Closed and pending (under contract) single-family homes are off significantly from last year, but prices are up while inventory is relatively the same.
This February saw 52 homes sold and 73 go under contract. Last year's torrid February saw 80 homes close escrow and 121 go under contract.
The median sales price has increased only from $935,500 to $977,000, but the median price of homes going under contract has increased from $949,000 to $1,185,000.
This typically foreshadows a higher median sales price as these homes close escrow in the coming months.
The current inventory (active listings for sale) is almost unchanged at 265 homes. The time on market for sold homes has dropped from 90 days in February 2013 to 51 days this February.
What this means is that, although we don’t have the feeding frenzy we had at the beginning of last year, the market is still strong. We continue to have a shortage of lower-priced, single-family homes to sell, which is keeping the median pending price high.
For a seller, now is a good time to list as home prices may have reached a plateau. For buyers, there may be less competition at the moment, and interest rates are still very reasonable — in the low 4 percent range.
Be sure to consult with a Realtor for any of your real estate needs.
— Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.