LuxuryRealEstate.com, "a compendium of the finest residential real estate firms from around the world," has published a press release regarding the recent sale of one of Riskin Associates' exceptional properties in Montecito. The two-story Mediterranean estates which prides ocean- and mountain-views, a six bedroom main house, two bedroom guest cottage, pool and cabana, tennis court, and lusciously manicured gardens, was sold for $15,000,000.The press release from LuxuryRealEstate.com contributes to the recognition of Riskin Associates as a prominent figure within the Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate network; we genuinely feel inspired and motivated to continue striving toward our goals! If you would like to browse more closed sales by Riskin Associates, click here, or if you would like to view more of our available listings, click here.
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California real estate market
What does spring bring? Not enough rain, but certainly a flurry of activity in California real estate markets. As we enjoy endless sun and soft spring breezes, (and secretly hope for some more rain to quench our partched soils) we also enjoy what the L.A. Times is calling a Seller's Season here in the Golden State. Discussing Zillow's latest report, the LA Times defines the east coast as a "buyer's market" with many price cuts and lengthy DOMs, and the west coast going to the Seller's with quick transactions, multiple offers, few price reductions and many properties selling at or over asking price. Riskin Associates can attest to this view with regards to Santa Barbara's wealthy yet casual neighbor, Montecito. Despite new listings coming on the market what seems to be daily, inventory is remaining relatively stable as many listings are receiving multiple, very strong offers and opening escrow quickly. Other California markets seeing seller's holding the negotiation power are San Jose and San Francisco. Buyers on the otherhand can do well in the midwest and Northeast, try Cleveland or Philidelphia.
In recent weeks, the housing market has been at the forefront of the headlines, with major metropolitan markets booming. From London to New York to L.A. the big city areas are experiencing a fantastic upswing in transactions and foreign influences. Niche markets, such as Montecito and Santa Barbara are also experiencing a surge, however the specifics are decidedly unique.
One of the Montecito market's niche characteristics is that many homeowners own multiple residences and spend a portion of their time living or vacationing in their Montecito homes. Many buyers come from within the U.S., many East Coast and Mid-Westerners. Internationally, the U.K. has a firm presence and we do not experience the high influx of Asian, Russian or Canadian buyers that the larger markets are seeing.
In Montecito, over 60% of homes are priced above $1M with the luxury price range starting around $7M. The under $2M price range is robust, many desireable properties receive multiple offers. The mid-range, $3M-7M is also steady with low inventory and a relatively high demand. The luxury market is somewhat slower. Inventory is saturated but we are not seeing the demand. The high-end market is experiencing a shortage in demand, inventory is steady however we are lacking in buyers. Prices are still down from 2007 but have held steady over the last 12 months.
In niche markets, "luxury" or "high-end" properties are often defined differently, with certain amenities demanding a premium. Montecito's unique location, between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, provides idyllic coastal views - which high-end buyers covet. Most luxury buyers want an ocean-view, turn-key property with a close-in location. Being within the prestigious Montecito Union School Distict and Montecito's "Golden Quadrangle" is another desirable factor of location, near to The Upper Village shops and restaurants and the world renouned San Ysidro Ranch resort. Picacho Lane, Park Lane and Riven Rock Road are considered first class streets.
More than anywhere else in the country, California metros are showing some of the largest year-over-year asking price increases according to Realtor.com. The Santa Barbara metro area tops that list, posting a 32.05% year over year increase, a staggering 6% higher than any other metro area nationwide. Complementing this trend, California metros are also posting some of the largest inventory declines.
September numbers are also in from CORT, confirming a continued improvement in Santa Barbara South County Sales over the past five years. Last month's closed sales were up 8% over September 2011. Here at Rebecca Riskin & Associates, we have had four closings in the past 30 days, with 3 more listings pending.