2nd Quarter 2014
The national real estate market seems to have reached a plateau, as both home sales and prices showed slight declines in the first quarter of 2014. Interest rates remain stable around 4.4% on 30 year fixed loans - up from around 3.5% a year ago. Purchases of vacation homes surged almost 30%, while investment home sales fell over 8%.
Santa Barbara- South Coast
Overall, there were significantly fewer closed sales, but at higher prices, along the South Coast during the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. Inventory levels shrank, as Total Active Listings dropped 11% to 988. The Number Sold declined 24% to 316. Sold Volume fell 17% to $406,118,292. However, Average Sales Price rose 9% to $1,285,184, and Median Sales Price jumped 19% to $853,000. On average, properties sold for 96% of their last asking price.
The first quarter was particularly challenging for Montecito. Unlike the rest of the South Coast, which saw prices rise despite a decline in sales, there was a significant drop in Number Sold, and in both Average and Median Sale Price in Montecito. A decrease of 22% in Active Listings, led to a decline in the Number Sold of 30% - only 41 properties sold throughout Montecito during the first quarter. Average Sale Price dropped 8% to $2,879,413, and Median Sale Price slid 24% to $2,060,000. Sold Volume fell 36% to $118,055,948.
Despite the bleak first quarter statistics, both the Santa Barbara and Montecito markets seem poised for a healthier second quarter.
The first quarter of 2014 was active in Birnam Wood. There were four closed sales: 2000 Sandy Place - $2,060,000; 526 Las Fuentes Drive - $2,700,000; 2118 Birnam Wood Drive - $3,075,000; and 525 Las Fuentes Drive - $3,475,000. The quarter ended with three pending sales: 2076 China Flat; 1997 Lemon Ranch Road; and 1917 Boundary Drive. There are currently six active listings, ranging from $2,100,000 to $5,375,000. There is still significantly more demand for properties in Birnam Wood than available properties.
Director, Estates Division
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices