U.S. House Values Alignment Looks Good for SB

Real Estate

U.S. House Values Alignment Looks Good for Santa Barbara
As House Values Align, it’s Good News for Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Market and Tuesday’s House Values Report  
 
 When Santa Barbara house values—or even only the public’s perception of house values—rise and fall at eye-popping rates, even homeowners who aren’t thinking of selling find it unsettling. The dislocations that resulted from the housing crisis of the last decade are hard to forget. Although some risk-tolerant investors made headway in that environment, the fallout for most was at best nerve-wracking.

That’s why last Tuesday’s National HPPI report may be comforting to Santa Barbara homeowners, as well as to prospective buyers. The Home Price Perception Index is the distillation of data gathered by Quicken Loans. It covers 3,000-plus counties in all 50 states—so it’s national rather than local—but there is little reason to doubt that the gist of the trends it reports are echoed here. The Index tallies the values that homeowners ascribe to their own properties, then compares that figure with the number professional appraisers actually calculate (the one lenders use). The estimates are collected during the refinancing process; and as you might guess, the two numbers can differ. A lot!

Tuesday’s report showed a heartening alignment between the two estimates. In fact, the numbers are the closest they have been since February 2015: an overall difference of only a quarter of one percent!

Some Santa Barbara observers view alignment of those two value estimates as a hallmark of a stable market—one where homeowners seeking to sell or refinance are less likely to be unpleasantly surprised when the bank appraiser weighs in. Since the average professionally appraised value also reported a 4.86% rise in house values year-over-year, it was good news on that front, as well.

Stability—in this instance, predictably improving house values—are one sign of a healthy Santa Barbara market environment. That makes for the kind of atmosphere you’d hope for if the time is nearing for your next residential real estate transaction (and a call to my office!).