4th Quarter 2017
Nationwide, inventory levels have declined for 27 consecutive months and are about 6 ½% lower than a year ago. Prices have increased, year-over-year for 66 straight months, and are up about 5 ½% compared to this time last year. Interest rates are still below 4% and are at their lowest level since late 2016. The stock market is currently at an all-time high (the Dow is over 22,500). According to the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales… What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”
Santa Barbara - South Coast
The inventory shortages that most parts of the country have been experiencing this past year seem to be finally hitting our area. After seeing housing supply increase during the first half of 2017, inventory declined sharply during the third quarter. Total Active Listings fell 9% to 1273. Despite shrinking supply, sales increased 1% as the Number Sold rose to 486. The decline in inventory and rise in sales led to higher prices. Average Sale Price climbed 8% to $1,437,891 and Median Sale Price bumped up 3% to $987,000. Overall, Sold Volume jumped 9% to $698,814,927. On average, properties along the South Coast sold for 95% of their last list price – a decline of 1% compared to the same period last year.
After a pretty lackluster 2016, the Montecito market seems to have turned the corner. I ended my last newsletter by stating “I expect the strong momentum of the second quarter to continue into the third quarter for the Montecito market.” I am pleased to report that both sales and prices improved substantially in Montecito during the third quarter. Total Active Listings rose 2% to 293. The Number Sold jumped an impressive 11% to 66. Average Sale Price climbed 21% to $3,540,091 and Median Sale Price skyrocketed 47% to $3,325,000! Overall, Sold Volume increased 35% to $233,646,013. On average, properties in Montecito sold for 91% of their last list price – a decline of 1% compared to the same period last year. The largest sale in Montecito during the third quarter was 805 Ayala Lane for $7,500,000.
Birnam Wood Golf Club
There are presently four Active MLS Listings in Birnam Wood Golf Club: 2129 Forge Road - $4,485,000; 534 Las Fuentes Drive - $5,650,000; 2085 Birnam Wood Drive - $5,650,000; and, 514 Las Fuentes Drive - $9,495,0000. There was one closed sale during the third quarter: 511 Las Fuentes Drive – sold for $4,900,000. There are currently no MLS Pending Sales in Birnam Wood.
Upper East/ San Roque
Despite significantly reduced inventory levels, sales improved in the Upper East/ San Roque (MLS Area 15) during the third quarter of 2017. Total Active Listings dropped 14% to 297. The Number Sold climbed 1% to 125. Prices were mixed: Average Sale Price slipped 3% to $1,352,712, while Median Sale Price climbed 5% to $1,170,000. Overall, Sold Volume fell 2% to $169,089,115. On average, properties in the Upper East/ San Roque sold for 97% of their last list price – exactly the same as a year ago.
Despite significantly reduced inventory levels, sales improved substantially on the Mesa/ in Samarkand (MLS Area 20) during the third quarter of 2017. Total Active Listings fell 19% to 203. The Number Sold rose 6% to 103. Prices were nearly unchanged, as Average Sale Price inched up to $1,092,762 and Median Sale Price climbed to $955,000. Overall, Sold Volume improved 6% to $112,554,575. On Average, properties on the Mesa/ in Samarkand sold for 98% of their last list price – an increase of 1% compared to the same period last year.
Santa Barbara/Goleta North
Activity in the Santa Barbara Foothills and Goleta North (MLS Area 35) was more consistent during the third quarter of 2017 than in any other area along the South Coast. Total Active Listings were unchanged at 170. The Number Sold was also unchanged at 80. Average Sale Price slid 1% to $871,929, while Median Sale Price rose 4% to $802,500. Overall, Sold Volume was almost unchaged at $69,754,390. On average, properties in MLS Area 35 sold for 98% of their last list price – identical to the same time period last year.
Hope Ranch saw the largest increase in inventory of an area along the South Coast during the third quarter of 2017, as Total Active Listings jumped 32% to 61. Despite improved selection, sales were flat as only 6 properties sold during the third quarter – a decline of 14%. Prices were mixed: Average Sales Price slid 3% to $2943,000 while Median Sale Price rose 7% to $2,550,000. Overall, Sold Volume fell 17% to $17,658,000. On average, properties in Hope Ranch sold for 93% of their last list price – a decline of 2% compared to the same period last year.
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Director, Estates Division
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices