Author spotlight: Mark Ashton Hunt

Mark and his wife Sheela live in Montecito and are Real Estate agents with Village Properties. His family goes back over 100 years in the SB/Montecito area and Mark's grandparents, Bill and Elsie Hunt, were Santa Barbara Real Estate brokers for 25 years.

Ins and Outs: Montecito and Her Many Special Neighborhoods
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   August 9, 2022

Montecito is a small town with a big presence, and it’s not just our famous residents… it’s this place. Just a mile or few from the ocean to the highest home on the hill. Nature all around. Creeks and hiking trails, small chic shops, and amazing restaurants, a reputation warranted and earned over the last […]

No June Gloom… At Least Not in the Real Estate Market
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 28, 2022

While it might be foggy here and there thus far in June, it’s been lovely just the same. The dividing argument of whether the fog line is at Montecito Union School or whether it’s East Valley Road (just a block apart but worth the discussion), is one of the longer running debates you might hear […]

A Season of Change
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 14, 2022

The seasons are changing, and so is the Real Estate market… at least that’s the way the numbers are rolling out here, nearly halfway through 2022, with most months being down in sales volume from the month before. Now I know, many will say it’s because of low inventory, and that’s true, or partly true. […]

April Showers… A Few at Least
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   May 10, 2022

The warmer than winter weather and the longer days of sunshine make April an especially lovely time of year in Montecito. Falling after the colder and shorter winter months and coming usually before the May Gray or dreaded June Gloom (fog), April is often a mix of all the seasons in one month. Freezing nights […]

March Was Madness
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 12, 2022

A whopping half of all homes for sale in Montecito’s 93108 zip code are priced over $10,000,000 While I don’t follow March Madness basketball, I do follow the Montecito Real Estate market, house by house, sale by sale, and March was indeed Madness. While an average March might bring 18+/- sales, March 2022 showed strong […]

February Stats and My 10th Anniversary with the Montecito Journal
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   March 15, 2022

This spring marks my 10th anniversary writing about Real Estate for the Montecito Journal and I just want to say how appreciative I am, to the publication and to the local Real Estate agents, who have allowed me this forum to share my insights on the market and the Montecito area during this past decade. […]

The High End Keeps Going Higher
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 15, 2022

For one of the longer months of the year, January came and went quickly it seemed. Many lovely days, a bit of good winter surf, and some big estate sales in Montecito as well. So far, this year we are seeing the same low available housing inventory as in months past and at the same […]

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, […]

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 […]

Slower Market? Sure. But the Prices That are Being Fetched…
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   November 30, 2021

Lovely warm days mixed with overcast mornings and a couple of very chilly nights tells us that we are heading into winter (more rain please). Daylight saving time has kicked in, which is great for the early birds and surfers, bringing light before 6 am. That said, I’m still getting used to darkness in the […]

Falling into Fall
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   November 9, 2021

As the weather teases us between hot and cold, and as the first rain falls and the clocks prepare to turn back time, we start looking ahead to the holidays, a new year, and we say hello to a lot of new neighbors. By my estimate, in the past 18 months we have seen approximately […]

Real Estate Basks in the Glory That is Santa Barbara’s Secret Summer
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   October 12, 2021

Well, it looks like our Santa Barbara summer is finally here. OK, not the commonly thought of summer – Memorial Day to Labor Day – but the secret summer that we locals know, the October summer that often brings the best weather of the year. The islands are clear, the ocean glistens from a lower […]

Falling for Fall with Hope for Rain Soon
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   September 28, 2021

It seems as if fall has arrived a tad unannounced, at least for me. I had been waiting for those definite signs of summer: feeling unbearably hot, the ocean warming up considerably for at least a few weeks, and that moment when one starts looking forward to cooler weather. The May Gray/June Gloom hung in […]

So Much for a Real Estate Slowdown . . .
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   September 14, 2021

What a difference a month (of big sales) can make. In my last article reviewing Montecito’s Real Estate activity for June and most of July, I focused on the lack of sales of more than $10 million. In that writing, I also noted an overall sales volume decline that put sales numbers closer to normal […]

The Eight-Figure Market Slows, Leaving More Options for Prospective Buyers
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   August 12, 2021

As we kick summer into high gear and the fog fights with the sun for control of the day, the real estate market in Montecito remains robust, yet leveling off to a more normal number we are used to seeing in past years. Additionally, we are seeing fewer sales recently in the over $10 million […]

Montecito Market Movement and a Few Best Buys to Boot
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   July 22, 2021

In pre-COVID times, one could buy a very nice home with 2,000 – 3,000 square feet of living space on a larger lot (over half-acre) or in a prime spot or beach area, for around $2 to $2.5 million. I can point to dozens of closed comps just two years ago, that illustrate how these […]

Montecito Best Buys: The $20s… Million, That Is
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   July 1, 2021

In addition to more than double normal sales volume for the past 15 months, there have been more sales over $20 million in the past year or so than at any other time in history. Sales in the $20s have happened in the past, and a very few have sold at more than $20,000,000 in […]

Slim Pickings? Sure, but There Are Plenty of High-End Properties Available
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 17, 2021

In Montecito, spring basically brought us no rain, and summer is just around the corner. I can tell because the weekends are teeming with people on Coast Village Road and the mix of overcast and sun is keeping me dressing in layers still. But I’m working on my summer feet, when we walk barefoot more […]

Dwindling Inventory and High Demand
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   May 20, 2021

This is it, a run-up in the market the likes we have never seen. I’m not talking about Wall Street or the stock market, which is also up, so maybe that’s what is funding and fueling this buying craze here in Montecito, where we are seeing a phenomenon, of sorts.  I am talking again about […]

Market Mayhem: ‘Migration Movement’ to Our Paradise Continues
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 29, 2021

At this point I am unsure of whether we will see enough new listings hit the market in Montecito before the last house goes up for sale and is sold. That won’t happen — will it? — but if you follow the numbers, it’s not impossible.  As of right now we only have about 47 […]

Montecito Has Been Discovered
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 8, 2021

Something tells me that times they are a-changing in Montecito… Whether it’s the 50-plus cars I saw at both the Hot Springs and San Ysidro Trailheads on the same day recently, or that I could not find a parking spot at sunset near Butterfly Beach on a weekday in March, or the fact that booking […]

Needles in a Haystack
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   March 11, 2021

Considering there are fewer homes in the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS, which feeds Realtor.com, Zillow, and others) than at any other time in the past 20 years, I feel it’s an interesting time to pause and ask (as others often ask me), what’s next in our real estate market?  Will the buyers who find […]

Four Homes Looking for Their New Owner
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 18, 2021

The desire of so many to purchase a home in Montecito, along with the phenomenal number of homes sold and sales over ten million dollars this past year, has been covered at length in many local and national publications. This rush to buy has left Montecito’s Real Estate market with very few homes for sale, […]

A New Year, but Not a Lot of New Listings
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 4, 2021

We will likely start February off much as we started January, with very few homes available for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Montecito. As of January 23, there were only 76 homes and condos on the market in all of Montecito and the entire 93108 zip code, when normally there would be […]

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 […]

2020, What a Year It Has Been… So Far
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   December 24, 2020

As we begin to slow the ride on this incredible rollercoaster of a year, it is important to consider all that has changed in the past 11-plus months. The pandemic, the political and social climate of uncertainty, the business and day-to-day implications of these circumstances that make it feel like a lifetime of adjustment all […]

Homes with Pools in Montecito Under $5 Million
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   December 3, 2020

When people think of Montecito, they usually envision mountain and ocean views, homes of substantial size with lovely landscaping, privacy – and a swimming pool. While not everyone wants a pool, it is rare to find a buyer who will turn away from a home just because it has a pool.  For most buyers, a […]

The Over $10 Market… Million, That Is
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   November 5, 2020

When people from around the world think of Montecito, many conjure up images of hilltop homes and sprawling estates, the Four Seasons Biltmore, Butterfly Beach, San Ysidro Ranch, and the new Rosewood Resort at Miramar Beach. Yes, Montecito is all of that and more. By more I mean, that one has more options than just […]

Montecito is the Place to Be
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   October 21, 2020

Judging by the home buying activity in the last few months, we can easily conclude that Montecito is “The place to be.” Since the terrible home sales in April and May brought on by strict lockdown measures, Montecito has experienced the highest number of sales per month that most real estate agents can ever remember.  […]

Same Price, Same Street, Different House
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   September 3, 2020

Hello and welcome to a busy Montecito summer season. In the past four months, the number of closed escrows is more than double what we would typically see. Between July 19 and August 29, for example, whereas 16 homes traded hands last year during the same timeframe, this year we saw 39 completed home sales. […]

Opportunities Await
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   August 20, 2020

It has been an incredible past two-plus months in the Montecito real estate market, to say the least. Sales are up and still climbing. Not since perhaps 2002-2006 have agents seen this kind of buyer activity, in all price ranges. Sales have been solid in Summerland, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, and Goleta as well this summer, […]

Homes in the $4 to $5 Million Range
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   July 23, 2020

The months of May and June, and now into July 2020, are proving to be the most active real estate months that many can remember in Montecito during the past 15+/- years. Whether it be Boomers flexing their buying muscle and finally committing to a place in Montecito, perhaps Ellen’s celebrity friends, the Bay Area […]

$8 and up… Million, That Is
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 25, 2020

To say it has been an active spring in the Montecito Real Estate market would be an understatement. Without even taking into considering the recent, national challenges, and even when comparing to most 45+/- day periods, regardless of market conditions in recent years, it has been a good six weeks in the Montecito Real Estate […]

Montecito Across the Board
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 11, 2020

It was a good May in terms of home sales in Montecito and the greater 93108. In fact, some agents are even saying the market is basically on fire and in most price ranges. Indeed, we have had a few of the usual under-two-million-dollar sales, as well as a few in the $3-$5-million range as […]

New Listings in Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   May 21, 2020

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying “at-home time” as much as is possible. Perhaps by the time this article is out on the streets, there will be more people out and about. In the meantime, regardless of being somewhat back to normal or not, we are all spending more time at home and […]

Best Buys SOLD!
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 23, 2020

While there are many listings from “pre-stay-at-home order” days, and there are some few new listings on the market, I thought it might be a good time to focus on what has been selling here in Montecito since the stay at home order fell into place. Of course, many of the sales between March 15 […]

Newer Listings in Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   March 26, 2020

The homes that comprise the Montecito Real Estate market offer great diversity in terms of style, price and amenities, as well as the varied topography and neighborhoods this lovely area offers to homeowners. From a canyon side home to a level lot in a private setting, a hill top view home, a historic property resting […]

Estate Offerings in Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 27, 2020

2018 and 2019 saw solid years for sales in the $10,000,000+ range. In 2019 there were 10 homes that sold over $10,000,000 in the Montecito, 93108 zip code, and 14 over $10,000,000 if you include homes sold in the Padaro Lane area. In 2018 there were seven sales in Montecito over the $10,000,000 price point. […]

The $2.2’s… Million, That Is
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 6, 2020

As we move further into the New Year, we are seeing new homes come on the market, as well as listings that had expired at the end of last year and are coming back on. Inventory is generally low right now, but not far off averages for past years overall. Additionally, many of the homes […]

The $7.9s… Million, That Is
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   January 16, 2020

When a seller lists their home for sale the most important question that must be answered is, at what price to offer the property. While some go with a flat number, say five or eight million, most agents and sellers might offer a home for just a bit less, perhaps to entice, to catch people […]