Real estate in Santa Barbara County is getting more expensive.
The average price of a single-family home that sold in March was $1.3 million in Santa Barbara County, according to a recent report from the California Association of Realtors.
That’s up from $1.05 million in February and $1.075 million in March 2021.
In San Luis Obispo County, the average price of a single-family home that sold last month was $903,000 — an increase from $830,500 in February and $737,500 in March 2021.
In comparison, the average price of a single-family home in March for Monterey County was $911,000, and in Santa Cruz, it was $1.6 million.
The Central Coast had the highest year-over-year price growth with a 20.4% increase for the region, according to C.A.R.
In Santa Barbara, the year-over-year price growth was 20.9%. In Santa Cruz, it was 45.5%, and in Santa Luis Obispo, it was 22.4%. However, Monterey County saw a decrease of 2.1%.
But the region also reported the sharpest decline in sales on a year-over-year basis, dropping 20.1%. According to C.A.R., housing demand in the Central Coast was particularly strong last year with sales increasing 31.8% in March 2021. Therefore, a sizable drop was anticipated, C.A.R. said.
In a recent memo to clients detailing the first quarter of 2022, Santa Barbara-based real-estate agents Mike and Kyle Richardson (“The Richardson Team”) said the high-sellers market has not resulted in any strong impacts in the Santa Barbara market thus far, “but with the extreme volatility of the stock market, the geopolitical sphere and rising interest rates, we can’t help but feel that changes are coming.”
“Although Santa Barbara is a luxury market that often trails behind national trends, historically, these kinds of interest rate hikes have had a lasting impact on purchasing power and market,” the memo said.
Overall, housing demand throughout California was strong, and median house prices set another record high, according to the California Association of Realtors.
The state’s median home price in March was $849,080, a new record. The previous record was set in August 2021 at $827,940. March’s average price was 11.9% higher than the year past, according to figures provided by C.A.R.
“With homes still selling at a rapid clip and more homes selling above asking price than last summer when prices were at record highs, California’s housing market continues to perform remarkably well as buyers enter the market to get ahead of rising mortgage interest rates,” C.A.R. President Otto Catrina, a Bay Area real estate broker, said. “An increase in active listings for the first time since prior to the pandemic should give consumers more options and alleviate some of the upward pressure on home prices, which bodes well for prospective buyers.”
Kyle Richardson highlighted the recent sale of 202 Salida Del Sol in Santa Barbara, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Mesa home. It had four offers, all over the asking price of $2.395 million. The house closed this week at $2.75 million.
Kyle Richardson recommended first-time homebuyers team up with a reputable agent, get pre-approved with a local lender and “be ready to jump on listings when they hit the market.”
“It’s a competitive market so you will need to be prepared to make a strong offer to beat out competition,” Kyle Richardson told the News-Press.
He suggested Buellton, Santa Ynez, Solvang and Ventura as communities with more inventory for first-time homebuyers to consider. These areas could be “a great stepping stone to ultimately purchasing a home in Santa Barbara,” he said.