The first half of 2009 certainly has not brought any stability to the residential real estate market along our South Coast. While overall inventory numbers remain virtually unchanged, prices have continued to slide. Median prices have declined 21% to $710,000 and average prices have plummeted 36% to $1,052,247, levels not seen since 2003. However, on a positive note, the monthly number of sales has increased each month for the past 5 months.
On a national level, low interest rates (on conforming loans) and tax credits are spurring Buyer demand and helping to stabilize the national real estate market. Unfortunately, financing for higher priced properties is still difficult to obtain, and rates are not competitive with conforming loans. Inventory levels for high-priced homes have more than doubled since mid-2007. Any meaningful recovery for higher-end real estate markets will need to be preceded by the availability of competitively priced jumbo loans for qualified homebuyers.
For Montecito, overall, the market continues to be very challenging. Inventory levels have risen 23% to 421 active MLS listings. The total number of sales, 54, is a decline of 43%. Median and average prices each declined 33% to $2,325,000 and $3,086,464 respectively. I expect an improvement in sales in the 3rd quarter as the increased selection and lower prices are attracting savvy bargain hunters.
P.S. Although the market is challenging, it is not impossible. Through accurate pricing, and extensive marketing and advertising, I have continued to achieve sales for my clients. If you are serious about selling your property, please give me a call at (805) 565-4896. All calls will be confidential.