It's better than you think...
The news is full of stories about the pandemic’s effect on lives, the economy, and real estate across the country. Nationally real estate sales were down by 8.5% in March and according most sources the trend continued through April.
We decided to zero in on the effect we are seeing in Santa Barbara. As you read through, you will see that Santa Barbara is doing better than the country as a whole.
The graphs are all derived from data collected by the Santa Barbara MLS. While the data is subject to some errors, omissions, and duplication, it should be representative of what is going on in our local market in the period of January through April 2020.
In each of the charts we compare this year’s activity to last year’s during the same period. The blue bars represent 2019 activity while the orange represents 2020. Numbers in all charts represent unit sales for the period. Data is specific exclusively to Santa Barbara, Goleta, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria, Summerland, and Montecito.
After a strong start to the year, the Santa Barbara market unit sales started to decline slightly in March, then fell by almost half in April. Montecito unit sales declined in April but were above 2019 during most of Q1 2020.
Despite these initial numbers it appears that there is a rebound of activity in the Santa Barbara Area area.
As of May 11, there have been 35 additional closed sales in Santa Barbara and 11 in Montecito.
New listings are down overall in Santa Barbara, but up significantly in Montecito. Since May 1, 93 new listings in Santa Barbara, 16 of which are in Montecito. As of May 15 there are 541 active lisitings on the MLS. There 160 listings in Montecito.
Pended Listings: These charts show listings going under contract during the specific month. Pending sales are up overall in Santa Barbara but down slightly in Montecito. (Chart does not include pends that occurred before January 1.
Status of Pended Listings: These charts show the status of pended listings for each month. They include listings that pended before 12/31. The charts indicate that a most pended listings close. Current pends are cumulative and suggest an uptick in buyer activity
For the time being, it seems that the Santa Barbara real estate market has avoided the pain suffered in other markets. While nationally year over year sales of existing homes dropped by 8.5%, Santa Barbara sales and Eucalyptus Hills sales, listings, and pendeds have held relatively steady. As of this writing, it appears that trend will continue to hold through May.
The strength of the market seems to be fueled by a surge of interest on the part of buyers from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other urban areas in search of space and safety. For those who can afford it, Santa Barbara can be a haven from the pandemic.
In the near term, at least this should have a positive effect on local real estate values.
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Pamela-Real Estate Romantic