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Celebrity homes in the news

July 21, 2015

Santa Barbara certainly entertains a large share of celebrities, many of whom decide to make the beautiful and beloved seaside community their home. In a location so easily accessible from Hollywood, where luxury real estate is plentiful and privacy is easier to come by than in more populated cities, the attraction for celebrities is a natural one. Over the years many of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpinteria’s finest homes have exchanged hands between well-known celebs.

Currently in the news and on the market are Jeff Bridge’s stunning 19.5 acre Tuscan estate on Hot Springs Road for $29.5 million, and Don Johnson’s 2.76 acre French Country estate on Knollwood Drive for $14.9 million. Steve Martin’s 5.86 acre Modern Contemporary estate on Romero Canyon Road was on the market earlier this year for $10.999 million and Dennis Miller just closed escrow on the sale of his 3.76 acre Colonial estate circa 1895 on Glen Oaks Drive. For more information on any of these properties please send an inquiry.

Jeff Bridges    Don Johnson

Steve Martin    Dennis Miller

Of course you don’t have to purchase a celebrity’s multi-million dollar estate to enjoy all of the world class amenities that draw the rich and famous to Santa Barbara.  There are many properties to choose from which connect you to Paradise and all it has to offer. I appreciate your inquires and the opportunity to assist you.

First half numbers for Santa Barbara

July 7, 2015

It’s been a year of further recovery for real estate in most areas around the country, and the first half numbers for Santa Barbara are showing a similar trend. Following are some of the most significant figures which show that our local market is transitioning to a more stable rate of appreciation and more traditional number of overall sales. Moving towards this type of balance should prove to be beneficial to both buyers and sellers in the coming years.

Home Sales:  598 in 2015; 535 in 2014; 670 in 2013
Condo Sales:  292 in 2015; 205 in 2014; 229 in 2013
Homes Under Contract:  518 in 2015; 587 in 2014; 722 in 2013
Condos Under Contract:  263 in 2015; 226 in 2014; 235 in 2013
Home Median Sale Price:  $1.2M in 2015; $1.16M in 2014; $950K in 2013
Condo Median Sale Price:  $589.5K; $550K in 2014; $495K in 2013

These numbers are representative of Santa Barbara and surrounding communities which include Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Hope Ranch and Goleta.

As the year progresses I look forward to keeping you up to date on the latest market trends and available properties in and around Santa Barbara. If there’s a particular neighborhood, type of property, or price range that you’re focusing on I’m happy to provide you with detailed information that would be helpful. Your inquiries are appreciated.

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.

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