Inventory is Up

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   May 23, 2023

This week it’s all about the Montecito market, and I don’t mean the Upper Village grocery store. I’m talking about the Montecito real estate market. 

After months of low-housing inventory and lower, post-pandemic sales volume (OK, make that a year or so), we are finally seeing a restocking of the available homes for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Montecito’s 93108. At the same time, numerous closed sales in the past two weeks have moved much of March and April’s lower-to-mid-priced inventory into the sold or pending category, and we are seeing many new listings hit the market each week. 

To illustrate this point with stats, Montecito had 28+/- homes and condos for sale to choose from in mid-April in the MLS, and it had been that way for many months. Now in mid-May, we have 44 homes and condos available across all price ranges – a 50% increase in available housing inventory.

On the recently sold side of things, in April there were only 10 sales recorded in the MLS in Montecito’s 93108, down from average years, where we would normally see a dozen or more closed escrows during April. 

Of significant note here is that four of those 10 sales in April were more than $10 million. Forty percent – that is news. May has already seen nine closed escrows in the MLS as of May 11, all less than $10 million, which is more in line with our normal market activity in the area.

So, if you plan to be one of the lucky few to buy a home in Montecito this month, here are four options in a variety of sizes, styles, locations, and prices from which to choose:

2946 Hidden Valley Lane – $5,700,000 

This renovated Andy Neumann Spanish Estate rests on a private, gated, and fenced 3-acre lot that boasts a long private driveway, off-street parking, ocean and mountain views, all in a private setting. Features include a grand living room with a fireplace and wood-beamed ceilings, a large island kitchen with high-end appliances, formal dining and breakfast rooms, a library with built-in shelving and ocean views, and an oversized infinity pool surrounded by both covered and uncovered patios. 

The primary bedroom suite includes a spacious sitting area, walk-in closet, and luxurious open-concept bathroom. Two additional bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom, provide privacy and comfort. Embrace the indoor/outdoor lifestyle this entertainment-friendly home offers and be surrounded by nature just a few blocks up the hill from East Valley Road.

865 Romero Canyon Road – $7,995,000 

Welcome to this 2.81-acre Montecito property that includes an authentic East Coast farmhouse of almost 6,000 square feet, surrounded by stunning oak trees and manicured landscaping. This six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom home is within the Montecito Union School District and features gracious living spaces, providing a perfect place to gather and entertain friends and family. Large windows throughout the home frame the oaks and mountain views, and let in natural light. 

Step outside into a rustic wonderland, where meandering walking trails lead you through the gardens and around the property. An aviary adds charm and reinforces the character of this outdoor oasis, while space for a riding arena makes it potentially ideal for equestrian enthusiasts. Of additional interest and opportunity is the converted barn on the property that has been transformed into additional living spaces to be used as one sees fit.

301 San Ysidro Road – $8,300,000 

Conceptualized by prolific architect John Kelsey and built in 2008, this home has often been referred to as the architect’s ‘’Little Masterpiece.’’ Tucked away at the end of a lane, just down the road from Montecito Union School, the ¾-acre parcel boasts mountain views from its tranquil setting. The approximately 3,400-square-foot home is encircled by agave and mature oaks. Welcomed by a glass entry, guests are next greeted by voluminous ceilings and ample windows that invite warmth and natural light into the home. 

A striking circular dining area flows into the kitchen that includes stainless-steel appliances and custom cabinetry. The primary suite comes replete with walk-in closet, glass sliders to a private patio, and a spa-like bathroom. The retreat-like backyard includes an outdoor fireplace and multiple seating areas. Framed by majestic mountain views, the sunny patio is landscaped in drought-resistant greenery. Garden pathways meander through the property, revealing a shady Bocce court perfect for alfresco entertaining.

1439 Irvine Lane – $11,250,000

In a prime location, resting above the heart of the Golden Quadrangle and within the Montecito Union School District is this ocean-view, Mediterranean estate designed by renowned architect Don Nulty. This lovely, gated residence offers easy access from a less-traveled street off East Mountain Drive. Additional on-site guest parking and an impressive grand entry welcome visitors. The home proudly showcases elegant social and private rooms, as well as the expansive patio, ideal for entertaining, and dining al fresco. 

The grand living room is anchored by a handsome fireplace and features stone floors and large French doors with sweeping vistas. The chef’s kitchen has been newly remodeled and hosts top-of-the-line appliances and custom cabinetry. The primary suite enjoys an abundance of natural light and has its own private balcony overlooking the ocean. The sparkling pool with spa is surrounded by beautifully curated gardens and a patio with a built-in barbecue and fireplace.  


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