There have been a lot of news stories lately about what is happening with the real estate market. Some are upbeat, some are pessimistic and some are downright apocalyptic about the future of real estate. It is important to remember that “the” real estate market is made up of thousands of “local” markets. Simply put, market conditions in Santa Barbara are significantly different than in many other markets. Even within our county, market conditions vary dramatically. Here is a brief overview of what is going on along the South Coast:
Number of Sales
For summer months, May-September, the number of sales reported through the MLS (704) was up 7% over 2006 (659), but down 45% compared to 2005 (1275).
While published reports on defaults and foreclosures are up significantly on a county level, the overwhelming majority are in Lompoc and Santa Maria. The rate of foreclosure along the South Coast is less than 1 per 1000 households.
Despite the many news stories about “mortgage meltdowns”, mortgage money remains plentiful and interest rates are still attractive for borrowers with good credit. However, underwriting standards are stricter, greatly reducing loans that allowed borrowers to purchase homes they couldn’t really afford.