The numbers are in for an update on the Santa Barbara real estate market for the first half of 2012. Best described as “Active, Active, Active”! There have been more sales during this 6 month period than there have been over the past 7 years for the same time period. There has been a 36% increase in the number of closed sales of single family homes in Santa Barbara over the first 6 months of last year and 32% more sales for condominiums. For sales of homes priced at above $1,000,000 there has been a 29% increase over last year. The median sales price year to date for Santa Barbara houses is $785,000. This is 7% less than at this time last year. The high number of distress sales has kept the median sales price down. There was a decent selection of entry level homes for sale during the first quarter of the year, but the supply of homes priced under $500,000 has dropped dramatically with very few single family homes now priced below $500,000. The median sales price should start moving up with this lack of lower priced inventory. Overall, the inventory has dropped by approximately 25% this year – there are currently less than 500 single family homes for sale in the Santa Barbara area. This low inventory coupled with incredibly low interest rates has created an environment of multiple offers on many properties – 25% of the sales of single family homes in the month of June were over the asking price! According to Realtor.com, on a national level the median list prices have increased each month over the previous month for the past 6 months. A 20% decrease in inventory for sale and 10% fewer days on market from a year ago seem to indicate that the US housing market is in an upward recovery stage. This holds true for Santa Barbara as well. The Santa Barbara area ranked top in the year over year median list price increase for top metro areas nationwide. Another factor in our high demand for real estate is that the unemployment rate in Santa Barbara is 3% points under that for the state of California and also below the national average. Add to that our beautiful scenery,wonderful climate, and overall great quality of life and one can see why Santa Barbara real estate is so desirable! To search for properties for sale in the Santa Barbara area go to www.SantaBarbaraRE.com or call me, Pat Saraca, at 805-886-7426.