Lack of Inventory Extremely Tough On Buyers Here in Santa Barbara

When will we see the next good run of new inventory here in the housing market in Santa Barbara?

This is a question that everyone across the board is asking each other from buyers, to lenders, to real estate agents. Every statistic we see as well as just the true pulse on the market points out that there are more buyers than real estate to choose from.  Compared to just the last few years, we are roughly down 50% on listings.  It feels tougher than this at times.

Lack of Condo Inventory

As that market came down over the last several years, sellers were selling condos at a huge discount to simply attract any buyer they could.  Even as early as the start of 2012, if you were looking at entry level condos in the $300,000 to $500,000 price point, you had several to choose from.  If you did not like what was on the market you could wait for the next one and then make a reasonable offer.  6 months later we are in an extremely different market.  There are way more condo buyers out there than inventory.  I have had clients write on 3 condos in the last 4 months where there were a minimum of 5 offers (one had 9 offers).  Every one of these condos has sold over asking.

San Roque and The Mesa Lack of Inventory

Two of the most desired neighborhoods in Santa Barbara tend to be San Roque and The Mesa.  Your average home generally is priced around $700,000 to $1.1 million and has a lot to offer buyers.  Once again we are seeing an extreme lack of inventory here.  I have buyers that are looking in both areas almost all the time and over the last 3 months the market has really changed.  Almost anything that comes on that is priced normal and is in at lease decent condition tends to sell within days to only a few weeks...often now at asking price.  In these areas we are also seeing multiple offers and sales over asking price.

In San Roque currently there are only 15 listings including condos and single family homes.  Of these, I would say up to 90% of these homes range from being simply high priced to very high priced and / or too rough and thus need too much work.  This leaves only 1 to 2 homes to choose from at any given time.  All the homes that were priced well (normal) have sold.

On The Mesa the inventory is a little better, but similar issues.  Thus buyers are looking at usually only about 2-3 homes to choose from in their price range. One big message for any buyers is that if you are looking casually, you most likely will not come close to finding what you are looking for.  You have to be working hard, with an agent and on the ball the day new homes come on the market. Let's hope for some increase in inventory here very soon. 

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    Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative.  Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.  

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