The final tallies for the Riviera/El Cielito/Eucalyptus Hill neighborhoods in the first half of 2023 are 34 sales with a median price of $3,432,500. Overall, this represents a 4% price increase in the last 6 months, however the number of sales has declined by 27% compared to the first half of 2022. An interesting trend that has been in place for the last several months is that while the market has stabilized from its frenzied pace, sellers are generally still in control. As I pointed out in the first quarter report, many of the sales were properties that sold very quickly including a few that got bid up in price due to multiple offers. On the other end of the spectrum there were several properties that lingered on the market for months before finally selling well below the initial asking price. This is particularly true in the category referred to as the Santa Barbara luxury real estate market or those listings above the $6 million mark. The bottom line in the current market is that given the subdued level of inventory, sellers still have the ability to generate a premium price regardless of higher interest rates and decreased buyer demand.
As we move into the second half of the year, I expect the Santa Barbara real estate market to continue on its current path. There are ready, willing and able buyers who will not hesitate to make a purchase if they see a property of interest and consider it to be appropriately priced. In some cases, sellers can even dictate favorable terms such as a lease-back after the sale for several months or longer. Feel free to reach out to me for a consultation if you want to explore the possibility of taking advantage of the current market dynamics.