April sales were up for the month in volume of sales on the South Coast. From Carpinteria to Goleta, the residential sales total was 85 closed transactions compared to just 61 in March.

Elaine Abercrombie

Elaine Abercrombie

We moved from selling three homes a day to more than four since March. The supply of homes is tightening to a six-month supply from eight months, meaning if nothing else listed we would run out of inventory in only 197 days.

Some areas have less inventory of homes for sale than other areas.

Goleta for instance, has about a four-month supply while Montecito has the largest supply. That tells us that the low end of the market is selling quickly when the homes are priced right.

The South Coast overall has one buyer to six sellers, meaning we are still in a buyer’s market but moving toward a seller’s market with this tightening of inventory and the increase in market velocity. According to my sources who track the numbers in the North County, that market has one buyer to only three sellers. This puts the North County back in a seller’s market for the first time since 2004. Since the northern Santa Barbara County market turned prior to ours it only makes sense that we will follow. The question is how soon.

The opportunity in today’s market is great, with ample inventory from which to choose, interest rates historically low and sales being negotiated more frequently than earlier this year. Doesn’t it make you wonder how long this opportunity will last? People need to buy and sell homes every day, regardless of the news, and some buyers are getting really good deals right now.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Village Properties Realtors, is president-elect of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at elaine@villagesite.com.