Since June of 2020, our real estate market has been active, competitive, dynamic, challenging and unusual. We have not seen a market like this that I can remember.
Covid-19 had the opposite effect on real estate than expected. Our greater Santa Barbara market experienced a huge uptick in demand. Many more buyers entered the market, causing bidding wars as multiple buyers competed for each listing; this drove prices up quickly and dramatically.
We hoped that the sudden rise in value would entice many more sellers into the market and it has. We are now experiencing the highest sales volume in over 20 years. Between Sept. 1, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021, just one year, 2,554 homes and condos were sold in the area from Carpinteria to Goleta. To put that into perspective, consider that between 2015 and 2019, we consistently saw yearly averages of around 1,827 homes sold.
Even with the increased sales volume, there are still many buyers on the hunt for a home. Many agents are searching for properties for their buyers and are unable to find what their buyers are looking for.
Over the last few months, our active inventory of available homes and condos for sale from Carpinteria to Goleta has been under 200 properties. This is a very limited number of properties and at the current pace of sales, it represents less than one month supply of properties.
The dilemma many sellers face in our area is that they want to continue to make Carpinteria their home. It is great if you can sell your home for a high value, but if your desire is to stay in town, then you also become a buyer and will soon have to compete for a new home from limited inventory.
The question I am often asked is, how long will this continue? Our market has been on an upward swing since January 2013. At some point, it will change, but currently, we continue to have buyers ready and willing to purchase homes, even at these all-time high prices.
To give you an idea of how much and how fast prices have increased, take the example of a home on Azalea Street that was sold in April of 2020 for $1,013,000. In July of 2021, the same home – without any major improvements – sold for $1,370,000. This is a 35% increase in 15 months.
2021 Carpinteria home sales
Jan. 1 - Aug. 31
Median Price: $1,275,000
Average Price: $2,328,047
Total Sales: 64
Total Active Listings on Sept. 17: 10
2021 Carpinteria condo sales
Jan. 1 - Aug. 31
Median Price: $690,000
Average Price: $734,713
Total Sales: 85
Total Active Listing on Sept. 17: 5