The first quarter of 2022 was largely a continuation of last year's market in which the demand for Santa Barbara real estate outpaced the inventory of homes for sale. As a result, the median price climbed another 15% in the Riviera/El Cielito/Eucalyptus Hill neighborhoods to an all-time high of $3,100,000!
A closer analysis of the data shows that the Santa Barbara luxury home segment of the market is continuing at a strong pace, as half of the sales were over $3 million and several of these attracted multiple buyers resulting in a few jaw-dropping selling prices. Interestingly, about half of the listings got bid up in price by an average of 15% while many others sold for less than the asking price and lingered on the market for over 60 days. This dichotomy illustrates the importance of pricing and marketing strategies even though the market continues to be heavily favored towards sellers.
As of this writing there is no reason to believe that the current market dynamics will change much in the near term, however there are a few subtle signs that may lead to some normalization. The first of these is that more homes came on the market in the first quarter of 2022 than the same period last year. If this trend continues there will be an inevitable shift from the current “seller’s market” to one with more balance. Additionally, interest rates are creeping higher, and several economic issues should continue this upward pressure as the year progresses. My advice for Santa Barbara homeowners is if you are considering a change in the near future, there is no better time to sell your home than when you have the advantage in the marketplace.