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SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: JUNE & JULY 2022

August 26, 2022

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Over the summer we saw real estate sales ease a bit as expected in the Santa Barbara real estate market, although sales were still the second highest level for a July in the last six years, and the statewide median price continues to perform above last year’s level by double-digits. Now that potential buyers have returned from their planned international vacations, however, activity levels are once again upbeat but not quite as frenetic as we’ve experienced.

While activity in real estate is on the rise, we are seeing some mixed signals in consumer confidence, labor market assessment and long-and-short-term financial expectations. However, this month’s upward momentum is a positive for our community not only in real estate but also on a larger scale. Inflation continues to be the #1 concern, but with rates holding fairly constant, households are less inclined to view this as a negative. I expect prices to continue to hold their ground due to a viable lack of inventory combined with a pent-up buyer demand—both fueling pressure on prices.

When it comes to local home values, I believe the Santa Barbara real estate market is, and has been, undervalued compared to many similar premiere locations across the nation and the world. And even though it’s nice to travel and experience other places, I, for one, am always happy to return to our slice of paradise and proud to call Montecito home.

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

Backyard of a Montecito home, with a fire pit, stone bench and ocean view over treeetops.
Backyard of a Montecito estate, looking over a swimming pool to cypress trees and the estate home in the background.
View between palms and over a lawn of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands
Panoramic view of a beautiful Hope Ranch estate home beyond a sprawling lawn.


Featured Listing

Large contemporary Santa Barbara home, white and glass, beyond a pool and sprawling lawn, and under a blue sky.
4347 Marina Drive, Santa Barbara CA 93110 Offered at $21,500,00

Experience privacy and serenity in this luxurious contemporary ocean-view compound, originally designed by notable architect Wallace Neff and landscape architect Thomas Church, and located in the esteemed community of Hope Ranch, with access to the beach close by. The breathtaking entrance leading to the main room with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall unveils an immaculate ocean view, creating a seamless connection between the interior and its majestic grounds. The spacious residence features 6 bedrooms; 7.5 bathrooms; chef's kitchen; wine room; wellness center with spa, sauna, steam room; and theatre room. It is further enhanced by a detached guest house. Located on a gated 1.5+/- acres featuring exceptional outdoor living with sunrise and sunset views. Adjacent parcel is also available.

View More Current Listings

A Collection of My Recent Sales

Sprawling San Point Carpinteria beach home with staircase to the sand.
607 SAND POINT, CARPINTERIA CA Offered at $23,000,000 | Represented Seller
Large ranch-style Montecito home beyond a motor court.
1530 SAN LEANDRO, MONTECITO CA Offered at $7,000,000 | Represented Buyer

If you’re considering making a move, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or send me an email at Cristal@montecito-estate.com for a complimentary consultation. Stay apprised of local real estate trends with my next market update.


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Client Reviews

“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