Housing markets heat up in August

by Brian Thomas and Tori Tsolis | Sep 24, 2015

Zillow released their new August home value data this past Tuesday.  The new data suggests that Santa Barbara home values are just about as hot as the county’s recent heat wave.  In August, Santa Barbara County home values grew 0.7%, which was slightly higher than California’s growth rate of 0.6% and much higher than the United States home value growth rate of 0.2%. This strong home value growth in August is good news for local housing markets, which in May had seen their first monthly decline since early 2012.  This August growth rate represents an annual rate of 8.6%, which if this strong growth continues would put the county back on track to match last year’s home value growth of 7.6%.  Currently, since August 2014, Santa Barbara County home values have grown 4.1%.  See our full set of figures and data here.  

Throughout the county, every city had an increase in median home values by at least 0.5% in August, except for Santa Maria, which had a growth rate only slightly lower at 0.4%. The cities of Buellton and Solvang experienced the strongest growth, with rates of 1.6% and 1.1%, respectively.  Compared to the pre-recession home value peaks, south county cities remain between 7% and 16% below those peaks, while the north county cities of Santa Maria and Lompoc remain 31% and 39% below, respectively.  These differences between north county and south county recovery ratios remain because north county cities experienced larger declines during the recession than south county cities. 

The number of foreclosures in the county remained low in August.  All cities had fewer than 5 foreclosures per 10,000 homes.  Lompoc had relatively the most foreclosures, with 4.02 per 10,000 homes, and Santa Barbara City had the least, with 0.71 per 10,000 homes.  These numbers are significantly lower than the high levels of foreclosure seen in 2008, when Santa Maria peaked at 47.93 foreclosures per 10,000 homes.