While this year started out a little slow, the Santa Barbara metro area real estate market was solidly on track in April.
Single-family homes under contract (pending) increased from 102 in March to 119 in April, or an increase of 17 percent. The pending home count is an indicator of likely future homes sales.
Completed single-family home sales increased from 67 in March to 97 in April, or an increase of 45 percent. This illustrates how the slow market earlier in the year is reflected in March, and the upswing in pending home sales is reflected in April.
While home sales increased, so did the median sold price, from $992,400 in March to $1.15 million in April, or an increase of 16 percent.
Inventory is still extremely low at 307 single-family homes actively listed for sale, or roughly three months worth at our current sales rate. Although our sold and pending numbers are below April 2013, which was 125 and 133 respectively, our median sale price increased 24 percent above last year's April median price of $920,000.
While single-family homes may have slowed slightly from last year, condos are doing better. Pending condos increased from 43 in April 2013 to 53 in April 2014, or an increase of 23 percent year over year. Condos sold increased from 36 in April 2013 to 42 in April 2014, or an increase of 17 percent.
While transactions year over year increased, the median price only increased 7 percent to $602,000. The increase in sales with a smaller increase in prices may reflect a larger increase in available inventory, suppressing prices while giving more buyers a chance at ownership.
While our market is subject to irregular increases and decreases of both buyers and sellers, it appears we are strong as we plough through our peak season.
— Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.