A report titled "Who's Buying Homes in Santa Barbara County" was recently released following a local survey. The findings included the origin of buyers, primary or secondary home purchases, first time homebuyer stats and where sellers were moving on to. A total of fifteen realtors participated in the survey, providing details on 165 closed sales, while our own Village Properties provided data on 204 closed sales, all from the first half of 2012. The survey found that 69% of buyers came from the South Coast, while only 31% came from out of town. These numbers are consistent with the area's average over the past eight years that the survey has been conducted. Only 16% of buyers came from outside California, and an even smaller 4% came from outside the United States. Of the California buyers originating outside of Santa Barbara County, the majority came from the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
The survey also indicated that 58% of sellers appear to be downsizing, which is up 8% over the historical average. Also interesting to note, 36% of those downsizing indicated they are leaving the South Coast. While this may seem high, it's actually lower that the average calculated throughout the survey's history.
This got us to thinking....where do our buyers come from? As we specialize in Montecito properties of distinction, certainly our buyer base might look a bit different from the rest of Santa Barbara County. We pulled stats on our own 27 closed sales year-to-date and found the following. Only 22% of our buyers were local, as compared to Santa Barbara County's 69%. A much higher percentage of our buyers came from elsewhere in California. We also saw a higher percentage of international buyers, at 11% compared with the county's 4%. We plan to run the numbers again soon to keep tabs on specific high-end Montecito buyers.