Housing starting to show a recovery in Santa Barbara and Montecito? Some indicators sure do point in that direction. Existing home sales increased in July by 7.2% – this is the biggest single month increase on record. Two additional impressive items of note – July pending home sales increased to a 2 year high and home prices have also shown an increase. On a national level, home prices showed their first quarterly increase in 3 years. It seems that the demand for housing is starting to rise again. According to the National Association of Realtors the inventory of unsold houses rose 7.3% nationwide in July. However, in California the levels of unsold homes decreased to a 3.9 month supply vs 6.9 months one year ago. This is far below the long-run average.
As far as on the local level which includes the real estate market for Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria, and Goleta, we are in the 2nd consecutive month for 80 closed escrows for houses & PUDs(planned unit developments). This has not happened since August 2007. We have also seen the highest median price in the last 6 months with July’s median sales price at $885,000. Another positive note is that the last 2 months number of sales is almost equal to the 5 year average in both months so although it may be too early to tell if we are coming out of this housing downturn it certainly seems we are going in the right direction. I will be viewing Montecito oceanfront properties tomorrow and report back on those.