The Condominium Market

By Michael Phillips   |   August 30, 2018

There is no doubt that condominium living is completely distinct from that of a single-family home experience. We all know condominium dwellers who fired their gardener and the guy who fixes the electric gate years ago and would not live any other way, and others who miss being able to paint their front door any color they’d like and prefer the enhanced privacy afforded most single-family home (SFH) ownership. 

Just possibly, the sense of “lock and go” security condominiums enjoy might be an increasingly important issue, especially this year in our seemingly more vulnerable semi-rural enclave.

Visit a condominium open house and you will encounter investors in search of rental properties, entry buyers hoping to have their children enjoy the benefits of our exceptional schools, and all kinds of folks wanting to downsize both property ownership obligations and space.

From 1978-2016, SFH’s increased in size every year. In 2016, this trend reversed. After realizing that we mostly live in the kitchen and family room, we seem to be thinking smaller. Indeed, here in Montecito the typical condominium is at least half the size of the median-priced SFH and is also valued at almost exactly half; $1,437,500 and $2,850,000, respectively.

And the year-over-year data for condominiums versus the SFH are surprising. While condominium sales are up 27%, SFHs are down 38%, and while condominium median sales price rose 10%, SFHs fell 10%. These differences promise to continue for the near future; condominiums pending, or under contract, are up 45%; SFHs are down 39%. These will show as sales data within the next 30 days.

This year, condos sold at San Ysidro, Depot, Danielson, East Valley, Fairway, Montecito Shores, and Bonnemede at prices from $690,000 to an even $4 million for a 2-bedroom ocean view at Montecito Shores. 


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