Home sales in California have increased 18.1 percent since a year ago, according to the May report by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) (www.car.org). At the same time, the median price of a home decreased 35.3 percent.
“Home sales exceeded 400,000 last month for the first time since early 2007,” stated C.A.R. President William E. Brown. “While this is a welcome sign for the market, it was due in part to the large share of distressed homes for sale in many parts of the state.”
Locally, the current median price for a single-family, detached home on Santa Barbara’s South Coast is $1,199,000 while the median price for one in North County is $297,820. Since April, prices have increased 6.6 percent in the south, while they have decreased 1.3 percent in North County. Prices dropped in both areas though: 10.9 percent on the South Coast from 2007 to 2008, and 32.8 percent in North County.
“A huge sales event can change the ‘look’ of how prices change,” explained Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (www.sbaor.com) president John Chufar, when asked why prices in South County increased in the past month, though they decreased in the year as a whole. May home sales slowed down in the south compared to April sales, decreasing 7.9 percent. Yet in the north they increased 17.6 percent during the same month. Since last year, sales have decreased 16.9 percent in South Coast and gone up 85.2 percent in North County.
“There are always going to be more sales where the prices of homes are lower,” explained Chufar about the increasing amount of sales in North County.