Last year there were 52 homes sold in the Santa Barbara area over $5M in price with 15 over $10M and the highest sale at 815 Cima Del Mundo Road for $23.5M. This year there have been only 32 sales over $5M with 10 over $10M and the highest sale at 757 Riven Rock Road for $16.715M. Additionally there are only 3 properties over $5M currently in escrow. The benchmark for ultra-high end home sales in Santa Barbara came in 2007. That year there were 55 sales over $5M with 15 over $10M and the highest sale at 2781 Padaro Lane for $35M.
In the Santa Ynez Valley of Northern Santa Barbara County there were 6 homes last year that sold for over $5M with 1 over $10M and the highest sale at 1733-1777 Fletcher Way for $12.5M. This year there have been only 3 sales over $5M with 1 over $10M and the highest sale at 3462 Brinkerhoff for $22M. One additional property is currently in escrow over $5M. The benchmark for the Santa Ynez Valley came in 2006 when 11 sales took place over $5M with 2 over $10M and the highest sale at 1620 Westerly Road for $24.2M.
The slowing of real estate sales in the ultra-high range isn’t coming from a lack of inventory. In the Santa Barbara area there are currently 85 homes available in the over $5M range with 35 over $10M, and in the Santa Ynez Valley there are 17 homes available in the over $5M range with 6 over $10M.
Have high end home sales bottomed out? If history repeats itself the answer may be yes. It will be interesting to see what the next two years bring. High end market trends have customarily followed the lower end with two years of separation. With low end sales reaching bottom two years ago the writing may be on the wall.
You don’t have to own an extremely expensive home to live in Paradise. We all can enjoy the great amenities, weather, and community comforts that Santa Barbara affords. This is a great time of year to think about and be thankful for our blessings.
Along with being an incredible time of the year to look at real estate, with perfect 70 degree temperatures and sunshine, the holiday season in Santa Barbara also offers some great events and activities for all to enjoy. Following are some favorites to attend.
Nov. 15 – An Acoustic Evening with Ben Harper, The Granada, 8pm
Nov. 23-24 – 20th Annual Holiday Artisan Market at the Garden, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 10am 4pm
Nov. 27 – Sinead O’Connor – The American Kindness Tour, The Granada, 8pm
Nov. 28 – Santa Barbara Thanksgiving 4-Mile Run, Magnolia Center, 9am
Nov. 28 – ZeeBlu Thanksgiving 5K and Family Fun Run, Leadbetter Beach, 9am
Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Santa Barbara National Pro/Am Horse Show, Earl Warren Showgrounds, 7am to end of classes
Nov. 29-Dec. 1 – 27th Annual Tribal and Folk Arts Marketplace, SB Museum of Natural History, Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm
Dec. 6 – 61st Annual Downtown Holiday Parade, On State Street from Sola Street to Cota Street, 6:30pm
Dec. 7 – Holiday Spirit Parade, Carpinteria, 3pm
Dec. 8 – Sledding at the Zoo and Snow Leopard Festival, SB Zoo, (members 9am entry), 10am-3pm
Dec. 8 – Harbor Parade of Lights, 5:30-7:15pm; 3-5pm Santa’s Village (below Brophy’s); Around 7pm Fireworks, West Beach
Dec. 14-15 – Holiday at the Ranch, Stow House, Rancho La Patera, Goleta, 11-4pm
Dec. 15 – Free Family Sunday, SB Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol
Dec. 21-22 – State Street Ballet: The Nutcracker, Saturday at 2 and 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm, The Granada
Dec. 31 – Santa Barbara Symphony: New Year’s Eve Pops Concert, The Granada, 8:30pm
Last week alone 20 homes and 11 condominiums went under contract in the Santa Barbara area. That’s a 48% increase over the week before. I expect that we’ll see a lot more sales activity before 2013 comes to a close. With all forecasts pointing towards higher real estate prices next year, now may be a better time to purchase than in the near future.
Thanks to all of you who’ve given me the opportunity to assist with your real estate questions and needs this year. I also appreciate and look forward to your inquiries throughout this exceptional holiday season.
The lack of inventory continues to put upward pressure on Santa Barbara real estate prices. The low availability of entry level priced homes has also slowed sales in the under $1 million price range. Currently there are only 63 homes available in the Santa Barbara area, stretching from Carpinteria to Goleta, priced under $1 million. From the end of October to the end of December Santa Barbara usually sees inventory levels drop by 25% or more. That being the case there will only be 50 or so homes available in the under $1 million price range by the end of the year.
C.A.R.’s 2014 California Housing Market Forecast was released a couple of weeks ago and states that the median California home price is predicted to rise 6% next year after experiencing a staggering 28% increase this year. Santa Barbara’s year-to-date median home price increase currently measures 16%. Areas that were hardest hit by the recession have seen their median prices increase the most in California. This makes sense because their low end inventories are even less available than in more affluent areas such as Santa Barbara.
Some of the main contributors to the low inventory levels are: 1) Housing affordability is at historic highs. 2) Low rates are impacting other investment alternatives. 3) There’s been little new construction over the past 5 years. 4) Underwater homeowners are not selling. 5) Foreclosure sales are at low levels. 6) Investors are renting instead of flipping. 7) Off-market pocket listings are growing.
With low inventory and higher median home prices it’s important for buyers and sellers to be prudent about their choices and consult with their experienced real estate professional. For more information on available housing inventory, pocket listings, and important market trends I look forward to and appreciate your inquiries.
We’re starting to see an increase in the number of new and remodeled homes coming on the market. With the foreseeable rise of construction costs and real estate values many homeowners are feeling that this is a better time to remodel and/or build than in the future. There’s currently a serious shortage of labor and materials in the homebuilding industry. Two years ago contractors were short on work and willing to accept wage cuts while many had to leave the industry entirely. The builders that remain are now hunting for skilled labor and are seeing the cost of materials beginning to rise. The extra costs incurred by these builders and contractors will be passed on to the consumer.
With more remodeling and building going on in the Santa Barbara area there is a silver lining for homebuyers. In a high cost building environment it’s less expensive to purchase an already remodeled or new home than it is to pay for remodeling or new construction out of pocket as an owner-builder. Buyers that find remodeled homes they truly like come out ahead. Owners rarely recoup their remodeling costs when selling, although some like to believe they do. The profit a seller makes is more a factor of market appreciation which changes according to supply and demand.
With the high cost of just about everything in today’s markets it makes sense to sit down and carefully consider all of your options. I appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance. Thanks for your inquiries.
The Santa Barbara real estate market is looking good as it heads into the fourth quarter of 2013. This is amidst recent national news articles pointing to other areas of the country as beginning to experience a real estate slowdown. Many of the prominent headlines read “Pending Home Sales Decline in August”. One article refers to low inventory, higher interest rates, increased home prices and restrictive lending as contributors to the decline in sales. It states that homes going under contract dropped 1.6 percent from July to August this year. Read the full article here.
By contrast, Santa Barbara saw a 5.6 percent increase in the number of homes under contract from July to August this year. September has also shown a considerable increase in the number of homes under contract and closed sales when compared to last year, 7 and 9 percent respectively. One other interesting trend is that the number of homes selling over $1M represented only 37 percent of the market in Santa Barbara at this time last year. The figure has increased to 45 percent this year.
With real estate appreciation rates reaching their highest levels since the last market peak of 2006, economic experts are predicting that there will be a slowdown in most areas of the country to more sustainable levels. This is great news. It’s also great news that a reversal of the overall housing recovery is not in the predictions.
Santa Barbara has continued to show gains in popularity with its very high quality of living (some would say the best in the world) and historically higher level of real estate appreciation. I appreciate your Santa Barbara lifestyle and real estate questions and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks to everyone for your inquiries.
By calendar this weekend marks the end of summer, however Santa Barbara’s best weather is just beginning and some new housing inventory is starting to hit the market. With added home competition sellers are pricing their properties carefully and are more willing to go the extra mile to make their homes stand out above the rest.
There are positive and negative energies associated with every property, even in such a beautiful setting as Santa Barbara. Sometimes simple changes can make dramatic differences in a home’s appeal. The following eight principles are very easy, effective, and have been promoted by the art of Feng Shui for thousands of years.
1. Inviting front door and entry.
2. Every room has a true function.
3. All infrastructures in working order.
4. Outdoor plants in good physical condition.
5. Furniture positioned well with backs not facing doors or windows.
6. Doors and windows unblocked to allow energy flow.
7. Balanced interior and exterior with each equally inviting.
8. Accents added where appropriate.
A good publication to read which has helped many bring positive energy into their homes and lives is Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Carter. I appreciate your inquiries on the subject and to helping you maximize the potential of any real estate you’re interested in.
This August has seen more expensive homes selling in the Santa Barbara area with a median price of just over $1.1M, however the total sales volume dropped slightly during the month of August when compared to last year. Inventory is also down 11% from a year ago. This June and July saw median prices of $1.065M and $962.5K respectively and the year-to-date median sale price of a Santa Barbara area home now stands at $970K.
Regarding inventory, there are currently only 68 homes available in the under $1M price range compared to 328 available in the over $1M range. Distress sale inventory has pretty much vanished with only three bank owned homes available, one priced under $1M, and two short sale homes available on the market today.
It will be interesting to see what figures the rest of the year brings to the Santa Barbara real estate market as December is historically the area’s biggest closing month. I look forward to keeping you up-to-date with the latest activity and hottest inventory opportunities.