Sunday, July 15 , 2018, 4:24 pm | Fair 77º


Local News

Key Real Estate Indicators Point to a Recovery

South Coast sales prices continue to rise, to $1,770,230, while foreclosure rate drops to eight.

Since we all live in the Santa Barbara area, enjoying the wonderful weather, abundant activities, our friends and families, knowing that our homes have acted like an automatic savings account for us, our home values are important to us all.

I track statistics from the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service, and on the first day of each month I look at the numbers for the previous month’s activity. These are not official as the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, or SBAOR, pulls its numbers on the 5th of each month. But I like to know ahead of time so I’ve been recording the activity for about a year and a half. I have found these numbers to be very helpful and thought you might also.

Our market is healthy in Santa Barbara. Although the sales volume was down slightly in May, to 96 sales, our average sales price has been rising steadily for the past three months, to $1,770,230 currently from the $1,672,131 average sales price in May 2007. Homes were on the market 19 days longer this May than a year earlier. Once again, we see that homes priced well are selling easily — some with multiple offers. Bill Watkins, executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, recently called these main economic indicators “boringly steady.”

The South Coast’s foreclosure rate is down from a high of 13 in November to eight last month, a number that is easily absorbed into our demand and not affecting prices locally. Hard-hit areas like Santa Maria and San Diego are reporting increases in their sales volumes for the past 45 days or so. Now that lenders are required by the government to work with borrowers who in 2005-06 took some of the worst loans ever written, loans adjusting in 2009 should not be a factor in the housing market.

Like everything else in life, real estate comes in cycles and all key indicators are showing signs that we are in recovery.

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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