New Year’s Rains and Last Year’s Market

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   January 17, 2023

It’s 2023 and it already feels like a different world. So much steady rain filling reservoirs, cleaning streets (into the ocean sadly), giving us something to really celebrate in the new year.

They say that when it is raining is actually a great time to see a home you are considering buying. Watching how the water moves around the property, are there any leaks at windows or doors etc…? Water is not the friend of interior wood and insulation, or flooring.

As for the Montecito Real Estate market, there is no “leaky roof” there, it seems. I will just put the hits on replay and phone this one in… same story for probably five months now: Inventory is down, way down. Sales volume is down, and prices are up. The Median in Montecito is now over $5M when just a couple of years ago it was $2.9 or so. 

Also of note (and proving the low inventory factor), is that in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are as of this writing, only 24 homes and condos on the market in all of Montecito’s 93108, the lowest number of homes and condos on the market at one time in the 20 years I’ve seen it, if ever. 

2022 Home and Condo Sales in Montecito in 2022

There were 183 reported closed escrows in Montecito’s 93108 in the MLS in 2022, not counting six partial ownership shares that were sold and reported in the MLS. There were also many off-market sales, perhaps a few each month, with some completely unreported sales as well. So all considered, we might have hit a normal (pre-2020 year) for sales numbers (around 200-230 per year in 93018 would be average for years like 2007-2019).

Of those 183 closed sales in the MLS in 2022, there were… 

27 sales over $10,000,000 when more like seven sales a year over $10M has been more common. 

Is this just a reflection of our market being undervalued a few years back? (Which it was.) Or do more people have more money to be able to compete in this new, hot, high-end market?

Not to be forgotten, the under $10M market was strong also, as is evidenced by the incredibly high median price paid for a home in Montecito during 2022. There were…

16 sales between $8 and $10M

46 sales between $5 and $8M

60 sales between $3 and $5M

24 sales between $2 and $3M

10 sales between $1 and $2M

There were no sales under a million in Montecito’s 93108 in 2022, not even fractional ownerships… those were also well over a million.

Just for perspective, in 2019, 50% of all sales in the 93108 were under $3,000,000. Now, for 2022, just three years later, not even 20% of home sales are under $3M. 

Here are a few properties on the market for you to consider if you are still on the fence about procuring a slice of Montecito. This grouping represents about 16% of all homes on the market now, and I’ve focused on the under $5M market, as that is where you have the fewest choices for the most part. 

118 Coronada Circle – $2,495,000

In the Eucalyptus Hill area, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-level home is located in the desirable enclave of Coronada Circle, a community of homes close to all that Montecito and Santa Barbara have to offer. The home has been recently updated with high-end finishes, flooring, and appliances. Within the 1,875+/- square feet of living space, there are two bedrooms with a third bonus room that can be used as an office and/or guest bedroom. The open kitchen has a large dining area, high-end appliances, and storage. 

There are outdoor spaces for entertaining, gardens with mature landscaping, a tranquil patio area offering options, and a spacious two-car garage with storage. The common area amenities and grounds include a pool and spa and wide streets with sidewalks.

260 Cloydon Circle – $2,695,000

Ideally located on a lower traffic street, this three-bedroom, two-and-one-half-bathroom Montecito home is sited on just under one quarter-acre with a deep backyard running north/south+/-. The floor plan offers a formal dining room, living room, second story main suite and two additional bedrooms in 1,765+/- square feet of living space. 

Features include wide plank flooring, air conditioning, and solar panels. Located in the West Montecito foothills, just two short blocks from Cold Spring School and on a hidden cul-de-sac, this home is not far from Montecito’s Upper and Lower villages, the beaches, and all of Santa Barbara. Professionally landscaped grounds feature an entertainment deck, mature hedges, and a shared water well… as well.

67 Olive Mill Road – $2,875,000

Located on the ocean side of the 101 freeway, and just a short block from Butterfly Beach or Coast Village Road, this spacious, three-bedroom, three-bathroom town home is well maintained and within the Montecito Union School District. Live in as a main home, use as a rental property, weekend getaway, or blank slate to transform into your ultimate coastal vision. 

The townhome has many of the appointments of a single-family home, offering spacious living areas, high ceilings, two fireplaces, and a generous amount of storage throughout. The two-story plan features a living room with fireplace, kitchen, attached two-car garage, upstairs laundry area, primary bedroom with fireplace, and a large walk-in closet. There are two additional bedrooms. 

48 Alston Place – $4,495,000

Explosive south-facing ocean views are yours from this special property resting on over 1.6 acres at the end of a quiet lane on Montecito’s Eucalyptus Hill. Available for the first time in over 50 years, this single-level, 2,600+ square foot, traditional residence is reminiscent of a bygone, mid-century era. Designed with spacious rooms, high ceilings, and sprawling outdoor spaces, the residence is surrounded by mature gardens, privacy, and offers views of the ocean and mountains from nearly every room. 

The property reaches beyond the open lawns to a terraced hillside orchard of avocado, orange, cherimoya, sapote, and persimmon trees beckoning to a next generation of conscientious caretakers. A timeless home with undeniable charm ready for the next chapter, located again as other properties in this feature, in the area of West Montecito, where you are close to the beach, the Upper and Lower villages, and all of Santa Barbara as well.  


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