Cristal's Blog


March 16, 2023

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That question seems to be on the top of everyone’s mind these days when it comes to real estate. And the answer is…well, complicated. Real estate has everything to do with the community in which you live or want to live, and California has many diverse real estate markets, including those right here in Santa Barbara. Each community appeals to buyers in its own way, whether we’re talking about cultural activities, school districts, access to trail networks, affordability, proximity to work, or certain architectural styles.

A stunning Santa Barbara sunset above a large estate, with the estate's polo field in the foreground and the massive estate home in the background.

February 2023 Real Estate Market Update

Many experts say the market will be less buoyant than it was in 2021 or 2022. And while today's real estate conditions are completely different than they were the last couple years, personally, I don’t think we will see large swings in evaluations any time soon. The one caveat is that a property is priced in accordance with current market conditions, which makes it even more important to work with a seasoned real estate agent. Some properties in and around Santa Barbara are still experiencing multiple offers, especially those priced below $5M and even more so with those priced under $4M.

So, to answer the question of price drops in 2023, I say don’t expect dramatic downward price trends until buyer demand eases and supply levels increase. But do expect to see continued price changes as the market finds its new equilibrium.

More Insight

In my latest video, I share more insight into the current real estate market, as well as the future, in Santa Barbara and our surrounding communities.

Neighborhood Market Update

A Montecito estate with its large red tiled roof Mediterranean-style home and mountains in the background and lush lawn and blue swimming pool.



A Hope Ranch estate, with its contemporary home and detached guesthouse, and sprawling green lawn in the fireground home with a detached guest.

Hope Ranch


A stunning 2 story contemporary home with walls of glass overlooking Santa Barbara, ocean and sunset

Santa Barbara

SOLD: 31

A hint of the glass walls and terrace of a contemporary home, looking out to the ocean and setting sun.



Just Listed

Birds eye view of a 28,000 sq.ft. estate home, with palm tress, swimming pool and expansive green lawn in the foreground and mountains at sunset in the background.

Bella Vista Estate
Offered at $70,000,000

Property Spotlight

A wooden gate leads to a red farmhouse surrounded by lush foliage, with a pink hued sunset in the background

Stunning San Ysidro-Style Farmhouse
Now Offered at $5,450,000

This stunning San Ysidro-style farmhouse is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac featuring a 1963 mid-century modern layout with its open floor plan. Sitting on approximately 1 acre, the new owners will appreciate the sizeable oak-shaded garden with ocean views. You'll find cozy and contemporary interiors inside this gorgeous and spacious two-story home. An impressive fireplace and numerous built-in bookcases anchor the living room. The gourmet kitchen, remodeled in 2010, features granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. An intimate and comfortable dining room features classic exposed open beam ceilings and stunning skylights, creating a warm and welcoming ambiance for intimate gatherings. There are primary suites on each level. With its 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, an artist studio, and beautiful gardens, this home is truly an exceptional offering.

If you’re considering making a move, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or send me an email at for a complimentary consultation. Meantime, stay apprised of local, regional and national 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