For the Home Estate/PUD market of Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria, Summerland and Goleta after seeing a rise in the numbers of sales each month from June to August, September 2011saw a decline in the numbers of properties sold down to 85 from the high of 97 the previous month. The median sales price did go up however to $800,000 from $739,000 in August but, the average sales price declined from approximately $1.2 milllion in August to about $1.178 million in September.
The reason for the rise in the median sales price was a decline in sales below $1 million to 53 September from 67 in August while sales from $1 to $2 million rose from 17 to 23 for the month. Sales above $2 fell off markedly however to 9 down from 10 with 1 transaction over $5 million. Escrows also declined in September down to 79 from 108 in August and the median list price on those escrows fell from $809,000 in August to $729,000 in September. The decline in both the median list price of escrows and median sold price on closed homes can be tied at least in part to the decline of the FHA maximum loan amount which was $729,000. That maximum loan amount supported the $850,000 median sales price which held stable through ’09 and ’10.
The year over year numbers have sales about 4% above where they were last year at this time and the numbers of escrows about 15% ahead of last year’s pace. But, the median sales price has fallen down to $815,000 from $850,000 the previous year. If sales from $1 to $2 million become more prevalent the yearly median sales price will come up a little but the trend at this time is still downward with about a 4% drop for the whole area from where it was last year and without Hope Ranch and Montecito it’s down about 8%.
Despite the numbers of home sales falling in September the outlook for the rest of the year remains strong because of all the escrows that are still currently open. The median sales price and median list price on those escrows is trending down however with the majority of the activity still coming in the $450,000 to $750,000 range.
On the other hand, condos appear to be moving forward currently with even a slight upward movement in prices. Both extremes in condo pricing had a substantial amount of activity in September with 3 sales below $200,000 and 4 sales above $1 million while the majority of the action centered in the $400,000 to $550,000 range.
With Single Family Home escrows still about 15% ahead of last year sales should be strong through the end of the year and even though the numbers of condo sales remains about 9% behind where it was last year the numbers of opened condo escrows also point to a good finish for 2011.