As Santa Barbara warms up and schools let out, buyers' attentions turn to family and vacations, near and far. During my 35 years in the Santa Barbara real estate market, it has often seemed that sales cool a bit as the summer heats up. With the return from vacations and family visits, school and business come to mind as fall approaches.
Closed sales of single-family homes in the Santa Barbara metro area took a 6 percent summer nap, going from 101 in June to 94 in July. Pending sales were 102 in July, down 3 percent from June’s 105.
The median sales price in July, at $1,178,500, was almost identical to June’s $1,186,500. The median list price of pending home sales decreased slightly from $1,295,000 in June to $1,272,500 in July.
Inventory took a welcome increase, going from 314 at the end of June to 339 at the end of July, an 8 percent increase.
Most interestingly, the median list price of single-family homes for sale dropped from $2,750,000 at the end of May to $2,572,500 at the end of June, and to $2,150,000 at the end of July. This indicates the inventory is expanding in the bottom half of our market, providing greater choice for price-constrained buyers.
At the highest end of our market, there are 65 homes for sale over $5 million, with the highest priced at $49 million. In July, seven homes over $5 million sold, with the highest sales price being $20 million on the beach in Montecito.
At the bottom end of single-family homes in the Santa Barbara metro area, at the end of July, there were 22 for sale under $700,000.
In July, 11 homes under $700,000 closed escrow, with the lowest being a home on Conejo Road, almost next door to a landslide, that sold for $305,000.
— 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.