Santa Barbara home sales last year reflected a continuation of the trends that began during the “post pandemic” market in 2022. The overarching dynamic of the last two years has been an extremely low level of inventory which has led to a significant decline in sales along with a steadying influence on prices. The final tallies in the Riviera/El Cielito/Eucalyptus Hill neighborhoods showed a 14% decrease in sales combined with a 10% decline in the median price.

A closer analysis of the numbers revealed year-over-year consistency at both the lower and higher end of the price brackets. In fact, when comparing 2023 to the previous year there was an identical number of sales in the $3 million and below range. Additionally, the Santa Barbara luxury real estate market (above $6 million) recorded a total of 6 sales in both years. The segment that underperformed was the
$3 to $6 million bracket in which there were nearly 30% fewer sales in 2023. This suggests that the lack of inventory in the middle price ranges was the primary factor in the 10% median price decrease from $3.3 million to $2,950,000. Additionally, as I have alluded to in previous articles,  there was an interesting dichotomy throughout the year in which about a third of the homes sold quickly and even generated multiple offers while many of the listings lingered on the market for months and eventually sold well below the original list price.

As we approach the end of January in the new year there are encouraging signs that both the level of inventory and number of sales are on the rise. So far this year there have been 8 closed sales and another 4 listings that are currently under contract. If this pace continues, we will far surpass the anemic number of 68 sales that were recorded in 2023. The current level of active listings is also encouraging, however the average days on the market for these 10 properties is 123. This suggests that pricing continues to be a critical factor as buyers have become more patient and selective. I believe that 2024 will continue to be an opportune time to sell your Santa Barbara home, however, make sure you counsel with a real estate professional so that your home is positioned to sell quickly generating strong interest and a premium price.


Chris’ seasoned counsel, local perspective and market knowledge are essential elements for accomplishing your real estate goals.

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