Nick Churton of our London office has some thoughts for home buyers and sellers who wish they could see into the future. Don’t you wish that just once you could have a sure-fire tip about the perfect time to buy and/or sell an investment?
If only you or your parents had known to invest in a small Californian computer start up company called Apple in 1976. A $1000 investment then would be worth north of $30 billion today.
Finding these tips and then acting on them is the stuff of legends. But it is still possible to do the right thing at the right time by listening to the right people.
For example, a good real estate agent with great local knowledge knows exactly what is happening in the property market. So, if you are thinking of buying or selling your home, a good first move would be to receive the best local advice.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the real estate market is an exhilarating place to be right now. Many of us haven’t seen as buoyant or active a market like this since before the great recession in 2007/8. Properly priced homes are flying off the shelves. But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point out that the real estate market is cyclical, and that sometime after this current scramble to buy and sell is over, the market will eventually settle – it always does. It cannot remain on afterburners forever.
In many markets, this is as near perfect a time to buy and/or sell a home as you are likely to find, and those key moments like this only come round every decade or so.
You’ll be pleased to know that we don’t charge for insightful property advice, and while we might not be able to turn £1000 into $30 billion for you, we can help you make the most of what is probably your most financially valuable asset.
So, go on, make a legendary move today.
By Jackie Walters, Village Properties
As one might imagine, with the unfolding impacts of Covid-19, real estate sales activity for the Santa Barbara South Coast for the first two quarters of 2020 has seen some dramatic shifts.
The Village Properties family is here to support our community during these unprecedented and challenging times. Our hearts go out to local families and businesses directly impacted by the pandemic. For those who wish to buy or sell real estate, our members are ready to help under safe and carefully crafted protocols in order to best protect all involved in the real estate sales process.
The year began with strong sales activity fueled by a strong economy and ongoing low-interest rates. When the country, and our local community, began to grapple with the ramifications of dealing with the virus, sales activity went from bewilderment and paralysis in March and April to, astonishingly, a robust sellers’ market by May and June. Pending sales for homes and PUDs for the month of June 2020 were up to three times the number for April 2020; 149 versus 50. By comparison, we saw 103 pending sales for the month of June 2019, showing a significant jump in demand year-over-year.
As you can see, the local real estate market is one sector of our local economy where a “V-shaped” recovery has taken hold. Since the Stay at Home Order was eased, we have seen a surge in out-of-town buyers coming to the Santa Barbara area seeking a smaller community environment for their families. There has been increased appeal for compound-type properties and “extended-family” floor plans. Privacy, space, and rural settings are also in high demand.
Looking closely at the data, you will see how this roller-coaster of a market has now settled in at a somewhat astonishing pace. The chart gives a breakdown of activity per neighborhood as well as the year-to-date median price and months of inventory. The current low month of inventory numbers will almost certainly result in a higher median price as the year unfolds.
For houses and PUDs market-wide, all communities from Carpinteria to Goleta, the median sales price is flat from one year ago; $1,288,500 as of the end of June versus $1,290,00 one year ago. Look for that number to creep up as the year unfolds. The big winner in the median price category is Montecito. As of the end of June, Montecito’s median price was $3,250,000, up 14% from one year ago. What we are calling the “Montecito surge” is a result of a large number of higher-end Los Angeles and Bay Area buyers deciding to not delay their dream of a home here. There have been many cases of buyers coming to town, viewing a handful of homes, picking one, and closing with cash in less than 30 days. Their strong preference is for turn-key homes, to allow for their move to happen sooner rather than later.
The median price for the city of Santa Barbara, at $1,236,000, is actually down very slightly from one year ago, but we do expect that number to move upward as the months unfold. Going back many years, the Goleta market has been “the canary in the coal mine” for South Coast market trends. (That market was the first to signal distress and foreclosures coming out of the 2008 financial crisis.) The Goleta median price at the end of June at $1,055,000 is up 7% from a year ago, indicating market strength in a mostly entry-level housing community, which in turn, will impact the higher price ranges across the South Coast. The smaller communities of Carpinteria and Summerland show a decrease in their median price and higher-end Hope Ranch is showing a slight increase.
The months of inventory statistic provides an excellent snapshot of current buyer confidence and today’s pulse of the market. It compares the number of pending sales to the available inventory, whereas sold data will reflect market activity from up to two months previously. To define this statistic further, months of inventory represents the absorption of the available properties. A lower number shows properties are selling as fast or faster than new listings coming on the market.
Looking at the chart, you will see today’s strong activity is clearly reflected. Again, across our market, the winner is Montecito, for the most dramatic change in that statistic, year-over-year. At the end of June this year, Montecito had only 3.1 months of inventory, as compared to 8.9 a year ago. I personally do not recall, going back many years, that low of a month of inventory number for Montecito. To illustrate further, at Montecito’s three months of inventory, there are approximately three sellers for every one buyer, (this, of course, will vary according to price range) — as compared to a year ago were on average, each seller was competing with eight other sellers for that one buyer.
Months of inventory for Santa Barbara and Goleta are 1.5 and 1.0 respectively. This is a solid sellers’ market territory. Priced at market value, a seller can expect their home to sell within the first four to six weeks. Along with this swift market, a buyer will often be facing multiple offer situations, which is never a fun place to be. Consult your Realtor for strategies in having your offer stand out from the rest under those circumstances.
Current days on market, for the entire market is 65. This number varies greatly, depending, of course, on location and price range. For properties priced at under $1 million, days on market is well under one month. As far as list price to sales price percentage, again, heavily determined by location and price, this currently stands at 95%, this is the list price at the time of sale, after any price reductions.
The condo market, providing a starting point for many first time home buyers, is also showing solid strength. The median price is up 4.3% from one year ago.
We are in uncertain times. Owning your own home, or buying an investment property, can be one of the safest long term investments and is most often the largest part of someone’s overall net worth. Take advantage of today’s historically low-interest rates and ask your Realtor to help you discover opportunities in the market for you. Most importantly, stay safe and healthy.
Right now might be the most difficult time of all to practice self-care. But despite the current state of the world, it’s important that we still take time for ourselves. Many of us are feeling down and super stressed, among other overwhelming feelings. When the weight of the world starts to feel like too much, it’s good for your mental health to take it slow and focus on recharging your battery if you can. Here are some of our helpful tips to help you practice self-care during this troubling time.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Many of us are running on empty right now, and that’s perfectly understandable. But continuous lack of sleep is a recipe for disaster. When you get proper rest, it helps your body stay healthy and keeps your immune system up, which is obviously of great importance during this time. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try taking a nap during the daytime if you can manage it. Additionally, avoid drinking too much caffeine, which can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Release Your Thoughts
If you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and stress, don’t be afraid to reach out to those closest to you to talk about it. Everyone is feeling the stress of this pandemic in some way; you are not alone. But the way you deal with the stress can certainly take a toll on your well-being. Call up a friend or family member and just have a chat. Or, if you like to write, journal about what you are feeling/experiencing right now. Isolation is a trigger for anxiety. You may not realize just how cathartic it can be to purge your thoughts. Remember, purging your mind of troublesome thoughts helps to alleviate some of your worry.
Get Your Body and Mind Moving
Exerting energy or exercising your mind helps to get your mind off of stress and worry, at least for the time being. There are several online exercise programs you can try out, as well as virtual tours you can take of museums and zoos. Pretend you are somewhere else for a moment and try to ease your mind from feeling “stuck” in one place (your house). And, if you can manage, try to eat healthily and don’t overindulge in alcohol, bearing in mind that alcohol is actually a depressant. Rely on using your body and your mind as methods for releasing stress during these hard times. Your body will thank you for it, too.
Have a Spa Day at Home
Obviously, many of us might look like we are in shambles right now, but there’s no reason why you don’t deserve a little pampering. This is a fun way to bond and play with your kids. Take turns giving each other pedicures or styling each other’s hair. It might not turn out like a masterpiece, but don’t worry because you won’t be walking the red carpet in your kid-approved style.
Make a Routine for Yourself
Routines help to keep many of us sane. Although all of our routines have been extremely disrupted, try to make one for yourself that adapts to your new lifestyle and stick with it. It’s important to still be spontaneous if you are feeling stuck or in a rut, and going for a drive or a walk might help if you start feeling stir crazy.
Soak up Some Sun
A little vitamin D never hurt anyone. Hang out in your backyard and read a magazine or do some yoga outside while you breathe some fresh air. Spending time outdoors will prevent you from feeling cooped up and can help you to connect with nature and the world around you. Plus, you’ll feel the positive energy from the warm sun perk up your mood in the process.
Taken from montecitocashmob.com.
It takes a Village to Save a Village
In response to the economic crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Montecito Journal, with help from the 93108Fund, the Coast Village Association, and the Montecito Association, present Montecito’s May Day Virtual Cash Mob on Friday, May 1st, through Sunday, May 3rd.
Help bring economic relief to your favorite restaurant, boutique, gallery, and shop along Coast Village Road and the Upper Village of Montecito. By purchasing a gift card from these local merchants, we can help ensure that our local businesses stay in business until their doors can reopen and serve the community.
The celebratory spending weekend will culminate with a Montecito Community “Zoom Happy Hour” at 7 pm on Sunday, May 3rd. When you spend $500 or more, your name will be entered into a raffle to be eligible to win prizes from your favorite local merchants. Expect to see some local celebrities at the virtual happy hour, stepping up to help breathe energy into our local economy. Winners must be present on the call to win.
Money received for May Day Cash Mob cards is given to business owners, who will, in turn, contact you directly and issue your gift cards.
What is the 93108Fund?
The 93108Fund.org is a 501c3 giving cash grants to hourly wage earners in Montecito who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 closures. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds raised go directly to hourly wage earners. CLICK HERE to Donate.
The 93108Fund is a non-profit started in 2018 after the debris flow to get much-needed cash into the hands of desperate hourly workers or workers who have lost their jobs.
“We are trying to make the process as speedy and efficient as possible,” said Montecito resident Ron Blitzer, who started the 93108Fund after the debris flow in January 2018, and re-started it late last month after the COVID-19 stay at home orders closed many businesses in the Upper and Lower Villages of Montecito. Blitzer noted that the online application is very simple and that the first round of cash payments were in the hands of workers within 4 days of the project starting. “It’s critical that we get money into these workers hands fast,” he said. “But to do that, we need to raise more money as soon as possible.”
How Montecito’s May Day Virtual Cash Mob works
Click here and choose a merchant of your choice. Your gift card monies will be sent to the vendor and they will contact you directly with a gift card from their establishment.
You can also donate directly to the 93108 fund here.
See you on May 3rd and when we are back frequenting Coast Village Road and the rest of Montecito!
We are proud to be affiliated with Luxury Portfolio, the largest global network of the most powerful independent luxury firms, and stand strong with our member companies around the country. We’re still here. Working together. Stronger than ever.
With stay-at-home orders in place, many of us have lots of extra time on our hands. When cleaning out your closets or going for a long walk doesn’t sound tempting, there are other ways you can pass the time. And if you love learning about history, art, and seeing animals in action, then virtual tours might be an exciting option to help you pass the time in a fun way. Best of all, you can learn something new while you’re doing it, too.
From zoos and museums to theme parks, you can take an interactive virtual tour of many places from the comfort and safety of your own home. If you’ve got kiddos at home who you’re trying to keep entertained, doing a virtual tour of any of the suggested places below can help to pass the time in a way that’s also good for their minds.
Here are some of our top suggestions for virtual tours:
History, Culture, and Arts
The Louvre – Paris, France
Want to see the Mona Lisa without traveling to France to do it? Now you can with this exciting tour of three famous exhibits in the museum, which also includes ancient Egyptian artifacts.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Washington, D.C.
If you’d love to tour this incredible museum in the nation’s capital, now you can see every exhibit courtesy of this 360-degree virtual tour. Don’t forget to see the dinosaurs, too, when you do it.
The J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles, CA
Want to take a closer look at the Middle Ages and the Renaissance? You can do so by taking part in a virtual tour of the Getty Museum. This premier gallery in L.A. offers two virtual tours of its facility.
The Vatican – Vatican City, Italy
Most of us haven’t had the opportunity to see this pristine ancient religious city in Rome, Italy. But with the virtual tour, you now have the opportunity to view its stunningly preserved architecture. Check out the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room with this beautiful virtual tour.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Santa Fe, NM
Want to explore the “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it?” You can, through Georgia’s eyes, with this museum, which is filled entirely with the late artist’s work. Check out her legendary artwork through six virtual exhibits.
Each of the NASA centers across the United States offer a unique experience for users at home to partake in. The Houston Space Center offers you a chance to virtually experience Apollo 13, or feel like you’re on the moon when you do a virtual tour of the Langley Research Center.
High Museum of Art – Atlanta, GA
Experience culture and history at this gem in the southeastern United States. The museum’s virtual tours allow you to see and feel the unforgettable history of the civil rights movement with many powerful photographs proudly displayed.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, NY
Home to the famous Met Gala each year, you now have a chance to view one of the world’s most famous art museums straight from your home. You might need a few days to view this extensive 26-exhibit gallery.
British Museum – London, England
Want to experience the history of the human world? Now you can at this famous museum located in London. Take part in one—or all—of the five prestigious exhibits to fully immerse yourself in centuries of cultures from around the world.
Museum of Modern Art – Manhattan, NY
Fuel your mind with endless creativity by taking a virtual tour of the most extensive collection of modern art in the entire country.
Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, MA
This grand museum is home to 450,000 famous works of art, and is one of the best museums in the country. View its comprehensive collections through the several virtual tours offered for those wanting to experience the artwork online.
For Animal Lovers
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Want to have a daily safari right in your living room? Take part in this zoo’s daily Home Safari series at 3PM EST on its Facebook Live feed to give at-home guests a chance to experience the zoo like never before.
Want to see pandas anytime? If you need a cute pick-me-up during these hard times, tune into the zoo’s live stream “PandaCam” for a chance to see one of several giant pandas in action.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Want to feel like every week is Shark Week? Now you can with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live underwater cams!
National Park Services – Channel Islands, CA
If you’re a lover of bald eagles, then these live cam feeds from the Channel Islands courtesy of the National Park Services are perfect for you. Check out the many breathtaking eagles in action right from the comfort of your living room.
If you simply love animals and can’t get enough of these live cam feeds, check out this list, which features a roundup of some of the best ones available to you online. It’s a great way to enjoy science while practicing social distancing!
Now more than ever, we all need to band together. Here in Santa Barbara, there are several businesses that are here to support you during this difficult time for us all. As we fight to flatten the curve of this global pandemic, our community is working together to help each other out during this time of need.
Our Village Properties team is here to support you, and we’ve gathered some helpful resources for you to share. Below you will find a detailed overview of businesses that are actively helping others here in the Santa Barbara area. You can also find some indoor resources and online educational activities to help you pass the time and free your mind from the stress weighing heavily on us all right now.
Ways to Support the Community and Find Support for Yourself:
Cottage Health Hospital
Cottage Health has a drop-off zone for donations of medical supplies. But please keep in mind that it is important that members of the public do not enter hospital lobbies to make supply donations. Hospitals are under a health officer order not to allow visitors. Below you will find the info you need should you like to make a donation.
Drop-Off Center Location
Cottage Health will open a central drop-off center for donations of supplies on Tuesday, March 24 at the parking area adjacent to:
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital
351 South Patterson Ave.
The drop-off center will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, for an undetermined number of days as the local COVID-19 situation and need for supplies becomes clearer. Supplies in original, unopened packaging are particularly being sought at this time.
Please complete this form and bring it to the drop-off center with your supply donation.
Supplies being accepted include:
- Face shields – single-use or non-disposable
- Eye shields – single-use or non-disposable
- Isolation gowns or standard level 3 gowns
- N95 masks
- N99 masks
- Standard procedure masks
- Reusable P100/N95 respirators and cartridges/filters
- Respirator hoods or hazmat hoods
The Unity Shoppe on State Street wants everyone to know that, “It’s only as a CommUNITY that we will get through this.”
A special message from the good people at Unity Shoppe:
“Here at Unity Shoppe we’ve been helping our friends and neighbors manage the fallout from the Coronavirus. Many in our community not only have legitimate health concerns, but are also feeling the tremendous economic impact of this pandemic on their lives.
Most businesses and schools are closed until further notice. There is a scary new reality for the low-income in our community who are concerned about where to get groceries.
If they do not work, they do not get paid, and getting food becomes the number one priority for their families.
The Unity Shoppe is already seeing an increase in food requests, with many new people coming in. We do not know how long this will go on; we have to purchase more food and supplies to be prepared.”
For direct donations, please click on the link below:
Friendship Center is a home away from home for many seniors with dementia in our local community. Both its Montecito and Goleta sites are currently closed due to COVID-19 and the high-risk demographic that the center serves. During this time, it is supporting elderly members by alternate means. It is seeking donations of items that spark joy and well-being, that are new, sanitary, individually wrapped and safely handled, to add to its “Take Care Totes.”
It has partnered with Foodbank SB, Easy Lift Transportation and Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to collect, assemble and distribute the “Take Care Totes.”
Donations can be made via: https://friendshipcentersb.org/contribute-2/donate/
When making in-person donations, please deliver your items to the Friendship Center’s kitchen entrance.
This amazing non-profit has supported the Santa Barbara community for over 50 years and is here for you now. In a statement to Village Properties, it shared a special message about ways it can help assist you should you need it:
“During this difficult time, CALM remains a constant for the children and families healing from childhood trauma in Santa Barbara County. While our doors are closed to the public, we have mobilized our staff to be where our families are at this time. Therapists now meet virtually with clients using HIPAA compliant Telehealth services in place of face-to-face therapy sessions. We understand that this is an economically and emotionally devastating time for most clients, triggering early childhood trauma. It can also be a paralyzing time.
For some, home is not a safe space. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in domestic violence calls and cases, and a decrease in Child Welfare Services reports. With children not in school or childcare facilities, mandated reporters do not have the opportunity to report abuses they don’t see.
The needs of our clients are of utmost priority and we will continue to be their support, as well as a resource for the entire community. This is a pivotal time for all to adapt to the changing landscape of health and well-being. See our resource page here.”
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
Renee Grubb has generously donated grocery store gift cards to families in need. Now more than ever, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and the children and families it services need your assistance. Please support this cause by making a donation: Make A Donation | teddybear
Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to Santa Barbara County residents. Its mission is to serve and empower low-income people and other vulnerable residents. It is open by phone during the COVID-19 pandemic. 805.936.6754
Santa Barbara City College
Free career classes are being taught virtually. All classes will be held in real-time via Zoom. Tuition-free courses are available on business, design, technology and career.
For more information, log on here – https://csi.cccbadges.org/
Santa Barbara Foundation
The United Way of Santa Barbara County, Hutton Parker Foundation and Santa Barbara Foundation are leading the COVID-19 joint response effort with members of the Foundation Roundtable to address the needs of individuals and families in Santa Barbara County as well as the non-profits who serve them. Your donation to the Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF) will support our COVID-19 joint response effort. To donate to the Santa Barbara Foundation, click here.
Family Service Agency
At Family Service Agency, our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community. As we continue to provide essential services, we are making some important changes to operations to ensure the safety of our staff and those we serve.
As of Friday, March 20, all FSA offices are closed to the public. Most core services are being provided via telephone/video or in-person in essential situations, such as safety net support and food distribution. All offices are complying with rigorous sanitation practices and maintaining safe distances as outlined by public health officials.
Senior and caregiver mental health support will continue via telehealth, a HIPAA-compliant protocol for interfacing with clients via telephone or video.
School-based counselors in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Carpinteria are also shifting to telehealth practices to continue to support those children who need mental health counseling.
Home visits have been suspended.
If you need support services or mental health counseling, please contact the FSA office in your community. (Note: Some staff are working remotely. Feel free to leave a message with your name, call back number, and reason for your call.)
Santa Barbara (805) 965-1001 Santa Maria (805) 928-1707
Lompoc (805) 735-4376 Guadalupe (805) 343-1194
For more information visit: https://fsacares.org/