Cristal's Blog


June 18, 2022

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Still a Seller’s Market Edition

When it comes to home values, the May 2022 Santa Barbara real estate review indicates the region has enjoyed a historic run over the course of the last decade. And while we’re still in a seller's market here, home sellers are having to adjust their expectations a bit. This pricing pullback has to do with consumer confidence. For years, I’ve talked about the link between consumer confidence and real estate prices. Rising inflation, stock market jitters and other world issues are negatively affecting that confidence locally. However, insurance premiums, another major factor in the purchase of a new home, are showing signs of easing which is a positive sign.

Home Price Trends

Today’s home prices have been testing new highs since the beginning of 2022. But, as I explained above, the market is changing. We’re seeing a diminishing gap between new listings and those sold/ pending sales as the overheated market begins to realign and prices start to trade at or below the listing price. Buyers can expect to see more price adjustments moving forward along with rising trading volumes as we head into the third and fourth quarters of 2022.

Supply Trends

We’re seeing restrictive inventory levels in Montecito, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and Summerland with only Hope Ranch showing a positive inventory gain. While our local real estate market is not as strong as it was a couple of months ago, it’s still a great time to list. Keep in mind that June is typically a slower month as potential buyers focus on graduations and summer vacations. Hopefully, we’ll see the usual uptick in listings by the end of the month, until the start of the school year approaches, revitalizing the local marketplace.

More Insight

I expect to see a return to normalcy in the marketplace with prices starting to level out and, in some instances, retreat from what would be considered their list price just a couple of months. In my latest video, I share more insight into the May 2022 Santa Barbara real estate market, as well as the future, in Santa Barbara and our surrounding communities.

Local market update numbers on top of a variety of pictures of Santa Barbara

Neighborhood Market Review

  • Montecito: 18 New Listings, 12 Pending Listings, 6 Price Changes, 13 Sold
  • Santa Barbara: 59 New Listings, 34 Pending Listings, 16 Price Changes, 33 Sold
  • Hope Ranch: 5 New Listings, 3 Pending, 0 Price Changes, 1 Sold
  • Summerland: 15 New Listings, 8 Pending, 5 Price Changes, 13 Sold

My May Sales

Birds eye view of an estate for sale surrounded by the san ynez mountains with a beautiful blue pool in the foreground

Magnificent Montecito Estate – represented the Buyer

A dramatic Santa Barbara sunset with an Italian styled Montecito Villa for sale in Santa Barbara

Exquisite Ocean and Mountain View Italian Villa in Montecito – Represented the Seller

The backyard of a Beautiful Ranch-Style Montecito Residence

Beautiful Ranch-Style Montecito Residence - Represented the Seller

Classic Back View of a Montecito French Country-style Home

Classic Montecito French Country-style Home – Represented the Seller

For sellers, I suggest you list your home NOW while the market is still hot. It’s easy. Just call me at (805) 886-9378 or send me an email at for a complimentary consultation. For buyers, stay tuned as we enter what will hopefully be a busy summer market later this month. Stay apprised of local real estate trends with my next market update.

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Client Reviews

“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