2019 Year-End Review
The 2019 median sales prices of houses in Santa Barbara reached $1,286,000 at year end. This surpasses the previous highest price of $1,250,000 in 2005.
We’ve reached the highest median price for houses ever! The market is strong, prices continue to rise (although at a slower rate), and inventory is low. The graph above shows median price from 2004 through 2019 for houses in South Santa Barbara County (Goleta through Carpinteria).
2018 vs 2019 Prices by District
Overall, prices increased 5.4% for houses in 2019. Montecito’s median price increased significantly, making up for lower prices and sales in 2017 and 2018 (due to the tragedies of the fire and debris flow); Hope Ranch saw price drops for the same reason (prices there increased dramatically in 2018, but as Montecito recovered, Hope Ranch sales returned to normal); and the rest of the field saw gains of between just under 3% to 5.5%. See table below.
Low Inventory Continues
The chart below shows the median price for each of our districts, as well as the inventory level at the end of the year. A lower “months of inventory” number favors sellers, a higher number favors buyers. A balanced market is considered four to six months. We’re in solid sellers’ market territory in all districts except Montecito and Hope Ranch. For a more detailed analysis, please read my Third Quarter Market Update blog post.