Elaine Abercrombie

We have all heard about “supply and demand” and how they affect prices. Our residential market from Carpinteria to Goleta in the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service is reporting the lowest supply of homes in more than two years. At this time, we have only a 162-day supply.

With the current market velocity sitting at just over a five-month supply of homes, our area is now a balanced market. The byproducts of a balanced market are stable prices.

Market sales have been steady in all areas for the month of April — even Hope Ranch had two sales, and Montecito’s supply of homes is down to just over an eight-month supply with an average sold price of $2,698,517. The area with the least amount of inventory is once again Goleta South, the area from the freeway and Highway 154 out to Gaviota. The supply in that area is just over 2½ months with a 70-five day supply.

The interesting thing is that even with more than eight new listings a day and buyers stepping up to write acceptable offers to sellers, there are still buyers who are taking a wait-and-see position. With interest rates having risen over three-quarters of a percent in the past 12 months, I wonder what these buyers are waiting for. Higher interest rates?

When interest rates rise, buyers will pay more each month for a lesser priced property. That would be 360 times for the next 30 years. Here is where a bit of insight can save a buyer thousands of dollars.

The days a property sits on the market before attracting an offer have declined as well, from 99 days in January to 69 days for April. Those motivated buyers are making great investments for their long-term financial future, while the sellers are working with the offers they receive to move on to their next goal.

There are fabulous deals out there today. The best thing to say in five years is that I got a home at the best time ever.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes, is past president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at elaine@afhomes.net or at 805.450.0086.