Hello and welcome to 2022! As we turn the page on our shiny new calendars, I’ve asked a few local experts for their prognostication on what we might see in local real estate in the upcoming year.

Disclaimer: This is off-the-cuff water-cooler talk among pals, not investment advice nor a legally binding forecast. Consider it holiday party chit-chat as we toast the New Year!

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Staci Caplan was recently named Realtor of the Year by the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She is owner and broker at Pacific Crest Realty. Here is Staci’s forecast for the year ahead:

“I see a slight transition from a white-hot market to a red-hot market in the coming year. With the largest wave of cash buyers our market has ever seen, compounding the existing housing crisis the worst shortage of inventory in history — my heart goes out to our buyers who struggle to compete. Perhaps we will see a slight increase in inventory as parents and grandparents relocate to be closer to family. One thing is certain: The importance of home — for wealth building, for community stability, and for our well-being — has never been more important.”

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Austin Lampson is a licensed Mortgage Professional, the Branch Manager at Homeowner’s Financial Group, and an unfailingly positive presence in any group. When asked about 2022, Austin quipped:

“I saw a meme the other day that had someone screaming in realization that when you say 2022 out loud it’s ‘2020-too.’ From a housing perspective, I think that is true for price increases and low inventory, but not for rates or refinances. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see rates hit 4 percent by the end of the year.” 

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Bob Walsmith Jr. is the incoming President of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors 2022 Board of Directors and a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. When asked for his thoughts on the local market in the new year, Bob shared:

“Housing experts say that although home prices will continue to rise in 2022, the acceleration rate will be lower than in the past two years. An average growth rate of around 6 percent is forecast nationwide. Coupling that with an estimated inflation rate of 4 percent means that housing prices and inventory will stabilize in the coming year and the number of available houses for sale should increase. Perhaps not to pre-pandemic numbers, but the situation will get better for both buyers and sellers alike.

Having said that, we all know that we live in a very unique area, so things could be different for us here in Santa Barbara. Based on the housing forecast, I am optimistic for a solid and more even 2022.”

This edition of The Home Page was originally emailed to subscribers on March 31, 2024. To receive Sarah Sinclair’s real estate newsletter in your inbox each Sunday, sign up at independent.com/newsletter

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Alyssa Jones is a principal in Sener Jones Associates with Village Properties Realtors. When I asked Alyssa what she thought would be new for 2022, she replied:

“The pandemic will have lasting effects on changes in home-buying preferences, Millennials will super-charge the housing market, international buyers will return, mortgage rates will remain low, and sellers will pocket large increases in home equity. 

Housing demand will remain strong. With all the right elements in place to be either a buyer or a seller, it is the amount of inventory (or our current lack of) that will decide the fate of our market competition. Will inventory increase in 2022? 

Well, do you have a home to sell?”

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Stan Tabler is a real estate agent with Compass who has been helping buyers and sellers in Santa Barbara since 1980. When asked to speculate on the year ahead, Stan answered:

“With a glut of qualified buyers and low inventory, do not expect to see values going down anytime soon. It is good to know that the mortgage lenders are following very strict rules when qualifying buyers (if they actually need a loan) as most buyers are obtaining fixed rate loans. According to Bloomberg, 60 percent of mortgages during the real estate bubble years 2006-2008 had an adjustable rate; fewer than 0.1 percent of mortgages are adjustable now. Supply and demand dynamics have and will continue to affect the South Coast of the Santa Barbara Real Estate Market now and for a long time to come.”

Cheers to a fantastic year ahead. Whatever the next 12 months may hold, let’s embrace every day and remember there’s no time like the present, and no place like home.

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