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Good news for the housing market

January 3, 2017

Most predictors point to growth for the U.S. housing market in 2017. One of the most optimistic outlooks has just surfaced from economist and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller who indicates that an upcoming housing boom is not out of the question. To read the full article click here. With slightly rising interest rates it’s pointed out that many buyers may begin to lock in and secure housing before rates go up significantly. Investors are also betting that Trump will follow through on may campaign promises that could fuel the housing market, with backing from the now Republican majority Congress.

Zillow and Redfin are predicting that home values in 2017 will grow 3.6 percent and median prices 5.3 percent respectively, with inventory and number of home sales expected to increase and days on the market for homes expected to decrease.

I look forward to keeping you up-to-date on local offerings, real estate activity and market trends in the Santa Barbara area throughout the new year and appreciate your inquiries.

Happy Holidays in Santa Barbara

December 20, 2016

Mild temperatures in the mid to upper sixties and mostly sunny skies expected for the remainder of the year make Santa Barbara a great location to enjoy the holidays. In addition to all the wonderful outdoor activities and beautiful scenery that can be enjoyed there are plenty of special holiday events, celebrations and dining opportunities happening around town. For information on several spots that will be bringing in the holiday cheer click here.

The holidays are also a great time for those who’d like to look at real estate while off work or in areas they’ll be visiting in. There are many properties currently available in Santa Barbara to consider, not all of which are being actively advertised. Some of these properties have been temporarily taken “off the market” for the holidays, or are being prepared as new listings to be showcased after the first of the year. Prior to officially marketing many sellers are quietly advertising their properties as being available to interested buyers, with showings arrangeable by appointment.

I hope to see you out and about in Santa Barbara over the holiday season and appreciate any inquiries you have regarding current or up and coming real estate offerings in the area.

Santa Barbara still in recovery

December 6, 2016

It’s been widely publicized over the past week that U.S. home prices have just surpassed record highs set a decade ago. Details can be read in an article published by HousingWire, along with data collected by Case-Shiller, through the following links: HousingWire, Case-Shiller.

Reading past the headlines of articles on the subject one can see that the new record highs are highly dependent on the area of the country you live in, and when the effects of inflation are factored in home prices are relatively still about 20% below peak.

The 2016 median home price for the Santa Barbara area currently stands at $1.2M, which is a 4% increase over last year. In 2005 the Santa Barbara area real estate market experienced its still standing record median home price high of $1.275M.

If median home price gains continue at their current pace then Santa Barbara won’t surpass its previous record level until mid-2018, giving local buyers the opportunity to capitalize on lower prices and interest rates than will likely be seen in the future.

Thanks to everyone for sending in your real estate inquiries. I appreciated the opportunity to assist you throughout this holiday season and eventful upcoming year.

Mid-quarter Santa Barbara market stats

November 15, 2016

Following are the current YTD and mid-Q4 housing market stats for Santa Barbara and surrounding areas. Condos have decreased in every category except for median price, and houses have had increased in inventory, number under contract (mid-Q4), number sold (mid-Q4), and median price.

YTD – Percentage Change Over Last Year

Condos: 10% decrease in number of listings, 23% decrease in pending sales, 24% decrease in number sold, 16% decrease in sold volume, 7% increase in median price from $595,000 to $640,000.

Houses: 5% increase in number of listings, 11% decrease in pending sales, 6% decrease in number sold, 13% decrease in sold volume, 3% increase in median price from $1.155M to $1.2M.

Mid-Q4 – Percentage Change Over Last Year

Condos: 41% decrease in new listings, 15% decrease in pending sales, 12% decrease in number sold, 20% decrease in sold volume, 5% increase in median price from $617,500 to $649,000.

Houses: 22% increase in new listings, 22% increase in pending sales, 4% increase in number sold, 19% decrease in sold volume, 5% increase in median price from $1.032M to $1.09M.

It will be interesting to see how year-end numbers finish up for Santa Barbara’s real estate market. Many home buyers have come off the fence in the past month and a half, prompted by new inventory and a previous lack of buyer competition for available properties. I look forward to keeping you posted with the latest news and appreciate your inquiries.

Housing and water in Santa Barbara

October 25, 2016

With the big rains that were expected for Santa Barbara last season and didn’t happen the city is preparing to tap into new water sources outside of their usual supply from Lake Cachuma, state water, ground water, local streams and reservoirs, and recycled water.

First on the list is the new Charles E. Meyer Desalination Facility, located to the east of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone at 525 E. Yanonali Street, which is expected to fill about 30% (3,125 acre-feet per year) of Santa Barbara’s demand for water. The facility was originally targeted to open this month but due to power supply corrections and added environmental safety elements is now scheduled to open in January 2017 at an extra cost of $4 million.

For five other Santa Barbara County water agencies (Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Santa Maria, Solvang and the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District) a plan is pending to get over 12,000 acre-feet per year back from their suspended amount of State Water Project deliveries, dating back to the early 1980’s. The plan is waiting approval from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 1st. These agencies could in turn sell water to the Montecito Water District and Goleta Water District just as Santa Maria has done in the recent past.

Santa Barbara will also explore new water purchases from out of the area next year should the drought weather pattern continue in Southern California and wet winter pattern continue to the north. Residents of Santa Barbara are encouraged to stay aware of their water usage and conserve as much as possible during the drought. References on water conservation and awareness are available at www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/pw/resources/conservation/ and http://www.waterwisesb.org/.

Upcoming Santa Barbara festivals and events

October 4, 2016

The fall season and month of October is a great time to be in Santa Barbara and surrounding communities. Along with plenty of beautiful real estate to look at there are many events, festivals, and some of the best weather of the year to enjoy. Following are several activities taking place. To experience some of the best real estate currently available in the area simply contact John@SearchSantaBarbara.com. Your inquiries and touring requests are appreciated!

Oct. 7 – Teacher’s Fund Golf Tournament & Party (sponsored by Village Properties), Glen Annie Golf Course, 12pm & 5pm

Oct. 7-10 – Celebration of Harvest Festival & Grand Tasting, Tasting Rooms throughout Santa Barbara Wine County & Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, 11am & 12pm

Oct. 7-9 – California Avocado Festival, Linden Avenue, Friday 1-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm & Sunday 10am-6pm

Oct. 15 – Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, Santa Barbara Harbor, 10am-5pm

Oct. 15 – Santa Barbara Beer Festival, Elings Park, 12–4pm

Oct. 20 – Santa Barbara Best Fest, Carriage Museum at 129 Castillo Street, 5:30-9pm

Oct. 29 – Fall Family Festival, Cliff Drive Care Center, 11am-2pm

Nov. 5 – Comedy & Magic Festival, Plaza Playhouse Theater at 4916 Carpinteria Avenue, 7pm

Current housing supply in Santa Barbara

September 20, 2016

Available homes and condos for sale in the Santa Barbara area has risen substantially this year with a 33% increase over the same time last year. The last time the housing supply in Santa Barbara was this high was in 2011. The big difference between now and 2011 is the “months supply of inventory” or how long it would take the available inventory of properties to sell at the given pace of sales. You can easily calculate this by taking the number of properties on the market and dividing by the number of sales over the previous month. In 2011 there were 779 homes and condos on the market and 120 sales from August to September, which calculates to a 6.5 months supply of inventory. This year there are 662 homes and condos on the market with 274 sales over the past month, which calculates to a much lower 2.4 months supply of inventory.

The healthy amount of inventory is certainly nice for buyers and the healthy number of sales for sellers. Purely by the current numbers one can confidently say that it’s a good time to buy or sell. It’s not often with the continual high demand and low supply of housing in the Santa Barbara area that you see such a balance. I appreciate any feedback or inquires you have and thank you for allowing me to assist with any of your current real estate needs whether you’re looking to buy or sell.