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Real Estate prices up nationally in February but not in the first quarter locally

National averages don’t always mirror local numbers.

The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index shows a 5.8 percent spike in February, the most in past few years.

But in Santa Barbara John Bahura of Village Properties said Santa Barbara South Coast home prices have dipped a bit in the first quarter, but they are expected to rise in the final three quarters of the year.

Inventory locally and nationwide is low.

Realtors said Americans who don’t need to move for jobs are holding onto homes longer.

The number of houses for sale are at a 20-year low.

In March Santa Barbara had only 116 active listings. Goleta had 48 and Carpinteria and Summerland 35.

Bahura said California and Santa Barbara are unique.

“I don’t think you’ll see prices come down with such a low inventory,” said Bahura.

Mortgage rates are up from last year’s record lows making it more difficult to qualify.

People with low mortgages may be reluctant to sell.

Loretta Sayers wants to buy in the Santa Barbara area but she said high price makes it difficult.

She is selling a home in another part of California and said she knows it is a seller’s market.

Whether you are buying or selling the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors’ market update says Spring is a busy time.

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