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Is a Real Estate Boom on the Horizon for Montecito?


Front of Ocean View Mediterranean style estate for sale by Cristal Clarke

Is the summer of 2020 the right time to buy or sell a Montecito home? Is a sort of pandemic real estate boom possible? Getting your asking price, and even attracting multiple buyers, can simply be a factor of the time of year when the home is sold. Any agent worth their salt knows that the best time of year to sell your home or buy a new one is during the spring and summer months. People tend to shop for homes as the weather gets warmer. That’s why the industry heats up in the spring; beginning in late March and continuing the hot streak through the summer months, until late June or early July.

The summer of 2020 is an exception to that rule, however, because of the sweeping municipal shutdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Simply put, COVID-19 just about brought real estate activity to a grinding halt in March throughout most of North America and Europe. The timing coincided with the beginning of the spring selling season, typically the beginning of prime time for high-end real estate markets such as Santa Barbara and Montecito.

READ: Santa Barbara Housing Market: Home Prices in the Shadow of COVID-19

2020 Housing Market So Far

Nationwide, the housing market got off to a quick start in 2020. Buyers were out looking for their new home sweet home in record numbers, new home builder confidence was high, prices were continuing to appreciate, and it looked as though the new year of the new decade would bring good luck in the real estate sector. But then COVID-19 hit and shelter-in-place orders went into effect, which led to the beginning of a challenging time for both buyers and sellers across the country.

As states lift lockdowns, home sales are beginning to sizzle so much that many experts believe this summer will look like the busy spring we didn’t get to experience this year. I predict mid-summer is going to be the best time to list and/or buy so far in 2020.

Short Term or Long-Term Boom?

The extended period of time at home has made many Santa Barbara and Montecito homeowners realize their existing abode no longer suits their needs. Some have found they need more space, some want less space, and others have simply realized it’s time for a change. That’s at the heart of the expected mid-summer boom. Pent-up demand during the quarantine has already created an increase in inquiries compared to the same period last year, and sales are up slightly in some markets, too, including right here in Santa Barbara and Montecito.

READ: Montecito’s 93108 Zip Code: Consistently One of Forbes Richest

Another reason buyers are coming back to the market in light of forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is our historically low mortgage rates.

“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic,” Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac said. “As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”

But many wonder if this will last long enough to create a true real estate boom. The answer to that question is not easy. We have to wait to find out whether the surge is a short-term release, quenching that pent-up demand, or a longer-term phenomenon. Many warn this will be short-term. If that’s the case, it behooves buyers and sellers to make a move now.

Why Move in the Summer?

The reasons people want to buy or sell in the first place didn’t change due to COVID-19. Spring is known as the time for change and new beginnings while summer is known for glorious weather and spending as much time as possible outdoors. Plus, it’s often easier to move in the warm spring and summer months than during winter rains. These seasons are also known as the time of year when the real estate market spikes, with many new listings on the market, followed by sales.

READ: The Richness of Santa Barbara History

In any given year, statistics show that 50% of homes are sold during the summer. There’s a simple reason for that number. Families like to move during the summer when there’s a break in the school calendar so they don’t have to pull their children from class, and they’ll be well settled before a new school year.

Still, finding a home to buy is especially challenging this year, as many sellers removed their listings from the market in the spring. And inventory is still low, below last year’s level, in spite of the fact that more people are now putting their houses up for sale.

Homes for Sale in Montecito

For me, the global pandemic has not affected my business except for the first two weeks of the shelter in place order when I noticed everything slowing down. But it picked back up and my business has been booming. In fact, I’ve sold 11 amazing properties and 7 leases already this year.

Don’t let your new home slip through your hands. You’ll find my new listings of homes for sale in Santa Barbara and Montecito, like the Ocean View Mediterranean-Style Estate pictured at the top of this blog post. If you are looking for a home that offers unsurpassed ocean and mountain vistas, then this 4-bedroom, 4.5 bath estate is for you. Just take a tour with this video and you’ll see for yourself.

Personal situations (or a global pandemic) can prevent even a small real estate boom during the prime seasons like the summer of 2020. Maybe not this time, however, so don’t worry. I can help you sell a home in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or Santa Barbara any time of the year. Call me at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at to discuss your situation and we can come up with a winning strategy for creating your own real estate boom.



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