2011 Year In Review – Santa Barbara Riviera Real Estate Report

2011 Year In Review – Riviera Real Estate Report

There are several local Realtors and economists that report regularly on the status of the Santa Barbara real estate market.  My goal in this column is to focus specifically on the Riviera real estate market which includes about 2200 homes that stretch from the Mission to Montecito in the hills above the city.  While I will include statistics on the overall market that are useful in identifying trends, the primary focus is to share my thoughts on the Riviera real estate market based on my actual experiences in the field.  I will post a new blog at the end of each month with fresh and current content so that readers can stay up to date on the always dynamic Santa Barbara and Riviera markets.  

In reflecting on the Riviera market in 2011 my general sense was that buyers had the upper hand in negotiations, but sellers were in control on the highly desirable properties and/or those that were priced to sell.  I have included pictures of three properties above that exemplify this dynamic.  The first two are listings I had that both generated multiple offers within a few days of being on the market.  They exemplified the “desirable properties” mentioned above.  One was a vintage Spanish home on a prime view lot that needed updating but was priced to reflect its condition.  The other was a pristine, single level home on a desirable view lot in the Montecito Riviera that was priced slightly above market value.  The third property is a prime example of the fate of those sellers who insist on pricing their homes way above market value.  The market value of this property when it first came on was in the $2.3 to $2.5 price range.  However, the original list price was $3,450,000 and after a year of marketing and price reductions the final selling price was $2,000,000.  The moral to this story is that if a listing is priced correctly it will perform well, which is especially true in a “buyer’s market.”

In doing my research for this column I was pleased to confirm that the Riviera market has performed better than the overall Santa Barbara South Coast market in the last 4 years.  The median price for the Santa Barbara market has declined 37% since its peak in 2007, while the Riviera market has declined only 28% in the same period!  There are too many economic and political variables to make any reliable predictions for the 2012 market, but I can tell you for sure that the moral of the story mentioned above will be the key to success for sellers this year as well.  LISTINGS MUST BE PRICED CORRECTLY TO PERFORM WELL IN THIS MARKET!!  I look forward to your questions and comments, and please check back at the end of each month for the latest updates on the Santa Barbara and Rivera market pulse.


Welcome to SantaBarbaraRivieraHomes.com !

French Riviera  -  Italian Riviera  -  Santa Barbara Riviera

Welcome to SantaBarbaraRivieraHomes.com.  During my 24 years of helping people buy and sell homes I have often heard from many local residents that Santa Barbara is their favorite place in the world!  That is quite a statement especially coming from well travelled individuals who can afford to live wherever they would like.  The other thing I hear repeatedly is that Santa Barbara reminds them of the French and Italian Riviera.  This is no coincidence, as the man responsible for developing the Santa Barbara Riviera in the early 20th century was inspired by the European version and was determined to create an American Rivera right here in Santa Barbara.

Having focused my real estate efforts during the past 10 years on the Riviera I have gained a true appreciation for its incredible attributes and wonderful residents.  I have met and talked with many of the local residents, walked the hillside streets hundreds of times and helped quite a few people buy and sell Riviera homes.  Because of my deep appreciation of the area it is easy for me to share this enthusiasm while holding an open house or showing property to out of town buyers.  However, I felt it was time to showcase this special neighborhood to a wider audience and that is why SantaBarbaraRivieraHomes.com was created.

My main goal is to provide an informative and interactive online arena focused on the Santa Barbara Riviera that will be a valuable resource for local residents or anyone from around the globe with an interest in this international destination.  It will include interesting facts, information about current and upcoming homes for sale and an interactive blog “Live On The Riviera” filled with fresh content and fun photos.  I want to thank Ron & Alexandra Seigel of Napa Consultants International whose insight and vision were integral in helping me create this exciting new site.  Now I will be looking for your help in creating a truly interactive online experience.  Don’t hesitate to send me your feedback, questions and ideas for content so that we can continue to enhance this site together.

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