Cristal's Blog

The Santa Barbara Luxury Real Estate Market is Booming

August 12, 2020

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Premier Mediterranean-style Ennisbrook Estate for sale

A limited supply of available properties along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County are keeping home values higher than one might expect in the time of COVID-19. This is especially true when Santa Barbara luxury real estate is compared to many inland areas of California and the United States. 

As I explain in my mid-year newsletter, in recent months we’ve seen quite a turnaround from earlier in the year, with buyer activity, especially in Montecito, currently reaching new heights. I’m even seeing multiple offers resurfacing. Take a look and you’ll see the latest breakdown of Q1 and Q2 in Montecito, Santa Barbara and Hope Ranch I’ve specifically detailed.  

Generally speaking, locally there is much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges. In fact, 101 (37%) of the 170 active House/PUD listings are located in the higher valued enclaves of Montecito and Hope Ranch: communities I have specialized in for the last 25+ years.  

People are Moving Out of Larger Cities

According to recent data from Zillow, there is a current surge in urban homeowners listing their high-end homes and moving to luxury areas like Montecito and Hope Ranch. The month-over-month increase in home sales indicates more urban homeowners are moving out of the city, particularly at the upper end of the market. That trend is influencing the buyer and leasing pool of Santa Barbara luxury real estate in a really positive way.

Due to the ongoing health crisis, it’s no surprise that many people are starting to consider this shift. For some, it’s a chance to be closer to family, which feels more urgent in the midst of a global health scare. For a large swath of people in the country’s most expensive cities, it’s a way to get more living space and be closer to nature; something increasingly made possible by the growing trend of remote work. 

The backyard of an amazing estate for sale in Montecito's Ennisbrook

My Listings

Since the beginning of the year, I have closed 18 listings, representing 6 buyers and 12 sellers. Plus, I have added 21 listings to my portfolio of fine homes, including the Premier Mediterranean-style Ennisbrook Estate pictured above and throughout this blog post. It’s a perfect example of what makes living in Santa Barbara so appealing to just about everyone -- especially former city dwellers.

Outdoor Space

This home sits on 2 acres in Montecito and offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of the Santa Ynez Mountains. All rooms are light and airy due to the many large windows and arched French doorways that overlook the luxurious grounds and beyond.

The new owners will appreciate the home’s gorgeous pool and stone spa, the handy outdoor kitchen, 4 outdoor fireplaces, multiple entertaining patios and loggias, a koi pond, and a raised bed vegetable garden, along with productive fruit trees and a vibrant rose garden. Combined, the grounds are, in a word, “spectacular.”

The entire Montecito community is blessed with extraordinary landscaping, privacy, open spaces, and a connection with nature. Plus, more than 50 acres in the community have been set aside as open space.

Lots of windows in the living room let the outside in

Living Space

The 9,180 sq. ft main residence provides a seamless transition between exterior amenities and interior comforts with 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and a 5-car garage. In addition to this Ennisbrook estate's main residence are two extra structures: the versatile pool house and a spacious guest house; both capturing the essence of Montecito’s idyllic coveted indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

Either of the 2 additional structures are perfect places to create a home office, gym, or additional guest suite. The pool house has its own fireplace and kitchenette along with 2 additional rooms, while the guest house has a kitchenette, bedroom, bath en-suite, and its own cozy fireplace.


Ennisbrook is one of Montecito’s gated communities of large upscale estate homes safely hidden behind security gates. Santa Barbara luxury real estate was first built here in 1985 and there are currently three- to eight-bedroom homes that range in size from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet of living space.

This pristine enclave is just minutes from Montecito's Upper and Lower Villages, world-class beaches, renowned hiking trails, and more. The property is located in the highly-regarded Montecito Union School District

This master suite in an Ennisbrook Estate has a fireplace on the patio


Located inside the guarded gates of prestigious Ennisbrook, this Mediterranean estate offers security and serenity in an immaculately kept community of high-end homes. This amazing property is one of 102 properties spread over the 200 gated acres that make Ennisbrook.

Crime rates here are 62% lower than the national average and Montecito as a whole is safer than 69% of the cities in the United States. Plus, year over year, crime in Montecito continues to decrease by 4%. Ennisbrook residents report they feel safe both day and night.

The Ennisbrook Clubhouse

The Spanish Colonial Adobe clubhouse is at the heart of the exclusive Ennisbrook community. It offers 4 tennis courts (2 of which are clay), private wine lockers, kitchen and BBQ facilities and much more. Additionally, there is a separate Casitas pool and exercise room, basketball and pickleball courts, a lap pool, and a substantial gym.

The clubhouse itself is actually the restored estate of famed polo player, Elmer Boeseke. It contains mementos of the great polo era during the 1920s and 1930s when Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and Fred Astaire were visitors. 

Through the Boeseke family, the Ennisbrook community became a centerpiece for polo in the Santa Barbara area. The Club itself is elegantly appointed and finished for the Santa Barbara lifestyle, hosting several parties each year for the residents.

If you’re considering buying or selling to move to a different Santa Barbara area community like Ennisbrook, give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@Montecito-Estate. I was recently recognized by Wall Street Journal’s “Real Trends” as the #1 agent in Santa Barbara, #17 in California, and #33 in the United States out of more than 1.4 million agents nationwide. My total sales of luxury real estate last year were in excess of $155,000,000, with 31 transactions closed for 19 sellers and 12 buyers in 2019 alone. Let me put my magic to work on your behalf!


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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