How 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.