Montecito and Santa Barbara Estate Market
First Quarter 2015
By Harry Kolb
During the first 3-months of this year, the market for finer homes in the Santa Barbara Coastal area including Montecito, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch and Goleta continued to show an improving market moving up the price ranges and about to finally approach our highest level, that of homes selling for over $15 million. The vital signs in all four general price ranges making up our community generally show improvement with one price range practically exploding with dramatic results.
The majority of homes in our market, those sold for below $4 million, improved in the number of homes sold over the first quarter of last year with 382 sold this year compared to 305 sold in 2014 â€“ an increase of 25%. The average sales price also increased from $1,038,000 to $1,092,000. During the high point in 2000 when we sold 522 homes under $4 million, the average sales price for those homes sold was only $616,000.
The group of homes priced from between $4 million and $8 million did very well and was back to the volume of sales recorded at the height of the market in 2007 and 2008. During the first three months of this year, we recorded 16 homes sold. As a comparison, in 2012 and 2013 we sold only 5 and 8 homes in this important price range during the first quarter of those years. The average time on the market for these 16 homes was 299 days and they sold for an average of 95% of their last asking price and 86% of their first asking price â€“ all much improved from previous years.
The homes priced from between $8 million and $15 million did remarkably well after several years of rather lackluster performance. This year we sold 13 homes compared to only one last year during the first quarter. These 13 homes sold represent more than weâ€™ve sold in this period over the past six years. These 13 homes sold for an average of 92% of their last asking price and 80% of their first asking price and with an average of 922 days on the market due primarily to two homes that had been on the market for over 2,000 days. The market was so strong in this price range that three of these homes sold without coming on the active market. Agents were calling other agents trying to find suitable homes that werenâ€™t yet available for buyers ready to buy, but unable to find what they were looking for.
During the first quarter of this year we sold only two homes priced at and over $15 million. Although this activity in the first quarter shows a definite improvement over the past two years, it represents a continued softness in the major estate market that has persisted since the peak of the market in 2007. But as the general real estate market seems to be improving more and more as buyers progress up the price ranges, we see improvement finally coming to this upper range with three properties priced above $15,000,000 now pending among the 40 or so that are currently available. We anticipate these three homes will complete their sales transactions within the next few weeks and reflect an improving market in this price range as well.
Sothebyâ€™s Announces New Marketing Program
Sothebyâ€™s International Realty today announced the launch of its 2015 marketing program designed to reach a global audience of qualified luxury real estate consumers.
At the core of the brandâ€™s 2015 strategy are its relationships with preeminent media powerhouses in both the print and online arenas including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, Dwell, Hong Kong Tatler, Financial Times and Google Digital Network. These relationships were developed to showcase unique properties from the Sothebyâ€™s International RealtyÂ® brandâ€™s 760 offices in 60 countries and territories through unique, media-rich advertising units that offer an immersive experience and position the brand in front of a relevant audience of luxury consumers worldwide. Several relationships feature elements that are exclusive to the Sothebyâ€™s International Realty brand. Our focus is to be where the luxury consumer is searching for real estate and today that is via mobile and tablet devices. In the United States alone, time spent with mobile devices is growing at a significant rate.
The Sothebyâ€™s International Realty brandâ€™s website, sothebysrealty.com, has been re-launched to provide a fully immersive, responsive, video-based experience with unique content. Last year, the site saw the most traffic in its history with 11 million visits and 75 million page views.
The brand also will continue to work with Sothebyâ€™s auction house to produce Art & Home, a jointly produced magazine that launched last year, designed to engage readers with sophisticated content related to the art and real estate worlds.
The Sothebyâ€™s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide. Sothebyâ€™s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firmâ€™s brokers and their clients benefit from an association with the Sothebyâ€™s auction house and worldwide Sothebyâ€™s International Realty marketing programs.