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Rich Buyers help boost median home price


Economy, election outcome affect sales

Confidence in the economy combined with strong demand from wealthy Buyers helped push the median home price on the South Coast to a new high last month.

November's South Coast median for existing single-family homes hit $1,175,000, largely because of the increase in sales of properties priced at more than $2 million.

The recent median reflects a jump of nearly 47 percent compared with November a year ago, and it is the highest one-year appreciation for all areas in California tracked by the California Association of Realtors.

Median price is the point where half the homes on the market sell for more and half sell for less. The median reflects the mix of all homes sold, not appreciation rates on individual properties.

A total of 86 homes on the South Coast sold in November, compared with 66 the same time a year ago, an increase of about 30 percent.

An improving economy, low interest rates and end of the presidential election all played a role, several local agents said.

Dan Encell of Prudential California Realty said the election likely led more people to delay the closing of sales this year.

"Some people may have been fearful of higher tax rates depending on how the election turned out," Mr. Encell said. "So many of them wanted to time their closings until after the election."

The number of sales of multimillion-dollar homes has increased dramatically compared with a year ago, he said. So far this year, he has closed 23 sales of homes priced above $2 million.

The rise in multimillion-dollar deals gave the November median a big boost. Last month, 23 homes total on the South Coast sold for more than $2 million. That compares with only six sold in that price range last year.

Although the majority of the wealthy Buyers that Mr. Encell has worked with already live in the area, about one in three is from out of town.

Bob Stevens, vice president of RE/MAX in Montecito, said he has seen similar trends in Buyers of high-end homes.

Mr. Stevens recently opened an escrow for a Buyer from the East Coast who was going to purchase a $3 million home with cash.


Tight inventory, higher prices for South County home market
(Santa Barbara News Press, 1/26/2014)

Now is the Time to Sell
Los Angeles Times, 1/2/2011)

2009 Survey
(Realty Times, 1/6/2010)

Golfer Couples Sells House
(Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2009)

Best Cities For A Housing Recovery
(, 8/13/2009)

A Tale of Two Markets Divided by the Conforming-Loan Limit
(Los Angeles Times, 6/14/2009)

When Home Prices Hit Bottom
(CNN, 4/1/2009)

PGA pro Fred Couples Lists Montecito Home at $12.5 million
(Los Angeles Times, 3/24/2009)

The Road to Recovery
(Dan Encell, 3/12/2009)

How to Sell a House, When You Have to Sell It Now
(Wall Street Journal, 7/14/2008)

S.B. listed as one of U.S.'s most distinctive destinations
(Santa Barbara News-Press, 1/13/2009)

South Coast economy resolute, expert says: Forecast: Santa Barbara's situation “boringly steady”
(Santa Barbara News-Press, 4/18/2008)

South Coast office space remains at a premium
(Santa Barbara News-Press, 1/30/2008)

2007 Real Estate & Economic Outlook
(CASA, 3/2/2007)

Home Prices May Fall Again
(Santa Barbara News-Press, 2/23/2007)

Home Sellers Find Buyers are Standing Tough
(Santa Barbara News-Press, 11/10/2006)

Future Trends will Reshape Real Estate Industry
(Santa Barbara New-Press 11/1/2005)

Number of Homes Sold in County Drops
(Santa Barbara News-Press 10/25/2005)

Housing Market Shows Signs of Flattening
(Santa Barbara News-Press 9/30/2005)

Home prices hot, but buyers cool
(Santa Barbara News-Press 3/24/2005)

Casa de Maria puts price tag on Montecito Property
(Santa Barbara News-Press 1/25/2005)

Helping buyers find their Home Safe Home”
(Santa Barbara News-Press 1/2/2005

Rich buyers help boost median home prices
(Santa Barbara News-Press 12/23/2004)

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