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Local News

Real-Estate Inventory Has Tightened but Buyer’s Market Prevails

Sellers appear to relent as negotiations with buyers over sale terms increase.

The June real-estate sales numbers show us we are in a buyer’s market even though inventory has tightened from 13 months’ supply since December. Our sales indicate approximately an eight-month supply of homes based on the market velocity. The volume of residential sales transactions reported between Carpinteria and Goleta were 96 transactions, down from 137 during the same period last year. We see more negotiating with buyers out there to make a sale that works for both parties, where in recent years the sellers were not interested in accepting anything under their purchase price. There are still multiple-offer transactions happening on properties that are priced well.

With home loan rates still historically low at around 6.5 percent, recently up over the past three weeks by almost a point, which cost buyers around 13 percent more on their monthly payment. This is a huge increase in the amount of home that buyers can affordably purchase. Also, until the end of the year our conforming-loan limit has been raised to $729,750, then is due to reduce to the previous level of $417,000. This allows buyers to borrow more money at lower rates today.

Did you know that our Multiple Listing Service has 139 homes listed under $900,000 and 64 condos under $500,000? I remember when inventory was at a two to three-month supply in the entire MLS system. I have seen this cycle before. People buy and sell homes every day based on their needs not the market, so I guess the real question is, how long do you plan on staying in Santa Barbara? If it is three years or more this may be your opportune time to act. Owning a home can improve your quality of life and secure your costs at today’s rates.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Village Properties Realtors, is vice president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors She can be contacted at [email protected]

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