Hello 2021, and a Quick Look Back at Home Sales in Montecito in 2020

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   January 14, 2021

Well, let me just say, “whew, what a year that was,” to 2020. Let’s see what 2021 has in store for us, and what we will make of it collectively as a community here in lovely Montecito. As usual, we are having lovely weather and the rain this past week was welcome for sure. More of that soon please.

Despite the many pains of twenty twenty, statistically, when it comes to real estate sales in the area, as far as I can determine it was the strongest year ever for average sales prices, top home sales prices and overall sales volume. Multiple sales in excess of $25 million and even a few more than $40 million caught the eye of national and international news publications as well as the attention of many buyers with household names. 

Also significant is that most of these sales happened between June and December, just seven months of frenzied home purchases, featuring a strong showing in the $5 million to $8 million market with 50+/- sales in that price range alone this past year.

When examining these facts, one finds that in recent years, there have been about 225+/- homes and condos selling each year in the Multiple Listing Service, the MLS, in Montecito. This year however, we saw 335+/- homes and condos sell in the same area, and this does not include the many “off market sales,” some of which were more than $20 million and a few greater than $40 million. 

With fewer homes coming on the market and an increase in demand for homes from buyers outside the area, we see again what happened in the early 2000s, when many homes on the market had bidding wars or sold quickly. This is happening now and over the past few months, leaving us with fewer than 80 homes on the market in Montecito’s 93108 zip code across all price ranges as we start the new year. I have never seen this few homes on the active market in Montecito.

While homes in central Montecito, near the Upper or Lower villages, are priced at a premium, and there are very few right now at less than $4 million available, it is important to remember that when one lives within the 93108 of Montecito, nothing is very far in terms of overall drive time from place to place unless you are at the top of a mountain.

Living in the lower foothills of east Montecito or up a private lane in west Montecito may mean the Upper or Lower villages of Montecito are a few minutes further away, however the proximity to hip and trending Summerland in the east and the ease of commute into Santa Barbara proper from the West are advantages to these areas.

If you are open to living a few minutes’ drive from a store, many options exist along and off East Valley Road, Hidden Valley Lane, and Toro Canyon to the east, and to the west the great views that can be had from streets like Eucalyptus Hill, Chase Drive and Via Alicia.

Here are four listings in east and west Montecito worth considering and all priced between $2 million and $4 million. Note that the two homes on Toro Canyon Road are adjacent to each other and combined, would offer multiple homes on multiple acres with multiple options for usage as a compound – just a fun idea I thought I’d throw out there.

871 Deerpath Road – $2,595,000

Enjoy ocean views from this 4,000+/- square foot west Montecito home at the end of a private cul-de-sac! The home rests on a 1-acre parcel and offers tranquil surroundings and panoramic views. The main home boasts 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, while the guesthouse (ADU permit pending) offers 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen and laundry.

These spaces combine into a sprawling residence, or enjoy as two dwellings with private entrances. The spacious and open L shaped kitchen / dining room / great room in the main home has fireplaces at each end. An attached two-car garage with storage, additional outdoor parking, brick patios, open yard, whole house A/C, and French doors throughout make this an attractive opportunity.

428 Toro Canyon Road – $3,250,000

Perched above Padaro Lane beaches not too far up in the foothills in east Montecito, just above the polo fields, lies this private, island style retreat with head on ocean, island, coastline, and harbor views. Enjoy sun filled rooms with floor to ceiling doors and windows that open to spacious balconies overlooking the pool, the tropical landscaping, and the ocean beyond. A great escape just minutes to shopping and conveniences.

Situated on an acre and close to the beach, restaurants, shopping, trails, and more, this is a great opportunity to own a rural feeling property in a close in location with privacy and easy access to the 101, Summerland, Montecito, and Carpinteria. A two-car garage, Jacuzzi, studio/bonus room and, of course, the incredible ocean views add to the value of this listing. 

124 Via Alicia – $3,395,000

This luxury lock and go Eucalyptus Hill home is located within a gated complex and offers sensational ocean, coastline and mountain views from most rooms. The generously sized 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom open concept home boasts incredible scale with 9-foot-tall ceilings, 3 fireplaces, large windows, skylights and French doors thoughtfully situated to capitalize on each of the five patios, the serene setting, and gorgeous views. 

Drawing on Mediterranean-style design, find marble flooring, vaulted ceilings, and multiple fireplaces. The living room features a trio of French doors to a patio overlooking the Montecito valley and sprawling ocean views and opens to the formal dining area. The chef’s kitchen includes a large center island, stainless built-in appliances, and abundant cabinetry. There is a laundry room, and an attached two-car garage with interior access. 

The community development includes a pool, spa, and guest parking. Located in west Montecito, one is just a few turns down the hill into either Montecito or Santa Barbara depending on the needs of the day.

418 Toro Canyon Road – $3,490,000

If you need space and are looking in the under four million market, this home offers nearly 5,000 square feet as advertised and includes 4 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and is something of a compound at the top of a long private driveway. This is an opportunity to bring your ideas and update the home to suit your tastes and benefit from the improvements directly.

Situated on 1.77 lush acres with ocean and mountain views in East Montecito, near Padaro and Santa Claus Lane beaches, this home offers a grand entryway that opens to a versatile multi-level floor plan with tall ceilings and expansive windows that invites the natural light and lets you enjoy the views. 

A spacious living room, dining room with wet bar, office and numerous special areas can effortlessly adjust to your living and work at home needs. The primary suite, complete with sitting area and two separate bathrooms, opens to a quaint mountain view terrace. Private guest quarters with separate entry offers plenty of extra space for live and work.


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