sales.
Interest rates remain near historical lows, but financing and especially jumbo financing, remains difficult to obtain.
On a positive note, average sales price increased 3% to $1,078,789. Local properties sold for 93% of their list price, compared to 88% of their list price last year. Pending home sales, a forward looking statistic of properties under contract but not yet sold, increased by 9%, so we are looking strong going into the second quarter.
In Montecito, median sales prices increased 10% to $2,200,000, while average prices dropped 13% to $2,757,547: we are selling larger properties, but values are still declining. Overall, sales volume was reduced 10% to $85,483,966. Inventory levels fell 4% to 317 active listings, while the number of sales increased 3% to 31 sales. Pending home sales skyrocketed 52%, so expect a strong second quarter.
According to the Santa Barbara M.L.S., there were no closed sales in Birnam Wood during the first quarter. There are twelve active listings, ranging from $1,999,998 to $4,695,000. Two additional properties are in escrow: 2069 Boundary Drive, listed for $2,950,000 and, 520 McLean Lane, listed for $3,500,000.
P.S. I have developed a strong network of top Realtors around the U.S. and Canada. If you need real estate assistance outside our area, I can help you find an experienced agent! Please call me at (805) 565-4896.