1st Quarter Summary of the 2020 Market in Santa Barbara

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I am pleased to provide you with a summary of the 2020 market in Santa Barbara. In my letter, I will share with you Q1 activity summary, market condition during the COVID 19 pandemic and what we expect post COVID 19.

1st Quarter of 2020 Summary

The 2020 market in Santa Barbara performed very well in the first two months of the year. Market Activity was high in the month of March, but for YTD in April, the number of sales was down 6%. However, the market did not shut down completely and on average there were 10 to 15 new transactions and listings on the market daily. Due to the virus, some sellers decided to withdraw their homes from the market for safety purposes, either renting their properties or offering them off market instead.

Close of 2019 – 4th Quarter

As for 2019, the year ended tremendously well. Last December, we brokered more transactions than any other month going all the way back to 2013. Low interest rates lead to more transactions as compared to years prior. The 2020 market in Santa Barbara began strong, but started to slow down as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Now, there is a plethora of buyers and sellers in a stagnant market. As a result, buyers and sellers that are currently in the market are very motivated.

Latest Trends in the Market

The latest trend in the 2020 market in Santa Barbara are the inquiries from clients coming from larger cities, such as L.A., N.Y. and S.F., looking to either purchase or rent in Santa Barbara. We have had quite a few inquiries from out of town clients and we expect the number of these inquires to rise as some of the travel restrictions are being lifted. This trend is more notable in the higher end of the market.

Out of Town Clients Vs Local Clients

Our local buyers and sellers account for most of the current transactions that are taking place. These include clients who sold their home a few months back and decided to rent a home until they find a future home. We are seeing these types of clients desperately looking to purchase a home. On several occasions, we have had clients who have purchased their new home recently, sight unseen and with minimal inspections. Several of these clients had sold their home prior to COVID 19 and were renting for the time being, but due to COVID 19 they decided to purchase sooner.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have had clients who purchased homes in more remote areas such as Santa Ynez, either temporarily and permanantly.

Post COVID 19

We believe that the post COVID 19 market will continue to move forward somewhat strong, fluctuating by 3%-6% in price. The highest decrease in activity and prices may occur in the 4th quarter of this year. The current administration is determined to keep the economy in the best condition possible to insure their next term. With low interest rates and more cash injection into the system, price decreases, at least in the short term, may be avoided and cushioned. However, over the long term 2021-2022, stimulus packages and cash injection will benefit the market and we will see significant price adjustments in the market.

Currently in April of 2020, demand from qualified low-end buyers, $1.5M or less, has remained strong.

Thank you for reviewing the Q1 Summary of the 2020 Market in Santa Barbara, where I share the conditions of the  2020 market in Santa Barbara during the COVID 19 pandemic.

To review additional graphs and statistics tailored to your neighborhood,  please Email Me.


1st Quarter of 2020 Chart

Q1 Chart


South Santa Barbara County Sales by Area

CORT_inDATA Sales by Area 12_2019

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