Indian Government Bans Purchase of Foreign Property

The business of buying and selling residential real estate is becoming an increasingly global industry. Many buyers of residential properties are using foreign money to purchase property both in the U.S. and around the world. However, the recent surge in property purchases by international buyers may lead to some unforeseen repercussions.  For example, the Indian government has taken an a series of interesting actions which could affect the global housing market. In recent years, Indian residents have invested heavily in foreign real estate, purchasing rental properties to secure income for their families and relatives or for their own use while visiting the country. Indians have had a such a heavy influence, that in recent years they were among the top five buyers by country of origin in the U.S. Purchasing U.S. homes of an average price of $300,000, with 21% of these purchases made in all cash.  Additionally, Indians were the number one purchasers of property in Dubai.

What prompted such a dramatic decision by the Indian government? The answer is quite simple, keep the money in the country. In an effort to balance the strength of the Indian rupee against foreign currencies, the Indian government aims to increase the local exchange of currency, rather than seeing funds generated in India spent outside of the country. With such a large percentage of foreign buyers eliminated by the new law, housing markets around the world may feel the effects, in the form of decreased home sales.

This new global development could quite possibly have major repercussions for real estate markets around the world. For more information, please click here to view an article posted on World Property Channel.


Weekend Food, Fun & Sun in Santa Barbara!!

Santa Barbara is renowned for it’s stretches of sandy beaches, exciting events such as the SB International Film Festival and of course, it’s profusion of delectable culinary offerings. But restaurants and cafes aren’t the only spots in Santa Barbara you will find food and fun combined! Santa Barbara residents and visitors regularly enjoy festivals and celebrations that prove to be a feast for all the senses! Santa Barbara offers year-round opportunities to appreciate the beautiful bounty of the area. From the Solstice Festival in June to Octoberfest fun, and lets not forget the annual Holiday Parade, each season has it’s own way of partaking in the excitement!

As we head into the fall season (which, in Santa Barbara, bares a striking resemblance to Summer) harvest fun is  everywhere! This Saturday, the SOL Food Festival will pay tribute to local farmers, chefs, and The SOL Food Festival in Santa Barbara has fun for the whole family!organizations  throughout SB County. The festival, which will be held at Plaza Vera Cruz Park on Santa Barbara street between Cota  and Haley Streets, will feature several different stages each boasting their own theme such as Making Change Stage  and Hands On Kitchen Stage. We’ve included the festival map to the left! Bring the family out to Plaza Vera Cruz Park for a day of fun, food, music and of course, Santa Barbara sun!

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company Figtober Fest
Another way to enjoy the beauty of Santa Barbara’s fine offerings is directed to our adult residents and visitors. The new “it” locale for laid-back dining and drinking is Santa Barbara’s up and coming neighborhood, lovingly referred to as The Funk Zone. This area of SB was once known for its industrial atmosphere, but star chefs, breweries and sommeliers are breathing new life into the area, giving it a relaxed yet stylish feel. New restaurants and tasting rooms are popping up what seems to be weekly, and the activity is getting everyone’s attention.

This weekend, Santa Barbara County favorite Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is hosting FigtoberFest in two locations, Buellton and the Santa Barbara Funk Zone. The Funk Zone location will feature beer tastings, guest breweries, wine tastings, food trucks, live music and costume contests! In keeping with the Oktoberfest spirit, traditional German garb is encouraged!!

Sunday, work (or watch) off your food/beer coma by heading down to West Beach and take in the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, going on Friday – Sunday. Click here to buy your tickets to the action!!

Riskin Associates invites you to visit Santa Barbara and get a taste of what everyday life is like in paradise!


The Luxury Market Goes To The Young and the Wealthy!

The National Association of Realtors has reported on a very intriguing study conducted by the Luxury Institute, which found those who are driving the luxury real estate market are not those middle-aged CEO’s but younger buyers with a fresh take on what is “in” in luxury real estate. Looking at young buyers aged 21 or older with a minimum income of $250,000, the survey concludes that these young buyers are willing to pay more than buyers of similar wealth but aged over 55. On average, young buyers spent over $2 million on their most recent residential property purchase which was almost twice as much as older buyers spent! The article by RealtorMag quotes the CEO of the Luxury Institute:

“Luxury homes are for more than successful and retired empty nesters,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Today’s luxury buyer is both dynamic and diverse, and it’s reflected in the homes and products they’re buying.”

However, it’s not just how much young buyers are spending, but also what they are spending it on that is of note. The amenities at the top of most young buyer’s wish lists are outdoor kitchens, gyms, home theater systems and garages to house 4+ cars! These amenities all showcase the desire to lead active lifestyles, raise families or entertain in their homes and make the most of their purchases. Despite these new age desires, the oldest adage in real estate still applies: Location, location, location! Location is still the most important factor in property purchases, with only 6% of young buyers purchasing homes outside of the U.S.

Calling all you young buyers looking for the perfect property! Take a peek into these luxury Riskin Associates properties and tell us, do you see something you like?

A home gym in a Santa Barbara estate

Home gyms are among the most desired luxury amenities.

This contemporary Montecito property boasts one of the most luxurious outdoor dining areas.

This contemporary Montecito property boasts one of the most luxurious outdoor dining areas.

This Mediterranean estate boasts a theater with stadium seating and an adjacent wet bar.


Wine cellars also make the list!


Riskin Associates Sunday Open Houses

Riskin Associates is opening three fantastic estates to the public this Sunday! With three distinctly different styles, each home offers luxurious interiors and breathtaking landscapes to please the most discerning Montecito buyer. We have enlisted three fantastic Village Properties agents to host the opens, so please stop in and experience these most unique listings. Here’s a sneak peek..

A Riskin Associates Mediterranean estate

610 Cima Vista is open this Sunday from 2pm-4pm

610 Cima Vista

Spectacular Tuscan estate built in 2004 on approx. 11 gated acres w/ ocean & mtn views. Harrison Design/Giffin & Crane created stellar architecture w/ awe-inspiring details of unsurpassed quality & style. The former Santa Barbara Showcase House includes 5 bdrm suites, superb wine cellar, gym, media room, fully tiled pool, harbor view dining pavilion, exemplary 1 bd guesthouse & exceptional gardens.

Open this Sunday from 2pm-4pm

Hosted by Shandra Campbell


An incredible ocean view Montecito estate

2897 Hidden Valley will be open this Sunday from 1pm-3pm

2897 Hidden Valley

Staggering ocean, island and mountain views grace this newer Mediterranean foothill estate with unobstructed panoramas reaching from Toro Canyon to the Santa Barbara harbor.  The 4bd/6ba main house features a high-end kitchen, dual masters, infinity dipping pool, spa and multiple terraces. The 9+ acre site includes a 1bd casita, orchard and room for horses.

Open this Sunday from 1pm-3pm

Hosted by John Henderson

A spanish hacienda in Montecito

770 Via Manana will be open this Sunday from 2pm-4pm

770 Via Manana

A premier Montecito location, steps from the famed San Ysidro Ranch & hiking trails, rests this 4 bd/4.5ba contemporary hacienda. Extensively renovated in 2013 by noted design team Becker Studios, this sophisticated home captures the essence of the area’s indoor/outdoor living while stylishly providing every modern luxury. Permits available for a 650+/- sq ft pool cabana.

Open this Sunday from 2pm-4pm

Hosted by Ron Madden

We look forward to seeing you!


The Housing Market According to Fannie Mae

The housing market has been making big news lately, and it seems everyone has something to say about home prices, inventory and mortgage rates. To make sense of all the information floating around, editors of the LA Times met with Fannie Mae chief economist Douglas Duncan to get the scoop on what to believe about the current state of the market, and what to ignore. Here’s a summary of Duncan’s comments:

  • There is no bubble, this is not a boom. Duncan does not view the housing market as robust, rather that rising home prices are simply bouncing back from very low bottoms. New construction is also moving at a slow but steady pace, however it is not expected to resume the pace it held at the height of the market.
  • Don’t fear the mortgage rates. Fannie Mae reports that there is little correlation between the increase in mortgage rates and home prices and Duncan predicts that while sales may decline, home prices will continue to increase. Duncan also doesn’t see a second surge in rates in the future, but rather a gradual increase.
  • There is no longer shame in renting. Ownership is still part of the dream, but renting has become a larger part of the norm. Investors have purchased single-family homes since the boom and families who were drastically burdened by the recession are renting to “recreate” the home ownership experience. And “downgrading” to renting no longer means that your home owning days are over, Duncan says many who lost their homes will own again.
  • It’s true, it is a good time to buy. Although home prices are up from their rock bottoms, they are still considerably low as are mortgage rates despite to recent spike. However Duncan warns, “You should only buy a house if you can afford it.”
  • Investors: a possible risk. Investors have played a crucial role in the market recovery. However it is possible that as new construction begins to take off, investors could sell their holdings, which could cause decline. Duncan urges investors to watch construction which acts as competition.

Riskin Associates has seen a renewed energy in the high-end market in the recent weeks. Many high-end listings in Montecito are receiving back to back showing requests and multiple offers, proving that the competition is stiff across all branches of the market.

A Riskin Associates Listing Catches the Wall Street Journal’s Eye

An Artful Flip in Montecito -

Riskin Associates is proud to represent some of the most unique and exquisite homes in Montecito and Santa Barbara, and we are so flattered that national real estate news outlets recognize our listings for their individuality and luxurious qualities. This time one of our more recent listings is enjoying the spotlight as the Wall Street Journal’s House of the Day. This contemporary hacienda on Via Manana is just steps from the world famous San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito’s extensive hiking trails.

The home has been extensively renovated by Montecito design team Kirsten and Darrell Becker of Becker Studios. Kirsten Kemp Becker is the former host of numerous HGTV interior design shows and affords her experience and expertise in interior design to the homes which her husband Darrell renovates to maximize each property’s livable space. For their latest endeavor, Becker Studios outfitted the home with luxurious, low maintenance finishes and landscaping, to evoke the feel of historic Montecito haciendas.

To learn about the uniqueness of the proeprty that caught the eye of the WSJ, click here. For more information on the property, please contact Riskin Associates.


Southern Santa Barbara County Market Trends

Trends for Southern Santa Barbara County Real Estate Market

Trends for Southern Santa Barbara County Real Estate Market

The real estate market has seen an interesting set of trends throughout 2013. Across the country, sales soared during the month of May, taking a dip through June and July as mortgage rates increased dramatically. Santa Barbara County’s southern region mirrored these trends with May 2013 showing the highest number of sales in the last eight years followed by a hefty decrease during June and July. However, this lull in the market has not worried agents or industry experts. Last year was an incredible year for the market, showing significantly higher sales than several years prior nearly each month, and 2013 has followed this trend showing higher sales each month year over year up until June. Housing prices have increased with increased demand throughout much of 2013 while inventory has remained low. The second half of 2013 is forecasted to be as active in the market as the first two quarters so long as mortgage rates remain at a manageable level. A healthy housing market is in direct proportion with a healthy overall economy reports Forbes Real Estate!