Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 4:21 am | Fair 36º


Ed Fuller: Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Picking Up

After an unexpectedly slow start to the year, the Santa Barbara metro real estate market appears to be springing to life along with our flowering flora.

Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

After a strong December, a number of factors may have contributed to the slow start. These include new qualified mortgage rules, which gave buyers using loans a hair cut in purchasing power, and new lower maximum Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan limits.

There was also a dearth of lower-priced homes for sale, higher prices and a general exit of investors from the market.

Although a small time frame is not a reliable snapshot, it can provide a more immediate picture of housing trends. For the past 15 days, 55 single-family homes went under contract (pending) with a median list price of $1,349,000. For the same time period in January, 35 homes went pending with a median list price of $999,000.

That’s a 57 percent increase in homes going under contract, and a 35 percent increase in median list price for those homes.

Condo sales are improving, but more modestly, with a 30 percent increase in pending units for the same periods. The median list price of pending condos from the January period to the past 15 days increased from $517,000 to $549,500, or 6 percent.

Again, shorter time periods have greater sensitivity to market volatility, but this still demonstrates an improving current real estate market for condos and especially for single-family homes. Buyers should consider getting in now before conditions swing more in favor of sellers, and those looking to sell should feel comfortable that their homes, if priced right, will receive a warm reception.

As always, be sure the agent you work with is a Realtor.

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >