3rd Quarter 2014
A combination of low interest rates, a stronger economy, pent up demand, and improved consumer attitudes toward real estate, kept sales activity strong throughout most of the country. Prices also continued to rise as demand exceeded supply, especially in Nevada, California, and Arizona, as Buyers competed for fewer homes. Despite recent gains, home prices are still over 20% below the 2006 peak. Although still attractive by historical standards, last week interest rates jumped to the highest level in the past two years, as the average rate for a 30 year fixed loan hit 4.46%. Higher interest rates should slow the very rapid rate of rising home prices, decreasing the possibility of another housing bubble.
Santa Barbara- South Coast
Local real estate remained strong during the first half of 2013. Fueled by upbeat Buyer attitudes, an improving job market, and low interest rates, the Number of Sales rose 10% to 1,014. Inventory remained tight, as the number of Active Listings dropped 12%. Increased sales activity and a significantly depleted supply of properties offered for sale, helped to boost prices, as the Median Price jumped 16% to $775,000. Despite an impressive Montecito sale at 2840 Hidden Valley Lane for $26,500,000, there has been a decline in larger sales in 2013, and Average Price remained almost unchanged at $1,161,876.
Montecito is experiencing the same lack of inventory that the rest of the market is struggling with. The number of Active Listings is down 12% . The Number of Sales is down 1% at 145. As noted above, a lack of larger estate sales has resulted in a decline of Average Price 9% to $2,899,916. However, Median Price sky rocketed 32% to $2,350,000! A recent article in Forbes lists Montecito as one of the Top 25 Places to Retire “if you can live absolutely anywhere you want”. They got that right!
There are currently seven Active Listings in Birnam Wood Golf Club, ranging from $2,495,000 to $19,500,000. There is one Pending Listing- 535 McLean Lane, listed at $2,750,000. So far in 2013, there have been six sales: 2091 Stratford Place at $2,438,000; 2029 Boundary Drive at $2,463,000; 1931 Boundary Drive at $2,750,000; 513 Crocker Sperry at $2,850,000; 1975 Inverness Lane at $2,850,000; and 2060 Birnam Wood Drive at $4,395,000
Director, Estates Division
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices