2023 has come to a close and 2024 is off and running.  Every year, we appreciate the opportunity to review the activity and share what transpired.  So how was the real estate market in 2023?  It was sure a different year.

The headline un-doubtable is, a whole lot less sales!  How much?  The data that we have access to goes back to 2003 and this is the lowest sales volume in 21 years.  In 2023 total sales were 1,105 sales which was, 338 sales or 23% lower than our already slow 2022.  Since 2010 we have averaged 1,777 per year.  2023 saw a decrease of around 38% in volume compared to the average and just half of the sales we had 2 years ago.

This trend is not just happening in Santa Barbara, but across the U.S. as total home sales volume fell to the lowest level in 28 years (since 1995) with a total of 4.09 million properties selling this year (View A.P. Article).

As we shared previously, though our sales volume dropped, the median sales price has stayed relatively stable.  This trend too, has been seen on a national level as well.  The median home price across the country rose by 1% in 2023 to an all-time high of $389,800.  The national median is quite a bit lower than our Santa Barbara area where the median sales price for homes and condos in 2023 was $1,700,000 a slight drop from 2022’s $1,720,000.

What is so unique about this market is typically when sales volume drops our inventory begins to increase and prices fall.  Back in 2008 when the market changed our inventory grew significantly, but 2023 is so different.  On January 23, our total available homes and condos for sale only totaled 186 properties.  The Fed raising interest rates quickly sure did the trick to slow down sales, but it also limited our inventory as many sellers do not want to trade in their low interest rates.

So what do we see for 2024? Predictions are a tough game, but we anticipate as rates hopefully come down some and normalize in our minds that our sales activity will gradually pick up more steam.  Change is tough for us all, but it is also amazing how we adapt to changes.

We love to talk about the market and all things real estate, so feel free to reach out if you need anything.  And we are always grateful for your recommendations.


December 2023 Highest Sale  | 930 Knollwood Drive, Montecito |  Sold for $11,500,000

December 2023 Lowest Home Sale  | 431 E Sola Street, Santa Barbara |  Sold for $895,000

The Statistics


  • Total Sales:  1,105 in ’23  vs  1,443 in ’22  |  DOWN 23%
  • Total Home Sales:  773 in ’23  vs  1.015 in ’22  |  DOWN 24%
  • Total Condo Sales:  332 in ’23  vs 428 in ’22  |  DOWN 22%
  • Median Home Price:  $2,100,000 in ’23  vs  $2,104,000 in ’22  |  FLAT
  • Median Condo Price:  $945,000 in ’23  vs  $958,000 in ’22  |  DOWN 1%
  • Sales Above $5M:  117 in ’23  vs  133 in ’22  |  DOWN 12%

December 2023

  • Total Sales:  77 in ’23 vs 76 in ’22  |  DOWN 1%
  • Pending Sales:  64 in ’23 vs 66 in ’22  |  DOWN 3%
  • Total Off-Market Sales:  10 Sales  |  13%
  • Total Cash Sales:  27 Sales  |  35%
  • Average 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage: 6.88as of Jan. 29, ’24
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Jon-Ryan Schlobohm

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