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Santa Barbara ca Real Estate | Mid-year Market Update, Statistics & Report

Updated: Sep 28

Mid-Year Real Estate Update 2021 | A Tale of Three Communities

Almost everyone is aware that the real estate market has been on a roll. After the initial “Covid Crash” in from March through June last year, the market headed to recovery with the “Covid Bump,” which started a year ago and picked up steam like a runaway train.

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santa barbara ca real estate | Q2 Real Estate Update Stats

Since last summer, the South Coast median price for houses and PUDs (planned unit development homes) has moved higher than ever and at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen. The pace of sales activity has been sustained at an unbelievable rate for the past 12 months with no let-up and with no end in sight. Overall, by the end of June this year, 65% more homes sold compared to the same period in 2020, and the median sale price, now $1,995,000, is an increase of 55% from last year.


Not all areas of the South Coast are experiencing this exciting real estate ride to the same degree. Our “Tale of Three Communities” goes something like this: Crazy (Goleta), crazier (Santa Barbara), and off-the-charts crazy (Montecito), all relative to what we would consider a “normal” year of real estate sales activity.

Goleta has the highest proportion of entry level housing compared to Santa Barbara and Montecito. In Goleta’s real estate market, the median home price increased 18% since a year ago and now stands at $1,250,000. Although 18% is a big yearly jump compared to the historic average annual increase in home values of around 5%, we actually have seen this level of increase before. In addition, with 167 houses selling from January to the end of June, Goleta showed a 48% rise in the number of sales over 2020. The pace of sales is running at a good clip, measured as “months of inventory” — theoretically how long it would take for all properties on the market to sell if no other homes were listed. For Goleta, months of inventory is 0.8 month, or about 24 days. [For more Stats on the sales prices in Goleta, or any part of Santa Barbara, visit the Market Reports on our blog for June, July and August.]

That’s about as strong of a seller’s market as you can get. (Here's a free booklet on how to squeeze every last dollar out of your home sale!)

Then there’s Montecito at the high end of the “crazy prices” spectrum, with basically no entry-level housing and a preponderance of luxury homes. Buyer competition has been fierce in Montecito to say the least, with overbids occasionally coming in $1,000,000 or more higher than list price. By spring of 2020, Montecito real estate was well into its comeback from the horrible jolt of the 2018 debris flow, and the past 12 months have been an absolute marathon! With 171 sales so far this year, Montecito has had 97% more sales than in 2020—almost double! The median sale price of home in Montcito jumped up 49% compared to the end of June last year and now stands at $4,850,000 — and that rate of increase is something very new indeed. Regarding the pace of sales, two years ago Montecito’s months of inventory was at 8.9, well into buyer’s market

territory. By June 2020, months of inventory had decreased to 3.1 months, moving into seller’s market conditions. Now at 2.6 months of inventory, Montecito remains in a solid seller’s market.

In between is Santa Barbara, both geographically and statistically as far as this year’s real estate market goes. As of the end of June this year, 62% more homes

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sold than last year at this same time, and the median sale price — $1,750,000 — is an increase of 42%—again, something we have never seen before in a year’s time. These increase percentages, less dramatic than Montecito but more than Goleta, reflect Santa Barbara’s mix of entry-level, mid-range and luxury properties compared to Goleta and Montecito. Not surprisingly, the months of inventory is very low in Santa Barbara—24 days (0.8 month), just like Goleta. This continues the strengthening seller’s market trend experienced over the last two years in Santa Barbara, with this year being the strongest.

So there you have it, our Tale of Three Communities — all experiencing a very busy

real estate market, yet with differences that depend a great deal upon each

community’s mix of homes and the income levels of those who are buying in those areas. Don't stress - be excited! Here's a great resource that's packed with sage advice on how to buy and sell your Santa Barbara home at the same time.

Lastly, a note on the condo market, where perhaps the best buys may be found at this time. Compared to last year, the median price of condominiums is $797,000, up 17%, and a whopping 79% more condos sold the first half of this year compared to the same months last year. Looking closer at the data, the median price of Goleta condominiums rose 12% compared to last year, and the Santa Barbara condo median rose 20%. Oddly, however, the median sale price of Montecito condominiums ticked down 1% this year, dramatically underperforming with regard to price compared to the rest of the local real estate market. Despite the stagnating median price, the number of Montecito condo sales this year is nearly double that of last year.

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Contact Spann and Associates for your winning strategy in the Santa Barbara Real Estate market

With this fast-paced Real Estate market and such variability between and within communities, now more than ever a licensed Realtor is an invaluable asset for buyers and sellers. Contact Spann & Associates to discuss your unique situation. Our combined experience of over 45 years in Santa Barbara Real Estate has afforded our clients with winning strategies. Our marketing gets higher returns in this market! We've sold property for 20% (even more!) above asking price. In the midst of bidding wars, we are able to negotiate and strategize so that our buyers WIN the house of their dreams, instead of having to go back to the drawing board.

More Resources for you: 1. Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth? Find out in this article the things you need to consider when selling your Santa Barbara home.


2. Five (5) Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed - It's no secret that Santa Barbara Real Estate Sales are booming - take a look HERE at what trends are important to consider in your decision to buy or sell any real estate in California.


3. [FREE BOOKLET] Santa Barbara Real Estate 101: How to squeeze every last dollar on your Home sale!


Original Article "A Tale of Three Communities" was written by Sue Irwin, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Sue is a long-time member of the Statistical Review Committee for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

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