2021 Near Year-End Real Estate Update for Montecito

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   December 28, 2021

Happy Holidays and all my best to everyone out there in Montecito. Cheers to all of those who make and keep this such a special place and welcome to those who are spending their first holiday season living here in town. 

We all know the real estate market has been hot and it’s still hot (in terms of prices anyway), but sales have slowed to reflect more normal monthly totals of 20-25 sales per month. One of the most talked about reasons why sales may have slowed is that there are so few properties for sale. It seems, for the most part, as if those who wanted to sell have sold. What’s available as of this writing (December 15) is a small group of about 40 properties, some of which have been on the market a while and some that are newer to market — ranging in price from the low $2 millions to more than $70 million, and not a lot to choose from in between.

Most of the homes, if not all, that are still on the market in Montecito, seem to be bargains when compared to the top neighborhoods in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, etc. Paying between $5 million and $8 million for a home with four or five bedrooms on more than a half-acre to multiple acres of land in a prime spot would certainly run you that or more in any other top Los Angeles area, so the values in Montecito are clearly on display.

Newer homes to market tend to be more exciting, causing a buzz with agents and buyers. But don’t forget to notice the properties that have been on the market a while, the one you might have considered last month, but now can see there was a recent price reduction that might make that home more interesting.

By the Numbers

On average, about 220 homes and condos sell each year in Montecito. Sales through December 15, for the year 2021 as recorded in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reports sales as follows: 

As of December 15, 2021, in the MLS, we saw 332 homes and condos sell in the 93108 in 2021. Of those 332 sales, 90 were under $3 million (which is usually 50% of the market, now just over 25% of the market is under $3 million in terms of sales price). What this proves is that the entry level for a home in 2019 that might have been priced around $2.8 million, became worth $4.3 million very quickly in 2020 and 2021.

In this same time period, there were 98 homes sold in the $3 million to $5 million range; that’s a huge number. Also, 79 homes traded hands in the $5 million to $8 million (an astounding number when compared to annual averages), and 26 sales of $8 million to $10 million. Finally, the big story that put Montecito on the billionaires’ map and in the news now more than ever, is that we saw a whopping 39 sales of more than $10 million as recorded in the MLS, not to mention a few big sales that went “off record.” A note, the average year in Montecito sees between five to eight sales a year trading hands over $10 million.

So, if you are still looking for that dream home in the area, here are four to consider. 

Happy home shopping and happy holidays!

900 Park Lane West – $8,495,000

This private, contemporary Montecito home is located on Park Lane West and adjacent to extensive hiking trails and the famed San Ysidro Ranch. The mesmerizing views, through walls of glass, showcase the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and the Santa Ynez Mountain Range. The great room has extravagantly high ceilings, and the Chef’s kitchen has an oversized Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf appliances, and generous pantry storage. The primary suite has walk-in closets and a bathroom with views from the soaking tub. The home has four additional bedroom suites, each having access to the outdoor spaces. Multiple indoor and outdoor entertaining areas maximize Santa Barbara’s amazing climate. Situated on over three professionally landscaped acres with a plunge pool and above ground hot tub make this retreat into nature an escape from the bustling world, all within the Montecito Union School District. An extensive remodel in 2015/2016 and continued work in 2019 with upgraded systems, air conditioning, a generator, solar panels, and 220-volt power in the oversized garage will benefit the next owner of this home.

412 Lemon Grove Lane – $2,595,000

Nestled on a quiet lane in the coveted Montecito Union School District, and just a short block or two to school, this contemporary California Cottage style-home with detached guest quarters is tucked behind flourishing fruit trees and gardens with an abundance of privacy. Sun-filled rooms, an easy flow floorplan, and open spaces are true to its design that seamlessly connects the indoors with the outdoors to maximize space for both relaxing and entertaining under a partially covered patio with spacious outdoor dining terrace and barbecue area. The detached one-bedroom, one-bath guest quarters with vaulted and beamed ceiling sits above the two-car garage with large picture window, fireplace, and its own personal ambiance. This is the lowest-priced home in the Montecito Union School District at the moment. 

920 Camino Viejo Road – $5,695,000 

This AIA award-winning modernist masterpiece was designed by renowned architect Rex Lotery for his personal residence. His other works include a home once owned by Elvis and Priscilla Presley. This 4,800-square-foot home rests on approximately 1.15 acres in a great location not far from the Upper and Lower Villages as well as just over the hill into Santa Barbara, and includes four bedrooms, an office, and four and a half bathrooms. Designed for an indoor-outdoor lifestyle with a seamless transition to the gorgeous grounds, where an expansive lawn, vibrant fruit trees, and premier outdoor living space, replete with a pool, spa, and fireplace with built-in radiant heated seating. The interior features modern design details, expanses of glass windows and doors, capitalizing on the setting, views, and natural light, and quality finishes throughout. Enjoy also the glass walled artist studio, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar and an impressive glass-roofed library.

232 Miramar Avenue – $5,850,000

Perfectly situated on a cul-de-sac lane in Montecito’s Hedgerow neighborhood, this quintessential California cottage-style home consists of a gorgeous main suite looking out to the 50-foot lap pool and lots of sunshine. There are an additional two bedrooms and paneled library/office. The living room and den share a two-sided fireplace just off the recently remodeled kitchen. Added to this are an attached guest suite, laundry room, and garage with lots of storage. Mountain views accent the backyards professionally designed and maintained raised beds, putting green, and patio with built-in BBQ. Add all this up and you have a house that can accommodate anything from a weekend getaway, to a home for those looking to be in the Montecito Union School District and just blocks from school — not to mention easy access to both the Upper and Lower villages and the Rosewood Miramar Beach just down the street.


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