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Elaine Abercrombie: May Real Estate Sales Buck Trend

The market conditions continue to make it a great time to buy or sell

The sales volume from Carpinteria to Goleta in May hit a high of 86 closed sales. It’s the highest number of sales reported in one month this year. Moreover, there are more than 140 sales pending.

Elaine Abercrombie
Elaine Abercrombie

In May 2008, there were 96 reported sales, and in May 2007, there were 137 reported. The market volume is increasing. We are coming from a 13-month supply of homes to only a six-month supply for the whole area. Have you secured your home and your financial future yet, or are you someone who thinks things will get worse before they get better?

The average sales price for May is up by nearly $300,000, a high for the year at $1,312,528. The nine sales for Montecito surely helped this average. Goleta remains the most active market with only four homes available of 16 that are priced at or below $500,000, and three of six condos available at or below $300,000.

With the majority of households in Goleta having a household income of $50,000 to $75,000, even these prices are a stretch. Can you imagine what will happen when interest rates increase to 9 percent, and what will happen when hyper-inflation is added? It will be difficult to afford even a mobile home. There are advantages to buying in today’s market.

There is great opportunity for buyers and sellers in this market since interest rates are now at an historic low. Supply is tightening, and sellers are still negotiating to get their homes sold. Why wait? If you are waiting for prices to decrease before interest rates increase, keep in mind that when interest rates increase just 1 percent, the payment increases 13 percent. Since home prices come down very slowly and interest rates can rise in only one hour, the choice seems clear.

At the end of 2004 and early 2005, when the market was at its height in home values, three home sales closed each day. We have good market activity in the area today, and we continue to help people with their housing needs everyday.

People are buying and selling homes every day, regardless of the economy. However, these market conditions can make it much easier to accomplish your goal.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Village Properties Realtors, is president-elect of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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