One market that has not been affected by all the negative national news regarding the credit crisis and the fallout from subprime mortgages is luxury homes and luxury properties in Montecito and Santa Barbara CA, particularly along of the coast.
This high-end real estate market is known as property sales exceeding $ 10 million.
To illustrate the pace and volume of these sales, I have included some statistics below that show the increase in sales year over year.
2002 reported approximately $ 42 million in sales to MLS
2003 reported in MLS approximately $ 65 million in sales
2004 reported approximately $ 72 million in sales to MLS
2005 reported in MLS approximately $ 94 million in sales
2006 reported in MLS approximately $ 219 million in sales
2007 reported approximately $ 255 million in sales to MLS.
In my humble opinion, having traveled much of the world, Santa Barbara will always rank as one of the most beautiful places to live. Once you get here, it is not difficult to understand this conviction. Seemingly encapsulated in a relatively perfect maritime climate, Santa Barbara is an oceanfront resort like community with wonderful architecture, clean air and limited traffic, long stretches of beautiful and accessible shoreline, and an abundance of outdoor activities including surfing, golf, hiking, climbing, sailing, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking and much more. For people who want more than just an active community, Santa Barbara also has a wonderful mix of art, culture, live performances, and dining.
On the real estate side of the equation, this quality of life offered by Santa Barbara and Montecito will continue to drive high-end property values. What the above statistics simply show is that the wealthy have positioned Santa Barbara and Montecito as a desirable place to both live and own property. Movie stars, industry titans, and the nouveau riche roam Santa Barbara without attracting much attention and without dressing up. Billionaires can maintain a relatively private existence here which can often allude to them in other areas. This, along with the indifference of Santa Barbara and Montecito residents to this vast wealth, is part of the appeal of the rich.