4th Quarter 2011
Greetings and Happy 2012! 2011 ended with mixed results along the South Coast. Fourth quarter results show a slight (2%) decline in the Closed Sales, but a large increase (26%) in Pending Sales. Median Prices declined 13%, and Average Sales Price fell 30% due to a notable lack of activity in the high-end market. Fewer beach sales brought the Average Sales Price down 60% in Carpinteria/Summerland. We continue to see healthy absorption of properties, as Total Active Listings declined 5%. Absorption of excess inventory is a necessary first step before we can have stabilization and, eventually, improvement of values.
2011 in Review
2011 was a transition year, where we experienced more sales, but at lower prices. Average Sales Price dropped 16% to $990,919, while Median Prices fell 10% to $659,000. On average, properties sold for about 93% of their list price, as Sellers made painful, but necessary, decisions to price their properties attractively. Buyers need to see a list price that reflects a realistic Seller.
2011 statistics for Montecito were very similar to the rest of the South Coast: Inventory levels and Number of Sales were virtually unchanged. Median prices slid about 10% to $1,787,500. However, the trend away from large estates led to a steep (21%) decline in Average Sales Price to $2,444,610. There was only one Montecito sale reported in the MLS above $10 million in 2011. There are currently 24 active listings above $10 million.
Birnam Wood Activity in 2011
2011 was a good year for Birnam Wood sales. There were 11 closed sales ranging from $1,825,000 to $4,250,000, with an Average Selling Price of $2,840,000, and a Median Selling Price of $2,800,000. There are currently 8 active listings, ranging from $1,895,000 to $3,750,000.
Projections for 2012
The market under $1 million should stabilize this year. Look for historically low interest rates and attractive, newly created FHA financing options to boost demand in this segment of the market. In the higher price ranges, financing choices are not as attractive or available, so it is unlikely that properties above $1 million will bottom out in 2012. Until financing options meaningfully improve, the market for estate properties will remain sluggish. However, the strong increase in 2011 4th quarter pending sales should lead to a solid 1st quarter in 2012.
P.S. Now, more than ever, you need the best representation possible to get your property sold. Despite difficult market conditions, I sold more Montecito listings in 2011 than any agent. Creative marketing, extensive advertising, and hard work get results in any market. I have also 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! Call (805) 565-4896, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls will be confidential.