Three Days in Summerland
Could you use a little dose of summer vacation right about now? Then it’s time to plan a memorable three-day weekend at Summerland. Just five miles south of Santa Barbara, Summerland is the quintessential California beach town.
Just head south on Highway 101 to Lookout Park Road (exit 91) and make your way to Lillie Avenue. You’ll want to park the car to take a stroll down this picturesque street, which is dotted with interesting antique stores, cozy cafes, locally-owned shops, and charming cottages. The town’s central beach is framed by Lookout Park, where you can take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
You can choose from one of the many Airbnbs within a short walking distance of shops and restaurants for your stay. This lovely two-bedroom guesthouse is located on a quiet dead-end street right next to scenic hiking trails. Or escape to this charming two-bedroom cottage that is just a short walk from Summerland Beach and Park.
Another choice is to book a relaxing stay at the Inn on Summer Hill. You’ll love the attention to detail throughout this lovely bed and breakfast, and every room has an ocean or garden view.
Begin your first full day in Summerland at Field and Fort, a unique blend of cozy cafe and bespoke home decor shop. While you wait for your order of avocado toast, scones, or an English muffin breakfast sandwich, browse through their lovely retail section. You’re sure to find something extraordinary that perfectly reflects the Santa Barbara lifestyle (and will look great in the new vacation home you are now considering purchasing)!
After breakfast, head over to the Bikini Factory, a local institution since 1980 that just happens to sell bikinis. You’ll find hundreds of styles — including Brazilian brand bikinis, bikini separates, and one-piece bathing suits — to fit any taste or body type.
Now that you have new swimwear, it’s time for the beach! Make your first stop at Lookout Park to enjoy stunning cliff-top views of the coastline. After enjoying the scenery, walk down to the beach. Take your time heading toward Butterfly Beach in Montecito and enjoy inspecting all the colorful creatures that find their way into the local tidepools.
After your time at the beach, head back to your cozy accommodations for a shower and a quick nap. Now, you’re rested and ready for your visit to the best sanctuary in SB — The Sacred Place. People from all over the world come to enjoy the serenity of this particular spot that features treasures that are historical, religious, or related to personal growth. There really is nowhere else like it.
Next, take a relaxing walk back to your room to get ready for dinner at Summerland’s famous Nugget Bar and Grill. The Nugget offers a mouth-watering selection of burgers, steaks, seafood, and salads. The service is friendly, and the portions are generous.
After your meal, take a late evening stroll through Summerland’s downtown to window shop in preparation for your home decor and antiquing adventure tomorrow.
After a restful night, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Summerland Beach Cafe, which offers the best bacon you’ve ever tasted. If you’re hungry, be sure to try the Two, Two and Two — two pieces of French toast, two slices of bacon, and two large eggs. And don’t miss the cafe’s fresh-squeezed orange juice; it’s incredible!
Now that you are well fortified, it’s on to shopping! Your first stop is The Well at 2350 Lillie Ave. This gorgeous shop offers vintage and unique collections of home and garden pieces from Europe, Asia, and North America. You’ll love the ambiance here, and be sure to look for their Tuberose home air freshener sticks.
After you visit The Well, cross the road to Botanik, where you’ll enjoy a lush and lovely collection of home decor. Dipped in moss and alive with greenery for your indoor plants, Botanik’s moss pots are a must-have. You’ll also want to purchase one of their reusable organic cotton produce bags for your next stop.
You won’t want to pass up a visit to the nearby Sweet Wheel Farms produce cart. You can choose from a selection of fresh fruit to snack on throughout the afternoon and to take home with you tomorrow. Everything at the stand — including the beautiful flowers and fresh bread — is organic and locally sourced. (Don’t forget to use your new produce bag!)
Porch, known for its slogan “where shelter and nature converge,” is your next destination. The people at Porch are design experts, and you will love their sophisticated selection of textiles, furniture, and art for indoor and outdoor living.
If you’re ready to make a statement with your home furnishings, you can’t miss a stop at Garde. You’ll discover distinctive rugs, lighting, accents, furniture, textiles, scents, and objects that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
After all that shopping, you deserve a rest and a glass of wine. And how about enjoying it along with a spectacular ocean view at Summerland Winery’s Tasting Room?! With its charming front porch and beach-inspired decor, this tasting room exudes a warm and inviting vibe that typifies the Summerland experience.
Begin the last day of your adventure at Red Kettle Coffee, which serves up locally roasted coffee and hand-blended teas along with a daily selection of fresh baked goods. This quaint shop also supports the local community by selling handmade merchandise from more than 20 local vendors.
Another Summerland must-do is a visit to The Summerland Antique Collective. There are so many treasures to find here among the collectors’ intriguing individual stalls! The Collective stocks lighting, fine art, furniture, architectural elements, rare books, statuary, and outdoor items.
And next on your antiquing list is Mary Suding Antiques & Design, where you can browse a collection of mid-century modern, county, folk art, and architectural antiques, as well as unique items for the garden. There truly is something here for every home decor style and taste.
By now, you’re probably wondering if you have enough room in your car to take all your treasures home. Don’t worry; we know you’ll be back.
In fact, after you check out and head on your way, you probably are thinking about buying a home in this idyllic beach community. Here are some homes that VP has listed or sold in Summerland in the last 12 months.
VILLAGE PROPERTIES JOINS THE LAUNCH OF FORBES GLOBAL PROPERTIES — A NEW LUXURY REAL ESTATE CONSUMER MARKETPLACE AND MEMBERSHIP NETWORK.
Throughout our 25-year history, we have continuously pushed ourselves to add more value and exposure for our clients. Like most, we thrive on long-term relationships and meaningful personal connections. With this in mind, we are thrilled to announce that Village Properties has joined Forbes Global Properties as a Founding Member. A natural extension of the time-honored Forbes brand, Forbes Global Properties is a new luxury real estate marketplace and member network, composed only of top-tier international brokerages.
Most importantly, this platform is a curated consumer experience, connecting discerning buyers directly to the world’s finest homes. More than 130 million visitors from around the world engage with forbes.com every month and enjoy unrivaled access to a collection of properties presented alongside timely market data and trusted editorial content.
It’s that time of year, everyone! With the holidays upon us, we’d love to share with our fellow Santa Barbara residents our “It List” picks for this season. This list has been carefully curated by our team at Village Properties, and in it you will find the crème de la crème when it comes to gift giving ideas around town—and you might even find some must-haves for yourself, too!
Here are our hand-selected gift ideas, from local brick and mortars, that you can spoil your friends and family with this holiday season…
Celadon – Candles and Trays
Does the thought of sipping a delicious cup of hot cocoa or freshly brewed coffee while cozied up on the couch or in bed sound divine? Celadon has the perfect trays for you to do just that! And best of all, their assortment of heavenly scented candles will make every room of your home smell terrific.
Wendy Foster – Heart Pajamas
There’s nothing like the perfect pair of pajamas in the winter—and this is especially true at Christmas time! This set of heart pajamas from Wendy Foster is a great gift idea—but you might want to get one and give one to experience this maximum level of comfort and cuteness rolled into one!
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is where you can find incredible ancient to contemporary artwork on display, but it’s also home to some wonderful gift ideas for the special people in your life. Choose from celebrity ornaments made by women in Kyrgyzstan or how about a mochi ice cream kit.
Want to give a unique gift that will make your recipient think of you each and every time they use it? Gift your friends and family members this stylish table setting that’s ideal for any occasion. The handmade designs are perfectly ornate, and the matching candlesticks add a lovely touch of class to any meal. And any cook would beg for these wooden measuring cups and spoons.
Float Luxury Day Spa of Santa Barbara
Know someone who is long overdue for some pampering? Treat them with a gift card to Float Luxury Day Spa, where they can experience the best massages and facials that Santa Barbara has to offer. Their gorgeous gift bags can be used for outdoor picnics, the beach, farmer’s markets, or even your groceries. Give that special person in your life a chance to experience Float’s CBD joint and muscle cream—the hidden gem that Float clients swear by!
When it comes to all things sports and outdoors, Mountain Air Sports is THE place to shop! Shopping for someone who loves to ski and snowboard? Pop into Mountain Air Sports for fun stocking stuffers of all kinds. And if you’ve got a proud Californian in your life, their cute California apparel will make for a thoughtful and fun gift. Their CA hats make for the perfect stocking stuffer, and the $30 price tag is a bargain, too!
The shopkeepers in the Funk Zone have a wide variety of unique and hip men’s and women’s clothing to choose from. Want a vintage-flair present for the nostalgia lover in your life? Check out their framed and unframed artistic poster renditions of concerts from the Santa Barbara Bowl. Most local residents have many memories of ongoing shenanigans at these concerts over the years, and they’ll enjoy fond memories each and every time they look at that poster hanging in their home. And don’t forget about their locally made soaps, soaking salts, and jewelry. Or take things up a notch by learning to experiment with tarot cards. You can impress your family members in the process with their readings!
Photo credit: Rob Tran @blob_t
Who wouldn’t love to have their own custom scent?! Buy the experience of “making your own scent” for the special person in your life who is all about beautiful aromas. At the Grapeseed Company, you can expertly customize essential oils, fragrance sticks, body/room spray, and more…all custom to YOU.
Dylan Star Clothing Boutique
Now officially open at their new Funk Zone location, you can find an eclectic selection of hats, custom gift baskets, and so much more. Your grandma, or even your man, might get a kick out of their stylish flasks, and don’t forget to pair it with a trendy outfit so they can drink in ultimate style.
When you step into Whiskey + Leather, you’re in for a fun time you won’t find elsewhere in the Santa Barbara area. Their eclectic blend of fashions are hip and begging to be worn. From women’s puffy corduroy jackets with matching pants to aviator nation sweats, and of course, you can’t forget to browse the men’s department—AKA Scotch and Soda. Their candles make for perfect stocking stuffers, or any of their fun bar games or other home goods. Know someone who loves to cleanse their home? Their sage cleansers and crystals come with gorgeous packaging and make for a wonderful gift.
Proudly serving the community since 2002, Maison K is filled with chic gift ideas with Euro flair. Know someone who can’t live without their vino? Purchase them one of their gorgeous double-walled wine chillers. And if you have a coffee and tea lover in your life, this coffee/tea set will make them feel as if they’re sipping at a posh cafe in Europe.
Hudson Grace – Montectio Country Mart
In search of stylish home necessities that anyone would love? Hudson Grace has countless finds, and something special for anyone on your shopping list. Their Montecito candle and match striker are an absolute must. Want to brighten someone’s day? Gift them with some rainbow Henri glasses – hand blown in Italy! The stylish and practical gifts you’ll find at H/G will be a hit with anyone on your list.
At Jake & Jones, there’s something special for anyone on your wish list of all ages. With fashions for men, women, and even kids, their curated threads are always trendsetting and super stylish. In search of stocking stuffers? They’ve got a nice collection of curated, sustainably made finds from candles to beauty products, and even a teething necklace for mom/dad to wear.
Restaurants open for take out:
We are in our second stay-at-home order. Luckily we can still support local business by ordering takeout this holiday season. Click on this link to see all the options you can order from. Share this list with your friends so that our favorite local restaurants can stay in business!
Here are the top tips we give to all our clients looking to list their property:
- Contact a Village Properties Agent to list your property and help you get it in order.
- Use your agent’s knowledge on the local market trends, to price your property correctly.
- Thoroughly assess the condition of your property as if you were the buyer, and be realistic about possible improvements needed before listing.
- Establish clear lines of communication and be open to feedback. Your agent wants to see you sell as quickly as possible and for the highest price, but in order to do so, you need to keep an open mind and be ready for constructive critiques regarding your property.
- Seriously consider hiring a stager, should that be the best option for getting the highest price for your home.
- Consider having inspections done prior to listing so that you can take care of any repairs ahead of time and avoid difficult negotiations during the escrow.
- If you need some help with upfront improvement costs, Village Properties has a solution – VP Assist. Contact us on that page for more information.
- If you have any legal questions about the sale of your home get them answered ahead of time through our Village Legal Services offered at no cost to the client *see below
- Most importantly, clean, organize, and declutter – we are here to help!
No other street in Santa Barbara is as well-known as State Street. It is this special street that’s at the very core of our downtown area. Over the summer, a small army of Santa Barbara-based architects let their imaginations run wild with numerous possibilities for the State Street of tomorrow. The ideas for the famed street’s new look ranged from extravagant to minimal, but these exciting conversations were intended to kickstart conversations with the public and city officials on revamping the street. For more on the designs they proposed, click here and see examples below.
This month, we’ve decided to share one of our own Village Properties’ Agent’s top picks with you for a three-day fall weekend, Santa Barbara-style. This is a fantastic bit of information to share along with your out-of-town friends. Enjoy!
Are you ready for a fall getaway before the hectic pace of the holidays sets in? Santa Barbara is the perfect spot. Although we have comfortable temperatures year-round, autumn offers more fog-free days, less crowded streets, and that great sweater-weather feel in the evenings.
Even with social distancing guidelines, there is so much to see and do in Santa Barbara. Our three-day weekend plan begins with a Thursday night arrival. That way, you are set up to get the most out of your time in our “American Riviera.”
Check in to the elegant Hotel Californian, which is located right in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The eclectic district includes cafes, galleries, boutiques, and tasting rooms that reflect the Santa Barbara lifestyle. You’ll see bold graffiti murals and contemporary art pieces and watch surfboard shapers at work on their craft. You can also participate in the Urban Wine Trail, a self-guided tour of more than 20 tasting rooms representing Santa Barbara’s wine country, which winds through the Funk Zone. In order to increase safe social distancing during COVID, the city of Santa Barbara has closed some of the streets and parking lots in and around the Funk Zone to traffic.
After working up an appetite during your walk, it’s time for dinner at Arigato Sushi, Santa Barbara’s premier sushi restaurant. Be sure to try both their traditional and unusual sushi options. You’ll soon understand why this is one of the more popular dining spots in town — and it’s just a short walk back to your hotel after your meal.
Day One – Friday
After a relaxing sleep, give room service a call for some juice and coffee. Then take a refreshing dip in the hotel’s rooftop pool and enjoy stunning views of the ocean as you dry off on the deck.
Now that you are fully re-energized, it’s time to get the up-close-and-personal look at Santa Barbara that only a bike ride can provide. Jump on your complimentary bikes from Hotel Californian (subject to availability) and head north up State Street. Your first stop should be Renaud’s Bakery and Bistro. I recommend their deconstructed croissant sandwich, which includes scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. Make sure to request that your croissant be warmed up and ask for a side of butter and jam. I know you’ll agree with me that Renaud’s croissants are even better than those in Paris. I’m not kidding!
Now you can work off those delicious calories with a quick bike ride to the nearby Diani Boutique to choose a gift for the in-laws and a swanky new outfit to wear for dinner tonight. Owner Caroline Diani, who was born in Kenya and grew up in England, fills her warm and welcoming shop with unique clothing, accessories, and treasures for the home.
Okay, enough shopping; it’s time to head to the beach! Pedal your bike to the Santa Barbara Sailing Center, located at the east end of Harbor Way. Stand-up paddleboard rentals there are only $18 an hour. You can launch directly from the center’s dock to explore the Harbor, Stearns Wharf, and West Beach. Did you bring a waterproof bag for your phone, or are you feeling lucky? Either way, you’ll get some great photo ops. You may even see some of my favorite harbor residents — the seals and sea lions!
After you get back your land legs, head over to Brophy Bros for a beer and a bowl of clams on the patio, where you can enjoy an impressive view of the harbor. After lunch, take a stroll along the waterfront to browse the shops for souvenirs or watch the boats drifting in and out of the Channel. You might want to check out the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum(open with limited hours during COVID), which offers fun, hands-on exhibits on nautical history.
Next, you’ll bike back toward the hotel. If all that biking and walking has made you hungry, you can grab an authentic Argentinian empanada at Buena Onda. Be sure to ask for the chimichurri sauce!
Now, it’s time to return those bikes and take a much-needed nap at the hotel. You need to be rested and ready for your dinner reservations at Loquita!
After your power nap, put on those new Diani outfits and head downstairs to the Margerum Tasting Room for an incredible flight of rosé and whites. Then steady yourself for the short walk to the fabulous Loquita restaurant, which offers the finest Spanish cuisine in Santa Barbara. I’d say that the best dish in town is Loquita’s carpaccio and tomato bread. My other favorites from the menu include the pulpo, coliflor, el bulli olive, and Manchego, but you absolutely must not leave Loquita without trying their Basque cheesecake and churros. Yum!
To walk off your incredible meal, take a stroll back up State Street to The Good Lion for a nightcap. Then it’s back to the hotel for some shut-eye; you’ll have another busy day tomorrow.
Day Two – Saturday
It’s Instagram Day!!
Pro tip! If COVID restrictions are not still in place, you have to try a Goat Yoga class on the Court of Califia at Hotel Californian. The 50-minute class — usually held every third Saturday morning — is designed for all skill levels, and all you need is a mat and a joyful attitude. The baby goats will do the rest! You’ll rule your Instagram feed if this fun class is on — trust me!
Whether you’ve had the fun and relaxation of Goat Yoga or not, you’ll get your Saturday off to a picture-perfect start with a walk up State Street to Jeannine’s Restaurant & Bakery. I love their Classic Benedict, which includes two poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and house-made Hollandaise sauce on an English muffin along with a side of fresh fruit or potatoes.
Now that you’re properly fortified, your next stop on the SB IG tour is the rainbow art installation at East Beach’s Cabrillo Park. Designed by artist and architect Herbert Bayer, the Chromatic Gate is a giant multi-colored arch. You’ll get some fantastic rainbow pics if you watch for clouds passing over the mountains to the east of the Chromatic Gate. And you’ll be able to say you’ve walked through a rainbow. No lie.
Speaking of art, Santa Barbara is an established art mecca. Even though our wine and cuisines have taken center stage in recent years, be sure to take advantage of your time here to visit the many galleries, sculptures, and installations throughout the city. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which is open for limited hours during COVID, houses more than 27,000 pieces, a collection of size and quality usually found in much larger cities.
Your next IG stop is McConnell’s for one of their legendary ice cream cones. Why not try their pumpkin pie flavor? ‘Tis the season!
Next, head over to pose on the Spanish steps next to Eureka Burgers. Each step features different vibrant Spanish tiles. Not far away is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which has to be one of the most beautiful public buildings in the U.S. You’ll love taking pics that show off the building’s red-tile roof, white-washed exterior, and lush garden. And the best part? The clock tower offers an incredible 360-degree view of the ocean. If pandemic restrictions permit, a visit to the tower is free and open to the public.
Time’s a-wasting! Now you’re off to Bristol Farms, the gourmet grocery store chain, to pick up a picnic lunch of delicious cheeses, cold cuts, and a fresh baguette. (If you’d rather someone else do the shopping for you, you can call Santa Barbara Picnic Co., and they’ll take care of you.)
A picture-perfect spot for a picnic is the Mission Park Rose Garden. Adjacent to the Santa Barbara Mission, the garden has over 1,500 rose plants that bloom April through November and a large grassy area that’s a popular picnic spot. Even if you visit when the roses have been pruned, you’ll still enjoy the view of the beautiful Mission, which is called the “Queen” of California’s 21 historic mission buildings.
Your next stop is Stearns Wharf for strolling, browsing, people watching, and breathtaking views of Santa Barbara’s coastline. Take a break at Deep Sea Wine tasting room for some phenomenal wine and IG pics. Just a block away from the Wharf is Wheel Fun Rentals, where you can rent a surrey bike. Your friends will be so jealous when they see all the great pics you take along our famous coastal bike path.
Whew! It’s time to head back to the hotel for a nap! Then, to work up an appetite for dinner tonight, you can get your sweat on with an invigorating yoga class at Power of Your Om.
For dinner, head to the Santa Barbara Public Market for Sal de Mar at Corazon Concina or Thai coconut curry at Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar — or maybe both? During COVID, the market expanded its outdoor seating options, so you can watch the sunset as you finish your meal before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. (Be sure to take one more IG pic of that gorgeous hotel room before lights out!)
Day Three – Sunday
You’ve been on the go all week, so request late checkout for this morning and, whenever you’re ready, order room service or stop at Jack’s Bagels on Milpas for a fresh bagel and a cup of coffee.
Santa Barbara offers some fantastic hiking opportunities. So, put on your hiking shoes and grab some water for a morning trek up to Inspiration Point or Tangerine Falls. The Inspiration Point hike is a moderate 3.5-mile round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 feet. The views are incredible at the top (hence the name), but be on the watch for fast mountain bikers! Tangerine Falls is also a 3.5-mile round trip. The trail includes some slippery rock-hopping, but if you’re not the faint-of-heart type, the views of the falls are well worth it.
After your hike, you’ll enjoy the luxury of a massage or spa treatment at Salt Caves, an incredible underground crystal salt cave that radiates a sense of calm and wellness. If COVID restrictions are in place, not to worry, Little Rainbow Foot Spa, on the corner of Haley and State Streets, is offering a selection of relaxing outdoor treatments that meet health guidelines.
Now that you’re all stress-free, it’s time to go back to your hotel to check out and head back home. But we know you’ll be back for more. Until next time!
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.