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2017: The Year in Real Estate in Montecito and Santa Barbara

the largest single family residential sale in Santa Barbara County in 2017

the largest single family residential sale in Santa Barbara County in 2017How did natural disasters impact the real estate industry?

My latest newsletter looks at 2017 and the year in real estate in Montecito and Santa Barbara. It’s impossible to look back without acknowledging last year’s Thomas Fire followed by the deadly mudslides that swept through this bucolic seaside community. Those natural disasters have irrevocably changed the face of the community known for its charming shops, famous residents, and sky-high property values.

We are all trying to come to grips with our new reality following the events that unfolded in Montecito last year but I’m hopeful about the future. We are a community. We will, as a community, come out of this.

2017 Year-end Review: Montecito

2017 was a year of two decidedly different halves when it came to real estate in Montecito. Despite many challenges due to buyer uncertainty in the marketplace, the year ended on a strong note.

For the first six months of 2017, inventory levels rose 30.22%, with gains in five of the first six months. During the last six months, inventory levels decreased 48%, with five out of six months showing reductions and one month with no change. For the year, inventory levels declined 32.37%.

Despite a climb in median and average sales prices in the first half of 2017, overall, prices gained .08% in 2017 in spite of our natural disasters. The ultra-luxury market continued to struggle. There was only 1 sale above $20 million and 3 sales between $15-$20 million despite there being over 17 properties for sale above $15 million. Interest rates continued to climb over the past 12 months, with the Federal Reserve raising rates in December; the 3rd time this year.

2017 Year-end Review: Santa Barbara

For Santa Barbara, 2017 brought a decidedly different picture compared to Montecito, with surges in prices across the board. This was a little-unexpected considering last year median and average sales prices in Santa Barbara pushed forward by 19.2% and 12.69% respectively. But, considering the Montecito market showing its strongest activity levels in the $2-4 million range, I say, in the big picture, those figures are not out of line. As prices continue to increase in this segment it is not unusual that sellers will continue to push median and average list prices, which again moved ahead in 2017 by 27.08% and 38.22%.

Beginning 2018 With Top Honors and a New Brokerage Firm

On a personal note, at the end of the year, my husband, Realtor Nigel Copley, and I moved from Sotheby’s International Realty to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and I was honored once again to be named among the “Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents in Southern California.”

For more details on the year in real estate in Montecito and Santa Barbara, please take a look at my complete newsletter which can be found on my comprehensive website.  If you’re listing your property in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.

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2018 Home Prices Keep Growing. Economists Say There’s No End in Sight

home on a bed of money for Home Prices Keep Growing

home on a bed of money for Home Prices Keep GrowingThe seller’s market continues, especially here in California

I searched the internet to find out what leading economists say about the fact that home prices keep growing; wondering if the market will continue this trend throughout 2018. And the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, home prices are expected to climb 4.1% in 2018: 1.1 percentage point higher than the normal annual appreciation closer to 3%, but slower than the current annual pace of 6.9%.

Leading economists agree that home prices will continue to rise, although the gains may be smaller than they were. Here’s what these experts say is driving this seller’s market and what builders are doing because of it:

  • Shortage of homes on the market
    Did you know that there are 12% fewer homes to choose from nationwide than there were a year ago? Inventory shortages will continue to drive the housing market, and low inventory will continue to push up home prices. Instead of buying a new home, homeowners are investing in remodeling efforts to make their current homes feel and look brand new. Sellers, prepare for more cutthroat bidding wars because the supply of homes for sale will not keep pace with demand.
  • Baby boomers and millennials are driving the housing market
    New starts and renovated homes will feature designs that appeal to both millennials and baby boomers: like wide hallways that can accommodate strollers, for families with babies, and/or wheelchairs for aging boomers.
  • New home building framework
    New homes are being built in California using frameworks that makes it easy to add elements later. Think extra support beams behind shower walls to which grab bars can be added as older generations age in place.
  • Builders focusing on entry-level homes
    Economists have said repeatedly that increased residential housing starts, especially at the starter home level, are the key to stabilizing home prices down.

One perfect example is Santa Barbara home values. To get all the details, read my year end newsletter.

My high-end buyers will be happy to know that 51% of for sale properties are in the top one-third of home values. That means there’s more inventory out there to choose from in the luxury demographic. In fact, I usually have even more listings for you to choose from since I have my finger on the pulse of both the open and private sale markets.

On the other hand, if you’re listing your property in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I suggest you act quickly and take advantage of this seller’s market as home prices will keep growing.

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