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Housing and water in Santa Barbara

October 25, 2016

With the big rains that were expected for Santa Barbara last season and didn’t happen the city is preparing to tap into new water sources outside of their usual supply from Lake Cachuma, state water, ground water, local streams and reservoirs, and recycled water.

First on the list is the new Charles E. Meyer Desalination Facility, located to the east of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone at 525 E. Yanonali Street, which is expected to fill about 30% (3,125 acre-feet per year) of Santa Barbara’s demand for water. The facility was originally targeted to open this month but due to power supply corrections and added environmental safety elements is now scheduled to open in January 2017 at an extra cost of $4 million.

For five other Santa Barbara County water agencies (Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Santa Maria, Solvang and the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District) a plan is pending to get over 12,000 acre-feet per year back from their suspended amount of State Water Project deliveries, dating back to the early 1980’s. The plan is waiting approval from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 1st. These agencies could in turn sell water to the Montecito Water District and Goleta Water District just as Santa Maria has done in the recent past.

Santa Barbara will also explore new water purchases from out of the area next year should the drought weather pattern continue in Southern California and wet winter pattern continue to the north. Residents of Santa Barbara are encouraged to stay aware of their water usage and conserve as much as possible during the drought. References on water conservation and awareness are available at and

Upcoming Santa Barbara festivals and events

October 4, 2016

The fall season and month of October is a great time to be in Santa Barbara and surrounding communities. Along with plenty of beautiful real estate to look at there are many events, festivals, and some of the best weather of the year to enjoy. Following are several activities taking place. To experience some of the best real estate currently available in the area simply contact Your inquiries and touring requests are appreciated!

Oct. 7 – Teacher’s Fund Golf Tournament & Party (sponsored by Village Properties), Glen Annie Golf Course, 12pm & 5pm

Oct. 7-10 – Celebration of Harvest Festival & Grand Tasting, Tasting Rooms throughout Santa Barbara Wine County & Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, 11am & 12pm

Oct. 7-9 – California Avocado Festival, Linden Avenue, Friday 1-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm & Sunday 10am-6pm

Oct. 15 – Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, Santa Barbara Harbor, 10am-5pm

Oct. 15 – Santa Barbara Beer Festival, Elings Park, 12–4pm

Oct. 20 – Santa Barbara Best Fest, Carriage Museum at 129 Castillo Street, 5:30-9pm

Oct. 29 – Fall Family Festival, Cliff Drive Care Center, 11am-2pm

Nov. 5 – Comedy & Magic Festival, Plaza Playhouse Theater at 4916 Carpinteria Avenue, 7pm

Current housing supply in Santa Barbara

September 20, 2016

Available homes and condos for sale in the Santa Barbara area has risen substantially this year with a 33% increase over the same time last year. The last time the housing supply in Santa Barbara was this high was in 2011. The big difference between now and 2011 is the “months supply of inventory” or how long it would take the available inventory of properties to sell at the given pace of sales. You can easily calculate this by taking the number of properties on the market and dividing by the number of sales over the previous month. In 2011 there were 779 homes and condos on the market and 120 sales from August to September, which calculates to a 6.5 months supply of inventory. This year there are 662 homes and condos on the market with 274 sales over the past month, which calculates to a much lower 2.4 months supply of inventory.

The healthy amount of inventory is certainly nice for buyers and the healthy number of sales for sellers. Purely by the current numbers one can confidently say that it’s a good time to buy or sell. It’s not often with the continual high demand and low supply of housing in the Santa Barbara area that you see such a balance. I appreciate any feedback or inquires you have and thank you for allowing me to assist with any of your current real estate needs whether you’re looking to buy or sell.

New housing developments in Santa Barbara

September 6, 2016

Since 2010 U.S. housing starts have been on the increase, however are still well below most non-recession periods in U.S. history. Higher cost of construction, closely assessed risk factors and less financing available for developers are all part of the current equation. In addition, new residences cost home buyers more per square foot than existing properties, approximately a 23.8% difference according to data recently collected by the National Association of Realtors. To read the full article click here.

In Santa Barbara affordability is certainly a factor. With the median resale home price reaching $1.14M in August many buyers are already at their maximum price point when purchasing an existing residence, where any new home purchase in the same size range would put them over budget.

The Knoll, Santa Barbara area’s newest housing development off N. Patterson Road has just reduced their prices by $300,000. Now priced at $2.095M and $2.15M these residences are 4,150 sq.ft., costing $500 to $520/sq.ft.

Sevilla & Alma Del Pueblo, both developed in prime Santa Barbara downtown locations, have also experienced the need for recent price cuts with many units still available today.

The Village at Los Carneros are offering new condos and homes priced more toward entry level buyers and are selling much quicker than higher end developments in and around Santa Barbara. From $385 to $470/sq.ft. with sizes ranging from 1,014 to 2,417 sq.ft., and prices from $475,990 to $1,024,990.


The Village at Los Carneros – 6720 S, Calle Koral Road #209 – 1 bed/1.5 bath – $530,990


Sevilla – 401 Chapala Street #107 – 1 bed/1.5 bath – $1.175M


The Knoll – 5343 Plunkett Lane – 4 bed/4.5 bath – $2.095M

I appreciate your inquiries on both new and resale properties in the area, and look forward to keeping you posted on all new developments!

High-end market continues to slow

August 16, 2016

There have been only five sales in the Santa Barbara real estate market so far this year for homes over $10M, a small number when compared with the eleven that sold in the same period last year. Sale dollar volume has decreased a substantial 51% for this elite price range so far in 2016. Sale volume decreases are also being experienced for homes in lesser price ranges, but not to the same extent. Year-to-date there’s been a 15% sale volume decrease for homes in the $4M to $10M range, a 13% decrease for homes in the $2M to $4M range, and a 7% decrease for homes priced under $2M in the Santa Barbara area.

1592 E Mountain Drive

1592 E. Mountain Drive, Montecito. Sold for $11.45M in 2016. Previously sold for $15M in 2006.

A recently published article in the Denver Post, “Aspen real estate in first-ever sustained nosedive”, states that after record sales in 2015, sale volume this year is down 42% for Aspen’s Pitkin County. It also states that sales of area homes in the elite $10M plus price range are down 60% and that the luxury market across the country is slowed, from Manhattan to Palm Beach. Government and economic uncertainty, fears, and imbalances are sited as the main contributors of the recent upper-end slowdown.

It will be interesting to see what direction the ultra-luxury real estate market heads in the rest of the year. I look forward to your questions, inquiries and feedback on this and any other price ranges of interest.

First half Santa Barbara market trends

July 5, 2016

For the first half of 2016 Santa Barbara and surrounding areas have seen the market trend differently than last year. The median price for homes this year is up 3%, number of sales are down 9%, and number under contract is also down 9%. For condos the median price is up 8%, number of sales are down 29%, and number under contract is down 27%. In 2015 percentages in all of these categories were up with the exception of number of homes under contract. With only 3% less condos on the market this year than last, and 1% more homes, it’s fair to say that inventory levels have not been the main contributor to current market trend changes. It’s also fair to say that interest rates, which have continued to stay at historically low levels, have not been a contributor to the lower number of sales.

So what’s driving Santa Barbara’s current market trend changes? The answer can certainly be connected to buyer/seller motivation, which naturally tends to change during times of economic uncertainty, and this year has been compounded by a controversial presidential election that is ready to unfold. A couple of good readings published this year on the topic include: Why markets tend to fall during a presidential election year and What an election year means for house prices.

Investment wise it can seem counterintuitive to purchase a home when the market is slow and others aren’t buying, however financial gain is no stranger to individuals who do what most others aren’t doing. If you’ve been waiting for a dip in the Santa Barbara real estate market to make an investment this may be your best chance for some time. I appreciate your inquiries and look forward to connecting you with the best opportunities in the market today.

Most popular Santa Barbara areas

June 21, 2016

Santa Barbara and surrounding areas which include Goleta, Hope Ranch, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria have overall seen less property sales this year than last. There are however a few areas that have exceeded the number of sales from 2015. Topping the list is Santa Barbara East which has seen a 6% rise in home sales year-to-date over last year. Goleta South comes in a close second with a rise of 5%, followed by Montecito with 2%. A common denominator in all three areas has been an increase in number of listings which can be considered to help sales.

2166 Mission Ridge Rd

Santa Barbara East  –  Highest Sale YTD: $5.195M  –  2166 Mission Ridge Road

5225 Austin Road

Goleta South  –  Highest Sale YTD: $4.2M  –  5225 Austin Road

380 Santa Rosa Lane

Montecito  –  Highest Sale YTD: $28.85M  –  380 Santa Rosa Lane

Increased inventory doesn’t always promise higher number of sales. Hope Ranch for instance has had 9% more new listings this year with a staggering 57% less home sales, the largest drop of any area. In condos Santa Barbara, Goleta North and Montecito buyers have had more listings to choose from, but fewer units have been sold. Perhaps what’s most interesting to note is the strong correlation between median price and sales in every area. Hope Ranch has had the largest increase in median home price so far this year, followed by Santa Barbara West and Goleta North. These areas also show the lowest number of sales.

Santa Barbara real estate figures so far this year indicate that a limited increase in median price is necessary to sustain sales. Seller pricing will likely be crucial to the number of sales most areas see throughout the rest of the year.

For a thorough market analysis of any home you’re looking to buy or sell in the Santa Barbara or Ventura areas I appreciate your inquiries. Outside the area I look forward to referring you to the most experienced and knowledgeable agents anywhere in the U.S. or the world through our company’s outstanding and award winning global network.