Real Estate Blog

On September 27, 2016 California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill AB 2299 and Senate Bill SB 1069 which significantly expands the right of residential property owners to develop “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs, also known as second units or granny flats with kitchens. The new state law requires “ministerial, nondiscretionary approval” of ADUs, with guidelines that supersede pre-existing city ordinances in Santa Barbara.

A significant part of the new law that went effective January 1st eliminates additional parking requirements if the second unit is developed within an existing one-family dwelling or accessory structure, such as a detached garage. This has quite an impact on Santa Barbara since parking is a huge issue the city faces. Other

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Happy Summer Solstice! Summer Solstice happens today at 9:24pm in Santa Barbara, marking the longest day of the year and first day of summer. To celebrate the event Santa Barbara will once again have its traditional Summer Solstice Celebration this Friday through Sunday at Alameda Park downtown, with the main event parade up State Street starting at noon on Saturday, and children’s parade starting at 2pm on Sunday. Click here for more details. Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice event which has in the past drawn over 100,000 visitors once again ranks as the number one in California, and in the last two years has ranked as one of the top ten Worldwide.

Downtown Santa Barbara has also been a very hot item for real estate this year with 48% less new listings

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When actor Jeff Bridges listed his beautiful Tuscan ocean view estate on Hot Springs Road in Montecito for $29.5 million in the summer of 2015 he didn’t expect that it would sell for only $15.925 million almost two years later.

A couple of other celebrity estates have recently come on the market in the Santa Barbara area. Ellen DeGeneres has just listed her incredibly restored ocean and mountain view Italianate estate on Hidden Valley Lane in Montecito for $45 million. She purchased the home in 2011 for $16.5 million before restoration and is looking to make a substantial profit. Kevin Costner just listed his 10.25 acre ocean front estate site on Padaro Lane in Carpinteria for $60 million. He purchased the property and 7 acre lot next to it in 2006 for

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In mid-February the California Economic Forecast Project conducted a 2017 Economic Review at Santa Barbara’s Fess Parker Resort. During the conference predictions were laid out for years 2017 through 2021 with regard to South Santa Barbara County’s housing market. It was pointed out that relying on historical performance to predict future direction is ineffective in today’s fast-moving economy, especially in view of regime changes and global influences. Demand for homes by consumers, supply of new homes, and statewide economic growth are all factors that the project says are considered in its forecasting.

With regard to the 21 principal counties in California the project has unanimously forecasted that all of the markets will have home price gains over

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In addition to being one of the busiest times of year for the real estate market, springtime brings many other reasons to be out and about in Santa Barbara. This year’s recent rains have complimented the color and fragrance of the area’s beautiful scenery with abundant blossoming flowers, trees and plants. The following list includes some fun activities you may decide to enjoy along with taking in Santa Barbara’s inviting outdoors.

April 7-9 – Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, Bacara Resort and Spa, begins on Friday at 7pm

April 7-9 – Lucidity Festival, Live Oak Campground at 4650 Highway 154 in Santa Ynez, begins Friday at 10am

April 20-23 – Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend, Santa Ynez Valley, begins on Thursday at 11am

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In addition to being one of the busiest times of year for the real estate market, springtime brings many other reasons to be out and about in Santa Barbara. This year’s recent rains have complimented the color and fragrance of the area’s beautiful scenery with abundant blossoming flowers, trees and plants. The following list includes some fun activities you may decide to enjoy along with taking in Santa Barbara’s inviting outdoors.

April 7-9 – Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, Bacara Resort and Spa, begins on Friday at 7pm

April 7-9 – Lucidity Festival, Live Oak Campground at 4650 Highway 154 in Santa Ynez, begins Friday at 10am

April 20-23 – Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend, Santa Ynez Valley, begins on Thursday at 11am

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Currently one-third of home sales nationally are transacted with all-cash, down 4.5 percentage points from a year ago. All-cash purchases hit their last record peak nationwide in January 2011 at 46.6 percent, and during the first three months of 2014 all-cash transactions accounted for 43 percent of national sales. Experts predict that cash sales will fall to a historically normal level of around 25 percent by mid-2017.

In the South Santa Barbara County real estate market all-cash transactions currently only account for 22 percent of single family home sales, down from 30 percent a year ago. Santa Barbara hit its peak of 41 percent in October 2012.

Strict lending standards and high buyer competition are two major buyer stimulants for all-cash

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There are some hot spots leading the way so far this year in the Santa Barbara real estate market. Year-to-date Hope Ranch home sales have seen a 350% increase in number sold and 400% increase in number under contract when compared to last year. In addition, Santa Barbara East area sales and pending sales have increased 31% and 69%, and the Carpinteria/Summerland area has also seen double digit increases of 50% and 42%. The hottest spots for sales and pending sales of condominiums are currently in the areas of Goleta North with 66% and 33% and Santa Barbara West with 11% and 66% increases.

 Santa Barbara’s high end Montecito area has seen the biggest decreases this year in sales and pending sales with -58% and -36% for homes and -85% and -60% for

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With many various predictions and differing expectations for the housing market this year Santa Barbara is off to a great start. Year-to-date numbers show that inventory has increased for both homes and condos, 22% and 7% respectively. The number of homes under contract is up 23%, and number of condos sold is up 33%. So far the lower price point market has outperformed luxury sales, with entry level buyers taking advantage of the historically low interest rates still available. If interest rates begin to rise this year as many predict the Santa Barbara real estate market could shift back to seeing more higher-end all-cash purchases and less entry-level financed property sales.

Santa Barbara is also off to a great start this year regarding rainfall

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Most predictors point to growth for the U.S. housing market in 2017. One of the most optimistic outlooks has just surfaced from economist and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller who indicates that an upcoming housing boom is not out of the question. To read the full article click here. With slightly rising interest rates it’s pointed out that many buyers may begin to lock in and secure housing before rates go up significantly. Investors are also betting that Trump will follow through on may campaign promises that could fuel the housing market, with backing from the now Republican majority Congress.

Zillow and Redfin are predicting that home values in 2017 will grow 3.6 percent and median prices 5.3 percent respectively, with inventory and number of home

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