The Santa Barbara real estate numbers are in, and the end of 2012 is reporting a huge spike. Closed sales for South Santa Barbara County reached 275 in December, jumping 45% over the previous month, and up 62% over the same time last year. December closed sales were actually 22% higher than the county's previous 5 year peak in May 2012. Looking ahead to 2013, the Santa Barbara MLS had 63 new listings, 22 price reductions and 32 pending sales last week, all double what we saw the first week of year. Nationwide, listing prices were up 5.1% year-over-year in December according to Truila. In fact 82% of major metro markets reported year-over-year listing price gains. This goes hand-in-hand with declining inventory, as December nationwide inventory dipped over 17% year-over-year. Four of the top ten cities with the largest asking price recovery were in California, while these same cities reported over a 50% decline in inventory.