I am pleased to report that there were more sales in the first quarter of 2023 than the last quarter of 2022, and the median price continues to escalate at a modest pace. Overall, the market is still in a “stabilization” phase after the frenzied seller’s market that ended a year ago. The first three months of 2023 in the Riviera/El Cielito/ Eucalyptus Hill neighborhoods resulted in a 40% increase in sales and an 8% boost in the median price to a new all-time high of $3,570,000.
A closer study of the data illustrates a few interesting trends that I will continue to keep my eye on as the year progresses. One of these is that there were no sales below $2 million and only one property changed hands in what I consider to be the luxury segment of the market above $6 million. The Santa Barbara luxury real estate market does appear to be picking up momentum though, as there are currently three pending sales in this range. Another significant trend that became apparent last Spring is that pricing is a key element to success in the current market. About a third of the sales were properties that sold quickly including a few that got bid up due to multiple offers. Conversely, there were several properties that lingered on the market for several months before finally selling well below the initial asking price.
As we proceed into the active spring/summer months the market should continue to favor sellers as long as interest rates remain stable and recession fears do not dominate the headlines. Additionally, if inventory continues to flow to the market at a steady pace the properties that are priced correctly and marketed aggressively will perform well even though the current buyer pool is a bit more cautious than they were a year ago. The bottom line is that this is an opportune time to generate a relatively quick sale at a premium price if you are considering selling your Santa Barbara home
in the next few months.