“So, how is the real estate market doing? Our sales volume has seen a modest increase in the last two months compared to our historic low 2023. We would like to see more listings and sales, but any improvement in volume is good.

One message that has been broadcast by many in our industry is, “Buyers should buy now!” The opinion from some and the sales tactic by others, is that buyers should buy now before interest rates come down and the market picks up steam again. This is a great point if we knew for certain that the market is going to see prices increase and knew where interest rates would land. Of course, we hope for a vibrant market as it is how we make our livelihood. But the question is, will that occur?

Of course, we cannot tell you with certainty! We thought we would share the thoughts behind that thinking, and why this might be a good time to buy. We all have to make decisions without knowing the future.

Firstly, our market continues to lack inventory, and even when interest rates drop, we do not anticipate them to get back to the low 3% range soon, so some owners will hold tight to their existing mortgages and not want to move.  On March 26, we had 166 available homes and condos for sale between Carpinteria to Goleta.

Secondly, even with the state trying to mandate additional housing, that is far off, and will probably be years in the making. We have a housing shortage, and many people want to call the Santa Barbara area home.

This all bodes well for our market continuing to stay stable or increase in value, and is the reason why some are saying buy now. On the flip side, every market that we have seen has had some cyclical nature. We are simply hitting our heads on an affordability threshold, and only so many buyers can afford our prices.

So regardless, here is our opinion: buy real estate for the long term. It is easy to get focused on potential short-term gains and losses, but we are talking about a home and lifestyle, not just a financial decision. A home offers so much more.

So, is this a good time to buy? Well, that all depends on your financial position and what would be good for you. But we can’t encourage you enough to buy for the long term as it is a less risky endeavor.

Next month, we will dive into the topic of real estate commission or compensation especially on the buyers’ side. This topic has been all over the news and we are grateful for so many caring questions that we have received.  The logistics are still being worked out, so we will share about that next time. If you have questions about this please give me a call.

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.



February 2024 Highest Sale  | 875/885 Park Lane, Montecito |  Sold for $36,800,000

February 2024 Lowest Home Sale  | 2636 Calle Real, S.B. |  Sold for $999,000

The Statistics

YTD | Jan. – Feb. 2024

  • Total Sales:  174 in ’24  vs  142 in ’23  |  UP 23%
  • Total Home Sales:  116 in ’24  vs  101 in ’23  |  UP 15%
  • Total Condo Sales:  58 in ’24  vs 41 in ’23  |  UP 41%
  • Median Home Price:  $2,300,000 in ’24  vs  $1,950,000 in ’23  |  UP 18%
  • Median Condo Price:  $902,500 in ’24  vs  $925,000 in ’23  |  DOWN 2%
  • Sales Above $8M:  7 in ’24  vs  10 in ’23  |  DOWN 30%

February 2024

  • Total Sales:  89 in ’24 vs 73 in ’23  |  DOWN 22%
  • Pending Sales:  91 in ’24 vs 88 in ’23  |  UP 3%
  • Total Off-Market Sales:  9 Sales  |  10%
  • Total Cash Sales:  42 Sales  |  47%
  • Average 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage: 6.91% as of Mar. 27, ’24
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Jon-Ryan Schlobohm

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