The pace of South County home sales has slowed into 2014’s summer months year-over-year, as fewer homes are on the market. Potential buyers are moving aggressively on the remaining properties, but low supply has kept many people on the sidelines.

2014 County Overview   |   North County   |   South County   |   Coast

“We don’t have enough inventory for the demand,” said Michele Ratkay, Century 21 Realtor. “I have about three million dollars sitting in my pipeline with nothing to buy.”

Put simply, folks want to buy homes but there aren’t enough options out there for everybody, which means bidding wars and a lot of waiting.

Buyers on the mid- to low-end are especially finding a supply squeeze.

“We are having a really hard time finding buyers in the $250,000 to $350,000 range suitable housing,” said Ratkay. “I have quite a few buyers in the lower price range, and they are on emergency watch. If something goes on the market, they have to go in immediately and aggressively.”

Price ('13 v. '14 copy

Twelve months ago, Oceano offered the most affordable housing on average. Year-over-year, the median sales price has jumped 21% in Oceano, followed by Arroyo Grande (19.8%).

Through the first six months of 2014, Grover Beach now offers the most affordable single-family residential homes, with a median of $387,500. Ratkay noted that Grover Beach offers “pockets” of affordability, though the area is increasingly hard to manage.

Sales ('13, '14) copy

On the higher end, buyers in the market for vacation homes and rental properties are finding options in places like Pismo Beach. Supply is less barren on the high end.

Today’s real estate market has changed markedly from 36 or even 24 months ago. In addition to the higher prices and greater sales volume, there are far fewer “distressed” (foreclosure and short sale) properties on the market. Distressed properties are priced lower. Through the first six months of 2014, forecloses were priced 28% lower than “normal” properties in San Luis Obispo County.

Q2 2014 Arroyo Grande Distressed Sales   Q2 2014 Nipomo Distressed Sales Q2 Grover Beach Distressed Sales   Q2 2014 Oceano Distressed Sales

As prices continue to rise, sellers will have more incentive to add their properties to the market. More supply will ease the pressure on buyers, and (hopefully) bring balance to the housing market.

You can find Michele Ratkay at Email ( or call (805.242.5906) here with any real estate questions!


Central Coast Lending is a mortgage broker and direct lender based on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. Call 805.543.LOAN or email us here to set up a free pre qualification.