Homes are Selling Twice as Fast in Central Coastal Counties


Arroyo Grande, CA – May 24, 2017—Record home pries coupled with chronically low inventories of homes for sale contributed to curtailing home sales in California’s Central Coastal Counties in April.  Despite difficult conditions for home buyers, demand remained strong and properties sold in a median of 20 days or less in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties—about twice as fast as in March, according to CENTURY 21 Hometown’s April Market Report.

Prices across the three-county region rose from 6.5 to 10 percent above a year ago, and inventories near five-year lows limited the affordable options available to many buyers. Median sales prices in all three counties reached five-year highs in April.  Sales fell in every county; the greatest decline was posted in Santa Barbara County where sales plunged 80 percent below April 2016 and reached a five-year low.

Supplies of homes for sale leveled off in April compared to March but remained significantly below 2016 levels.  Lower sales and new listings helped to stabilize supplies of homes for sale.  New listings increased in March and continued at the same level in each county as more sellers took advantage of the strong sellers’ market. Listings sold at a torrid pace, spending less than two weeks on market before they received contracts.

“The combination of limited supplies, strong prices, and fast sales created excellent conditions for sellers, which should continue through the summer sales season.  Buyers are placing contracts on listings in less than three weeks across the region—a sign that demand remains very strong.  We are experiencing an excellent sellers’ market, and homeowners who are thinking about listing their homes this year could not find a better market in which to sell,” said Amy Gallagher, corporate broker of record for CENTURY 21 Hometown Realty.

In February, CENTURY 21 Hometown Realty closed on 125 homes totaling $62,161,692.

San Luis Obispo County

April sales fell 30.3 percent from March and were15.6 percent below levels of a year ago in San Luis Obispo County.  At $192,239,151, total sold volume was declined 5 percent sales in April 2016.

Prices were 12.5 percent than they were a year ago, reaching a record high of $529,000.  Homes sold in a median of 20 days, 35.5 percent faster than in March.

New listings fell 5.7 percent from March, but the county ended the month with a net increase of 10.8 percent in listings, due to reduced sales. Despite the modest increase in new listings, the inventory of homes for sale remained seriously low, at 31 percent below the five-year average.

In San Luis Obispo city, sales fell 48.9 percent from March and were 15.8 percent lower than they were in April 2016.  Total sold volume dropped 30.3 percent to $31,066,033.  The city’s median price reached $630,000, 44.7 percent higher than in March and 7.5 percent higher than a year ago. Active listings reached their highest level since last July but still trailed the five-year average for April by 29 percent.

In Atascadero, sales fell 26.7 percent from a year ago and 18.5 percent from February sales.   Total sold dollar volume dropped to $9,525,550, percent decline from February.  The city’s median sold price reached $443,758, a 24.8 percent year over year decline and 37.2 percent higher than in February.  Homes sold in only 14 days, 22.2 percent faster than in April 2016.

Local market data and listings for San Luis Obispo County communities are available at  Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Avila Beach, Cambria, Cayucos, Creston, Grover Beach, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Oceano, Paso de Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Margarita, San Miguel, San Simeon, Santa Ynez, Shandon, and Templeton.

Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County saw closed sales fall 58.7 percent from March and 80.2 percent from April 2016—the lowest number of monthly sales in over five years.  Total sold volume fell to $25,884,860, a 48 percent decline from March.   Prices reached a median of $390,000, 10.2 percent above April 2016 and .5 percent above March prices. Home sold in a median of 20 days, 54.6 percent faster than they sold in March and 46 percent faster than in April 2016.

Active listings or homes for sale ended the month where they began, at about 600 properties, 36 percent fewer than the five-year average and 21.8 percent less than the total for sale a year ago. New listings plunged from March, falling by 49.3 percent.  In April, the county reported the fewest number of new listings in five years.

In Santa Barbara city, total sales volume ended the month at $12,554,000, and total sales fell by 50 percent from March.  Sales were slow, spending a median of 99 days on market before getting a contract.

Sales in Santa Maria fell 29.6 percent from March and were 72.7 percent below closings a year ago.   20.3 percent from a year ago and 28.2 percent from February, for a told sold volume of $11,150,261.  Prices rose 14.8 percent year over March and 12.7 percent above a year ago.

Homes sold in 37 days, 23.7 percent faster than in March.

Local market data and listings for Santa Barbara County communities are available at  Ballard, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, and Solvang.

 April Home Sales, Ventura County (blue), San Luis Obispo County (purple) and Santa Barbara County (red)


Ventura County

Sales in Ventura County fell 5.6 percent from March and were 5.5 percent below sales in March 2016.  Total sold volume ended the month at $11,790,601,630, up one percent from March.   Prices rose 3.8 percent over March and 5.6 percent above April 2016.  The county’s median sales price reached a new high of $560,000. Homes sold in a median of only 18 days, 14.3 percent faster than in March,  Total listings increased only five percent during the month as new listings declined slightly from March, by 9 percent.  Active listings were 19 percent fewer than they were a year ago.

In the city of Ventura, sales fell 2.1 percent from March and the city’s total sold volume declined to $50,560,999.  Prices rose 8.1 percent above April 2016 prices  and homes sold in 39 days,

April Median Home Prices, Ventura County (blue), San Luis Obispo County (purple) and Santa Barbara County (red)


About Century 21 Hometown Realty

CENTURY 21 Hometown Realty is the leading real estate firm on the central coast. Since 1947, it has supported the needs of home sellers and buyers throughout California’s Central Coast region with 19 branch locations in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. Our offices cover the California Coast from Paso Robles in the north to Camarillo to the south.

We offer specialty services including Luxury Real Estate, Agricultural and Ranch Real Estate, Vineyards, Ocean Front Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, and Residential Real Estate.  Our agents have a keen focus on these areas and multilingual and generational expertise. Visit our website at  to see our California listings and our office locations.

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