Santa Barbara Area Tops in Hot Real Estate Market

Here is a great article from Inman News about the very strong California real estate market overall... and especially here in Santa Barbara.  This is pretty much in line with what I have been writing about the last 6 months and what we are experiencing. Editor's note: Data from's June 2012 Real Estate Trend Data Report. The report analyzes data for 146 U.S. metros and includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops.

Santa Barbara Coastline Three California metros -- Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, San Francisco and Oakland -- shot to the top five of metros with the largest year-over-year percentage median list price jump, according to data through June 2012. They also claim the highest list prices in the top 10 (outside of Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(D.C.)'s $425,000) with June 2012 median list prices of $699,000, $725,000 and $379,000, respectively. Median list prices in the country are on the rise, too. For the sixth month in a row, median list prices of for-sale U.S. homes -- at $195,000 as of June -- have increased from the previous month, according to's June 2012 real estate report.

This trend, along with a 20 percent draw down in inventory -- and close to 10 percent fewer days of for-sale homes on market -- from a year ago, indicate to some that U.S. housing is in the gentle stages of a recovery, on the upcurve of its long, low bottom. The U.S.-wide median list price rose to $195,000 in June, 0.05 percent higher than May's median list price and 2.68 percent higher than last June's. Throughout the country, median list prices have held steady for roughly the last two years, after experiencing a precipitous slide from a high of $250,000 in 2007, when first started tracking them. However, this six-month stretch of consecutive month-over-month median list price increase through June 2012 is the longest sustained stretch of growth this chart has seen. 

Another indicator of a general housing recovery -- for-sale inventory is down 19.35 percent from June 2011 to 1.89 million homes. And it's fresher -- down 9.67 percent to a median 84 days on market from a 93-day mark a year ago. Also, this month's data begins to solidify a geographical boom-to-bust-to-recovery trend: a hard-hit-area comeback. The inventory drop and simultaneous median list price jump that occurred in Florida during the last half of 2011 has shifted to California (and Seattle, Phoenix and Atlanta) in the first half of this year where seven of the top 10 metros for year-over-year (June 2011 to June 2012) inventory drop occurred. In another sign of the California-heavy nature of the current housing recovery, nearly half of the metros in the top 20 for month-over-month (May 2012 to June 2012) median list price increases, by percentage increase, are in California. Top 10 metros, in order, for May 2012 to June 2012 median list price increases, by percentage of growth:

  1. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.
  2. Bakersfield, Calif.
  3. Charleston, W.Va.
  4. Detroit, Mich.
  5. Reno, Nev.
  6. San Jose, Calif.
  7. Orlando, Fla.
  8. San Francisco
  9. Minneapolis-St. Paul,
  10. Minn.-Wisc.(Minn.)

Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif., and the San Francisco Bay Area metros of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose -- all in the top 12 now for year-over-year median list price increase (by percentage increase) -- were not in the top 20 in January.  In fact, no California cities cracked the top 20 for year-over-year median list price increases (by percentage growth) that month.  Santa Barbara now tops all 146 metros tracks for year-over-year percentage median list price increase.

For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway.

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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