Montecito’s Market

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   January 25, 2022

If  you are moving to Montecito, you are likely doing so for a specific reason or for a few. We arrived 20 years ago to raise our daughter here, among the many generations of family we had in the area at the time, and so we could reset from city life to a more chill, yet high energy and vibrant community. We found all that and more. Our time with our daughter in the 2000s at Montecito Union School was amazing, often referred to as time in the Montecito Bubble. But it is not really a bubble, it was (and still is) just a safe and beautiful, easy to navigate day-to-day environment with others who appreciate their good fortune in settling here in Montecito, all trying to maintain a community we can be proud of.

We came for the beauty, for hiking, and for being close to Los Angeles, but a world away. A chance to live close to the beach in a town with culture and a vibe. Many move here for those same reasons, or because they’ve enjoyed vacationing here over time and decided on Montecito as a first or second home location, or simply because a friend just moved here, etc… 

One thing’s for sure, we have 600+/- new residents that have moved in since COVID began (that is 60%+/- more than normal in the same time frame in yearly averages). I keep mentioning that fact in this forum, because it truly is an astounding number of new residents in a short period of time. So many services and providers are needed. So many remodel projects happening. Builders, architects, remodel experts, property inspectors, equipment rentals, resource demands, domestic staff, babysitters, tutors, teachers, landscape management, etc… all needed by our new residents as they settle in.

On the Montecito Real Estate statistics front, our inventory is very low, with only 40 homes and condos on the market across all price ranges. As for sales, we have only seen five closed escrows as of January 15, 2022 in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is down from all average months where we would normally see seven to 10 sales in a two-week period regardless of the month. And yet with our slowing sales volume, the prices go higher and higher… Two of these five sales were over $10,000,000, and the least expensive sale thus far in 2022 was an off-market sale on Santa Rosa Lane for $4,500,000. I am seeing a story that keeps repeating itself the past few months: fewer sales, higher price points.

The properties featured here represent the various price points we see many sales fall into. Stylish condos $2.5 to $5+mil near the beach, homes in the $6’s, and as always, something amazing to be seen listed over $10,000,000. 

1356-1358 Plaza Pacifica – $3,495,000

Located in the beachside, guard-gated community of Bonnymede, this elegant, single level, two-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom remodeled condo is a rare find. The designer-style pied-à-terre attaches to an exquisite 600 square foot, southwest facing white marble terrace, perfect for relaxing and entertaining. Features not to be missed include floor to ceiling windows in the living room and primary bedroom, a kitchen with top-end appliances, a stunning 20’ x 20’ primary bedroom with its own separate kitchenette, an adjacent guest bedroom, and a versatile den, suitable for use as an office, media room, or third bedroom. 

Additionally, an underground two-space garage comes with two large storage closets. Enjoy the amenities of Bonnymede including oceanfront sundeck, private pathway to the beach, swimming pool, tennis court, rose garden, and more. This unit is available for purchase fully furnished, including artwork if desired, and is located within the Montecito Union School District.

390 Woodley Road – $6,495,000

Stunning mountain views are yours in the coveted Pepper Hill enclave of Montecito! Experience indoor-outdoor living with this romantic, Spanish Mediterranean estate set on 1.08 acres in the Cold Spring School District. The gated main residence features central A/C and includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two double-car garages, a grand kitchen area, breakfast bar, cozy sitting area, fireplace, breakfast nook with mountain views, and a formal dining room 

Upstairs, the primary bedroom suite boasts stunning mountain views, soothing fireplace, walk-in closet, and an office/bedroom with Juliet balcony. The newly-built RDU (Residential Dwelling Unit) comes with an elevator, vaulted ceilings, and approximately 1,060 square feet of living space. Swim in your gorgeous pool with fountains and then relax in your hot jacuzzi, while viewing the Cathedral Peaks. 

2347 East Valley Road – $6,495,000

Tucked behind beautiful gates awaits an impressive estate built with exceptional design details throughout. This home is gracious in size and scale and topped with voluminous ceilings showcasing extraordinary carved wood details. The home rests on a .88-acre level lot and includes over 7,000 square feet of living space, which is a significant sized home for under $7,500,000 in our current market. 

Inside you will find six spacious bedrooms, seven and a half bathrooms, chef’s kitchen, formal dining, entertainer’s living room, library, media room, office, GFA, central A/C, sound system, and more. Outside, enjoy two fireplaces, inviting oversized pool, and multiple areas to lounge and entertain. A grand rural feel just minutes to the Upper Village, beach, school, and shopping all within the Montecito Union School District.

1395 Oak Creek Canyon Road – $19,500,000 

Created over the course of five years by renowned architect Peter Becker, international designer Rosie Feinberg, and the incredible build team at Giffin and Crane, this spectacular and romantic top of the world ocean-view estate captures the authentic spirit of an Italian villa and combines the work of old-world artisans with the conveniences of modern technology. 

Located within the Oak Creek Canyon estates area just above East Mountain Drive and resting on six prime Montecito ocean-view acres, the 9,000-square-foot, mainly one-level floor plan features gracious formal rooms, divine details, an elegant kitchen and lounge, a library, wine room, and an ethereal primary suite. Walls of glass and steel doors open to a south-facing loggia, pool terrace, and guest house, all overlooking beautiful ocean/island panoramas and within the Montecito Union School District. This estate on Oak Creek Canyon Road was recently reduced in price from $21,500,000 to $19,500,00 and is surrounded by other significant estates, located not far from the San Ysidro Ranch and the shops and restaurants in the Upper Village.  

Mark and his wife, Sheela Hunt, are real estate agents. His family goes back nearly 100 years in Santa Barbara. Mark’s grandparents – Bill and Elsie Hunt – were Santa Barbara real estate brokers for 25 years.


You might also be interested in...