Cristal's Blog


February 26, 2024

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In the ever-evolving landscape of the national housing market, there are encouraging indicators that bring optimism to both sellers and buyers. A crucial aspect of this landscape is the noticeable year-over-year increase in inventor. More homes listings contribute to a more balanced and competitive market, allowing buyers to explore diverse opportunities in their quest for the perfect home.

A beautiful birds eye view of the Carpinteria coast with the Santa Barbara Polo Club and mountains in the background and the ocean in the foreground.

Optimism on the Rise

For those who place faith in the prognostications of famous groundhogs, the possibility of an early spring extends beyond weather forecasts—it could also apply to the real estate market. Yes, we’re seeing a thaw in the recent frozen market conditions with a significant surge in fresh listings, up by a remarkable 12.8% compared to last year. This surge in new listings, coupled with a 12.2% increase in overall housing inventory, translates to a wealth of options for prospective homebuyers.

“It was the biggest jump in nearly three years,” says economist Jiayi Xu. Overall housing inventory (of both new and old listings) shot up by 12.2% for the same period. All in all, this adds up to what Xu calls “more options for home shoppers.”

The abundance of options translates into homes spending four fewer days on the market compared to a year ago. However, this increased availability does not equate to lower prices.

“Home prices have been in a rough holding pattern since May 2023 and have deviated from prior-year levels only by a range of -0.9% to +2.2%,” Xu explains.

If Punxsutawney Phil's prediction holds true, both buyers and sellers can anticipate an exhilarating early spring in real estate, promising excitement and opportunity for all involved.

Neighborhood Market Update

A Cape Cod or the Hamptons style home with mountains in the background and a sparkling pool in the lush green yard.



SOLD: 12

A Hope Ranch luxury home, with pool and large, luxurious backyard, and the ocean on the horizon

Hope Ranch


A drone view of the city of Santa Barbara looking out over the neighborhoods to the ocean and bright blue sky

Santa Barbara


SOLD: 43

Two chairs on a balcony overlooking the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club polo field, with the ocean and blue sky in the background.



The plunge pool and pool terrace at a classic luxury Modernist home with a dramatic ocean view.

Featured Property
Exquisite Jack Warner Contemporary Estate
LISTING PRICE: $ 11,750,000

In the realm of remarkable residences in Montecito, my Exquisite Jack Warner Contemporary Estate listing is a standout exemplar that seamlessly blends modernist architecture with impeccable taste, achieving a flawless integration of interior and exterior spaces. Crafted by the renowned architect Jack Warner, this timeless abode and its encompassing grounds have undergone a recent transformation orchestrated by a team of globally acclaimed interior and landscape designers.

A luxury living room featuring a grouping of atelier windows along with high end furniture, high ceilings and a fireplace.

Every detail has been meticulously attended to, sparing no expense in the utilization of premium materials and artisanal craftsmanship. The outcome is a testament to architectural and design excellence, offering breathtaking 360-degree views of the ocean and mountains, complemented by uninterrupted panoramas of both sunrise and sunset splendor.

A 2-story modernist home resting on a hillside of lush grass and trees.

Nestled on over 3 acres of secluded, terraced land on a Montecito hillside, this residence embraces the quintessential indoor-outdoor lifestyle cherished in Montecito, seamlessly integrating with its lush surroundings. Every corner of the property fosters a harmonious connection between the impeccably designed interiors and the captivating natural beauty of Montecito. From the garden terrace to the reflective courtyard pool, this residence epitomizes the essence of living in harmony with the stunning landscapes that define our cherished coastal living.

If you're interested in purchasing, selling, or investing in real estate in this area, feel free to reach out to me at (805) 886-9378 or via email at to schedule a complimentary consultation. And be sure to stay informed about market trends by tuning in to my next market update.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch