Montecito Sold

In the month of July, ten homes were sold; last month, nine sold; last year, sixteen sold for the month of July. These lucky ten were selected from the 207 Montecito properties currently available for purchase. Since the first of the year, single-family home sales in Montecito are down 20%.

It is difficult not to like Picacho Lane and 735 appears as a Montecito estate in the 1920s, yet with all the conveniences of 2001 construction. It was listed at $9,750,000 on January 2, and takes the award for the highest price achieved for the month at $8.425m.

Also of rather recent construction, 995 Hot Springs, a three-bedroom ocean-view Mediterranean with a charming guest house sold for $6.7m. It was built in 2004 and sits upon 2.5 acres on the Northern portion of Hot Springs near Mountain drive. It was listed on January 3 for $7.95m. And 775 San Ysidro, a three-bedroom, five-bath, built in the 1950s and recently updated sold after 113 days on the market for $6.5m after being listed for $7.95m. It was purchased in 2001 for $3.1m.

On Ramona Lane in the Hedgerow near Hixon is a five-bedroom, five-bath Spanish style 1927 beauty with quiet, elegant gardens and outdoor fireplaces and kitchen, a bocce court and sixty-foot swimming pool that reminds us that in Montecito, the best spaces are often outside. It sold for its $4.595m asking price after being on the market for only two days. The new owner passed up an adjacent separate legal lot with a 3/2 guest house for an additional $1.755m.

If you take East Valley to Ladera Lane and go to the top you will find 2745 Bella Vista Drive. This property is truly about being outside. The ocean, island, and harbor views are, I believe, just the correct distance and on the right day, simply breathtaking. The 2/2 house is described as a fixer with the suggestion that a new house may be the best move here. We shall see. It sold for $3.85m after being on the market for 146 days. It was purchased in 2006 for $3.495m.

On Greenworth Place, off La Vereda and Lower San Ysidro, a six-bedroom, four-bath, described as in excellent shape sold for $2m after 235 days on the market. And, a 2/2 condo in Montecito Shores sold for $1. 8 with a close ocean view.

On Arcady Place, that interesting area of old rock walls above Sycamore Canyon that evokes an early Montecito feel, a five-bedroom, three-bath with unobstructed mountain views sold for $1,952,500. If you were looking for an old California adobe with an open-beamed ceiling look, you missed the two-bedroom, one-bath at 2960 Torito Road out by Toro Canyon. It sold in 98 days for $1.595m. and included 36 fruit trees and “…friendly squirrels.” And you know how hard they are to find. The sellers bought the property in 1986 for $235,000.

And, a top-floor, 1,258-sq-ft, two-bedroom condo with ocean view on Coast Village Road sold after only twenty days on the market for $850,000. Hard to find a place in paradise with ocean view where you can walk to nearly everything for under a million. It was bought last in 1986 for $177,000.

In spite of a seemingly never-ending median price increase, the 20% decline in single-family home sales seems to be defining the mood of our market. We are, however, not alone and, in fact, are doing better than the Upper East, which is off 35%, and Hope Ranch, off a striking 50% from last year. And although the bottom of a sales decline cycle is only determined after it has occurred, we should keep a close watch on the Goleta South market which just broke out of the negative column, posting a 6% increase in sales, and a 16% increase in contracts-pending over last year.