First Quarter, 1998
1997 turned out to be the most dynamic year for local real estate (in a positive way) in the last decade. Overall number of sales for all areas (Montecito, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria/Summerland) was up in 1997 over 35% compared to 1996. The median price rose almost 13% in 1997 to $349,900 and the average price rose 17% to $495,700!
We are currently experiencing probably the strongest Sellers market ever, with housing supplies at an all-time low, and tremendous demand.
What to Expect in 1998:
As more and more people become aware of the significant tax advantages afforded real estate by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, this should help increase the supply of houses for sale. As long as the local, state, and national economies continue to be healthy, demand for local housing will continue to be strong. Consumer confidence is good, interest rates are incredibly attractive, so, all indications point to another dynamic year for Santa Barbara real estate.
Expect to see a decrease in the overall number of sales in 1998 compared to 1997. There simply is not, nor do I expect there to be the same supplies of houses available for sale in 1998 that there was in 1997. Prices should continue to rise in 1998, especially until inventory levels increase. Now is a good time to reassess tax and estate planning and insurance needs.