The highest monthly median sold price for single-family homes in the Santa Barbara metro area was $1,475,000 in September 2005. This August, the median sold price was $1,472,500, jumping 25 percent from July’s $1,178,500.

Ed Fuller

Ed Fuller

The median price, meaning half the homes sold were more expensive and half were less expensive, can be skewed upward with a higher number of more expensive homes sold and may not indicate a rise in overall price levels.

A big factor in this rise were sales over $2 million, which accounted for 35 percent of the total in August. While the median price swung up, most other statistics were relatively unchanged with closed sales of single-family homes off 6 percent, going from 94 in July to 88 in August.

Pending sales were up to 104 in August from July’s 102. The median list price of pending home sales dropped from $1,272,500 in July to $1,105,000 in August, emphasizing the anomaly of August’s near-record median sold price.

Inventory was down slightly to 334 at the end of August from 339 at the end of July.

In August, five homes sold for $5 million or more, with the highest price being $8.4 million for an ocean bluff home on Cliff Drive next to Hope Ranch.

At the bottom end of the single-family home market in the Santa Barbara metro area, six homes sold for $700,000 or less in August with the lowest being $575,000 for a home on North Alisos Street.

At the end of August, there were 25 homes for sale under $700,000 in the Santa Barbara metro area. 

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.