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Summer in Santa Barbara

June 23, 2015

Santa Barbara kicked off its first day of summer last weekend with the lively Summer Solstice Parade, drawing an estimated 100,000 visitors. Photos of the Sci-Fi themed event can be viewed here. There are many more festivals and events scheduled in and around Santa Barbara this summer, along with some much anticipated new real estate listings. Please see the following list of popular events, and stay tuned for upcoming information on real estate trends and opportunities throughout the season. I hope to see you this summer and appreciate your inquiries!

June 27 – Rods and Roses, Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, 10am–3:30pm

June 27 – Santa Barbara Wine Festival, Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol in Santa Barbara, 2‑5pm

July 4 – Santa Barbara 4th of July Parade, State Street in Santa Barbara, 1pm

July 4 – Santa Barbara 4th of July Celebration, West Beach in Santa Barbara, 3-9pm

July 11 – LotusFest, Lotusland in Montecito, 2-5pm

July 18 – California Wine Festival/Beachside Wine Festival, 236 E. Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara, 1-4pm

July 19 – Santa Barbara French Festival, 300 W. Alamar in Santa Barbara, 11am-7pm

August 1-2 – Santa Barbara Greek Festival, 300 W. Alamar in Santa Barbara, 11am-7pm

August 5-9 – Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Click here to view schedule and locations in Santa Barbara

Homes receiving multiple offers

June 9, 2015

Amidst a long string of historically low inventory and pent up buyer demand Santa Barbara’s real estate market is seeing a very large number of homes receiving multiple offers within a short period of time after being listed. Several factors contribute to which homes are likely to draw more than one buyer. Homes falling into the following categories are seeing the most multiple offer activity.

1) Homes in price ranges under $1 million

2) Homes priced slightly below current comparables

3) Homes having a preferred location or style that’s been in short supply

4) Investment properties that are well maintained

It can be very discouraging spending a lot of time and energy searching for a good property, only to find out that when it does appear there are several buyers waiting in line with offers. What’s even more discouraging is having this happen to you multiple times, which some buyers in the current market have experienced. All-cash offers are now common place, so you must be prepared to offer other terms that will impress the seller of a high demand property. The timing and way an offer is presented also factors into a seller’s decision. This is where local knowledge, experience and shown professionalism go a long way. I had the wonderful experience of having a client’s offer accepted last week on a very desirable four bedroom home that was priced under $850K. Although there were multiple offers and my client’s was subject to a loan contingency we were able to reach acceptance with the seller by offering desirable terms and presenting the offer well.

It’s my pleasure to assist clients in making well informed decisions that lead to great outcomes with their real estate transactions. I sincerely appreciate your inquiries and look forward to hearing from you.

City reports are in the news

May 26, 2015

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury published a report this month regarding the inconsistent and unreliable nature of zoning information reports (ZIRs) which the City of Santa Barbara has for quite some time required on all home sales within city limits. Subsequent articles have been written by much of Santa Barbara’s news media. The Grand Jury’s report is quite detailed and eye opening, going into the history, original intent, inconsistencies, and currently outdated practice of the mandated ZIRs. To view the full report click here.

As Santa Barbara’s leading real estate company in home sales volume Village Properties has been instrumental in providing information that the Grand Jury has used to investigate and draw useful conclusions regarding the current ZIR process. There are 10 important findings and recommendations at the end of the Grand Jury’s report, in which a request for response by the City of Santa Barbara City Council is asked for within 90 days. One of the recommendations is that ZIRs become once again voluntary and for information purposes only as they were at their inception in 1974. Another is that the city certify each ZIR’s accuracy along with training their technicians well enough to do so.

The ZIR has been a significant part of the buying and selling process in Santa Barbara for a long time. We’re happy to see that the topic is getting attention and in the news so that constructive steps can be taken for improvement. I look forward to keeping you up-to-date with how this process may affect your next transaction in Santa Barbara and appreciate your inquiries.

Positive growth for Santa Barbara

May 12, 2015

The UCSB Economic Forecast Project hosted its 34th annual summit last Thursday at Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre. Attendance was large with many South Coast business elites packing the venue. News from the summit was that Santa Barbara’s economy looks to be headed in a positive direction for the next several years. Data regarding the area’s rising GDP, employment growth, new businesses and increased home values was shared. Percentage increases in agriculture, wine, clothing, retail, and building material sales was also given.

Key points presented at the recent economic summit also included the following: The real estate industry in Santa Barbara County currently accounts for the largest share of the GDP at 19%; A record breaking demand for housing caused rents to increase 7.1 percent last year, with an additional increase as high as 6 percent predicted for this year; Overall 2,692 jobs are expected to be added in the county this year, although most of those jobs will not be “high paying”. To read more news presented and details of the summit click here.

While Santa Barbara County’s economic figures are growing, its share of available housing has continued to stay at record low levels. The City of Santa Barbara permitted only 12 new residential units last year according to UCSB, and Carpinteria only 2. In addition, figures this week show that the currently available resale inventory in the Santa Barbara area is down over 12 percent from the same time last year. Amidst the low supply of homes I look forward keeping you informed of the very best property opportunities available throughout the year and appreciate your inquiries!

How fast is Santa Barbara moving?

April 28, 2015

Recently CNN Money published that in the 100 largest metros of the US, 8 of the 10 fastest moving housing markets are in California, with San Francisco in the top spot. In conjunction, Trulia reported that 70% of the homes in the three top markets sold in two months or less. The full articles can be accessed here: CNN Money; Trulia.

Santa Barbara was not included in the survey because of its smaller population. If Santa Barbara’s under $1 million market segment were included, where only 40.7% of homes were still for sale after two months, it would rank #5 between San Diego and OC (Orange County).  That’s impressive considering Santa Barbara’s higher median asking price of $819,000 in the low end range.

It’s important to stay in touch with how fast the real estate market is moving when buying or selling. I look forward to keeping you up to date with Santa Barbara’s local market trends throughout the year and appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your inquiries.

Festive events in Santa Barbara

April 14, 2015

Santa Barbara is getting an early start on summer with great weather and the scheduled Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park this weekend. Sunny skies are predicted for the week, with perfect mid-70 degree temperatures. Real estate sales are also off to an early start this season with 67 out of 501 active properties going into escrow already this month. Of course what else would you expect in Paradise?

Here’s a list of the upcoming festivities that are just around the corner for Santa Barbara:

Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival – April 18-19 – Alameda Park

Vintners Festival Grand Tasting – April 25 – River View Park in Buellton

Santa Barbara Fair and Expo – April 29 – Earl Warren Showgrounds

Fork Fest – May 9 – Chase Palm Park

I Madonnari Street Painting Festival – May 23-25 – Old Mission

Santa Barbara Wine Festival – June 27 – Museum of Natural History

I look forward to seeing you in Santa Barbara amongst all the upcoming events, and to the opportunity of assisting you with any real estate needs.

First quarter market trends in Santa Barbara

March 31, 2015

The drumroll please …. the first quarter real estate sale numbers for Santa Barbara are in! It’s been a better than expected year thus far with some interesting trends. Looking at the the sale numbers, the following first quarter increases have occured for Santa Barbara and surrounding areas including Goleta, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, 2015 verses 2014.

Sold Volume Increase:  60% for homes; 84% for condos

Pending Sales (Under Contract) Increase:  22% for homes; 60% for condos

Number Sold Increase:  19% for homes; 42% for condos

Median Sale Price Increase:  7% for homes (currently $1,185,000); 7% for condos (currently $590,000)

The most interesting trend this first quarter has been that sales in the highest price ranges have increased the most. For homes and condos over $5M there has been an increase in sales of 170%. In comparison, the under $1M price range has only seen an increase of 15%. More inventory should bring more sales in the quarters to come, however the counterbalance could be that many homeowners will decide to stay in their current homes longer due to the finance and tax implications of moving. It will be interesting to see what trends the rest of the year brings. I look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the activities and also many great property opportunities along the way.

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