We’ve Gone Digital!

As you may have noticed, we’ve recently upgraded our printed, glossy brochures to electronic brochures for easy reading on the web! In this day and age, more and more buyers are looking to the web on their laptops, smart phones and tablets for up-to-the-minute information on real estate listings. In order to ensure that potential buyers can access all the information they desire instantly, they can now flip through our brochures electronically from our website. Our eBrochures also double as great marketing tools to email to agents and interested buyers on a whim. And while our beautiful oak display still hangs in the hallway of our Montecito office full of glamorous, glossy brochures, an equally beautiful digital credenza now hangs on our Facebook page. Each property’s eBrochure can also be found on our website.

Montecito Properties of Distinction Electronic Brochures from Rebecca Riskin & Associates

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Record Week in Montecito

1920s Montecito home closed escrow today

If anyone needs proof that the local real estate market has improved, take our sales record this week as a signal. Rebecca Riskin & Associates will close four escrows this week, a 2012 record for the team. With a flurry of activity over the summer months, the team not only took on more listings but received more offers. All four sales were the team’s own listings, while two of the transactions were both buyer and seller represented. Meanwhile, Rebecca Riskin & Associates has had five new listings within the past month, including two pocket listings.

Santa Barbara Ranked Nation’s Highest for Annual List Price Increases

A new report released this week from Realtor.com ranks the Santa Barbara metro area as the top region in the country for annual list price increases. Perhaps the high-end Montecito market is driving this number up, as we have seen a resurgence in the $10 million + market with 10 sales closed above this mark already this year. For the month of August, Santa Barbara had the 2nd fastest rising list price increase, with 5.34% month-over-month.

Statewide, California seams to be leading the way for current housing market stability. California was home to 8 of the top 10 metros for year-over-year inventory reductions and 5 of the top 10 metros for year-over-year list price increases last month.  In Santa Barbara, inventory is down considerably as our market heats up. Recent numbers from Realtor.com reveal a 35% decrease in inventory year-over-year for the Santa Barbara metro area. To learn more, click here.

Real Estate Market Roundup

The Wall Street Journal Infographic 09/10/12

It’s time we checked in again to gauge the overall health of the real estate market, both nationally and locally. Here’s a quick roundup on how the market is faring as we leave the fast-paced summer months behind.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal indicated that home prices posted their strongest gains in six years during the first half of 2012, a clear sign that many of the nation’s real estate markets have hit bottom. While this statement looks promising, it came with a warning: hitting bottom shouldn’t be confused with full-on recovery.

The biggest news continues to be a lack of inventory in many markets, which is pressuring house prices to gradually rise. Inventories of existing homes are at an eight year low, while fewer distressed homes have hit the market and many sellers postpone listing in hopes of an uptick in price.

A recent Montecito listing

Meanwhile here in Santa Barbara county, south county sales are up 43% year to date. This is an incredible gain, with sales coasting steadily throughout the summer at a record breaking pace. Over the course of the last five years, local market trends have seen a steep drop in sales over the summer months, while this year we experienced a steep gain in May and a solid summer plateau.

On the lower end of the market, inventory is extremely low while many sellers try to ride out the market bottom. Here in Montecito, the high end continues to be very strong, and our office is a flurry of activity!