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Santa Barbara Property Sales for May

Last month's sales consistent with April's. Goleta shows signs of strength.

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(LandAmerica Lawyers Title Co. graphic)

The number of transactions in Santa Barbara and surrounding communities has been showing some signs of improvement recently. March and April showed improvement from the previous month. I was thinking this trend might continue. I was wrong, but not that wrong.

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Greg Knowles

May had 132 properties sell, compared to the 135 properties in April. So, if you ask me, that is about the same; I’m trying to save face here. It is interesting that the numbers are almost exactly the same for April and May in 2006.

Do I have a prediction for June? I suspect June is going to be down from May’s number. With the Memorial Day holiday and school graduations, buyers seem to be distracted and we haven’t seen an increase in the escrows we have been opening.

I’ve broken down the Santa Barbara area to four different communities: Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, and Carpinteria/Summerland.

In Santa Barbara proper there was an 18 percent drop in the number of transactions. In April, Computer Oriented Real Estate Data, or CORT for short, reported 65 transactions and May saw only 53. The highest priced property was on Marina Drive and sold for $6,195,000. There were a number of low-end properties that closed during May, most of them condominiums.

The numbers reported for Goleta showed another story. There was an 80 percent increase in the number of transactions. That is one short of the highest number of transactions in the last three years. The lowest-priced property was an affordable unit on Via Lee that sold for $129,000. The highest-priced property in Goleta was an industrial building on Castilian Drive that went for $4 million.

The Montecito market continues to remain healthy. I think any time you report more than 20 sales in Montecito, that is a good number. There were 23 transactions that closed, which was a drop from April, but April’s number was 32, which is a very significant volume. The highest-priced sale CORT had for Montecito was reported as 351 and 363 Woodley Road for $10.5 million. There were three other properties reported sold above $5 million, which is pretty normal for Montecito.

The nine sales in Carpinteria/Summerland show no real significant change in that area. Some would argue that a property on Freehaven Drive that sold for $8.75 million is actually in Montecito, but CORT reported it in Summerland. There was one other significant sale reported in Carpinteria, on Sandyland Road for $3.95 million.

After reviewing the different submarkets that make up the South Coast, I find it very refreshing to see such a large number of sales in the Goleta area. This is one of the more affordable areas of our community and to see improvement in that market is exciting. If it can continue it will truly be a good stimulus for all the areas on the South Coast.

Click here for LandAmerica Lawyers Title Co.‘s May property sales map for the South Coast. Click here for maps covering the rest of Santa Barbara County hosted on The Santa Barbara Real Estate Blog. Links to these maps and maps for previous months are along the right side of the blog under Property Sales Maps.

Greg Knowles is vice president county manager of LandAmerica Lawyers Title Co. This article, which originally appeared on his Santa Barbara Real Estate blog, is being republished with permission. Click here to read more.

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