Synopsis: Luxury Consumer Survey

luxury montecito home

In Montecito, luxury lifestyle is built right in. has released the results of their most recent survey of luxury home buyers, reporting on purchase motivations, amenity priorities and expectations. The numbers are encouraging, with 13% of home buyers looking to buy a luxury home and 26% considering a high-end luxury home. In the niche markets of Santa Barbara and Montecito, properties priced over $1M are considered luxury properties. The report also states that with such a large portion of homebuyers searching for high-end homes, trends in the entire market are being driven by the luxury sector.

A number of factors are motivating luxury homebuyers to make a move, chief among them being recent career success (19%) followed by retirement (17%). Investment and first time home buying were also catalysts to entering the housing market. Challenges homebuyers reported when shopping for a high end home were expected. Challenges included finding a property to meet family needs (40%), a limited inventory (20%) and access to mortgage loans (8%).

Buyers were also questioned on the most desirable amenities and what was the most important features of a home. Chef’s kitchens were the most desirable with 54% of homebuyers listing a fabulous kitchen as their top priority. That million dollar view! Second on the list of desired features was a beautiful view (44%) particularly of an ocean, the mountains or cityscapes. Size also matters. Square footage (38%) and a large master suite (36%) also made the list. Resale value was also taken into consideration with 36% of buyers indicating resale value as “very important” and 27% feeling resale value was “extremely important.”

For a further breakdown of luxury home buyers and information on homebuyers not looking for luxury real estate, view the full report.


Six Insights into the Selling Season

This quintessential Santa Barbara home offers the coveted, coastal lifestyle with ocean and mountain views and an enchanting landscape.

This quintessential Santa Barbara home offers the coveted, coastal lifestyle with ocean and mountain views and an enchanting landscape.

The weather forecast isn’t the only telltale sign that Spring is in full swing here in Santa Barbara. It is 80 degrees and sunny this week and the housing market seems to be equally hot with the unwritten real estate law “Spring is the best time to sell a home” being fully enforced. With so much activity in the market, Riskin Associates would like to educate our clients and readers with some insights into the current state of the market.

Firstly, the long, cold winter is finally over. The Polar Vortex quite literally froze the market and as the East and North East melts back into action, buyers are ready (and more motivated thane ever!) to relocate or purchase second residences in sunny California. Additionally, the rule rings true that spring and summer are THE time of year for real estate transactions. According to, sixty percent of all homes will be bought and sold between May and August in 2014.

Pricing is important. Consider it a bit of a reflection on the obvious, but pricing your property appropriately is still considered one of the chief factors in getting it sold quickly. While we have seen price increases into the double digits over the past year, the first quarter of 2014 did not reflect these increases. suggests closely considering comps of other homes in the area and trusting the expertise of the listing agent. Also, keep recency in mind. For luxury homes, give recently sold comps more weight than older sales. The more recent a sale, the more accurate picture it paints of the current market. A hot market often brings fears of the dreaded bidding war. But fear not, statistics are showing that bidding wars are not as common as they were last year.

Another suggestion for grabbing a quick sale is to list your home earlier rather than later. Many homes will come on the market in late May and early June. Listing your home before the “rush” will give it a chance to shine as a new listing and get the attention and activity it deserves. Have your home ready to market before listing it the MLS and keep it in show condition so short notice requests will be easily accommodated.

Marketing a listing appropriately is key. A good team of agents will offer five star marketing services and will ensure your home is as attractive as possible to the buyers browsing the web for homes for sale. Riskin Associates employs a full time marketing staff. Having this manpower gives the Riskin Associates team the ability to create high-definition showcase videos, pitch listings to a network of public relations connections and design custom marketing strategies for each of their special listings.


The global luxury residential real estate market flourished in 2013, with exceptional increases in the volume of US$1 million-plus market sales, according to a new report on the international prestige property market by Christie’s International Real Estate, the world’s leading luxury residential real estate network, and of which Riskin Associates is an exclusive affiliate. Now in its second year, Luxury Defined: An Insight into the Luxury Residential Property Market, presents an in-depth analysis of luxury market trends and compares 10 of the world’s top property markets: Cote d’Azur, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, and Toronto. Using ‘Christie’s International Real Estate Index,’ markets were ranked across key metrics including record sales price, prices per square foot, percentage of non-local and international purchasers, and the number of luxury listings relative to population. London topped this year’s Index, with a US$101.5 million top sale and average luxury home sale prices of US$4,683 per square foot. New York and Los Angeles ranked second and third, respectively, driven by exceptional growth in luxury sales volume. And despite government cooling measures impacting sales volume, Hong Kong still performed strongly, ranking fourth with an exceptional US$83.3 million top sale.


Luxury Real Estate in Montecito, California

Los Olivitos – Quintessential Santa Barbara

An estate unlike any other, Los Olivitos captures the soul and romance long equated with Santa Barbara – The American Riviera. A short distance from the Orient Express’ luxurious El Encanto resort, a rare parcel hosts the captivating Riviera residence. Uniquely oriented, approximately 2.74 flat and usable acres take in ocean and harbor views to the south while the magnificent Santa Ynez Mountains tower to the north.

At the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, entry gates open to a whimsical motor court lined with mature olive trees and stone-lined wildflower beds. The Andalusian style residence pays homage to the area’s Spanish and Mediterranean heritage characterized by staggered Mission red roof tiles, ironwork and exposed balconies.

At the home’s center, the fantastic eat-in kitchen offers an ideal gathering place for family and friends. While fabulously spacious, the kitchen has been lovingly designed to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Created to emulate those found in the Santa Barbara Courthouse, custom painted tiles adorn the walls affording unique charm, luxuriously complemented by a tray ceiling and expansive marble island. A butler’s pantry, top of the line appliances and farmhouse sink create a chef’s kitchen. A mudroom, screened porch, office, powder room and spacious laundry facilities complete this wing of the home. Outside, a wrap around terrace provides an ocean-view dining area for enjoying Santa Barbara’s idyllic year round climate.

Accessed via the kitchen terrace, a large bedroom suite offers private guest quarters. Boasting a lounge, patio, spacious ensuite bath and generous storage the charming and private space provides an ideal guest retreat.

An incredible amenity befitting of such an inspiring property, the artist’s studio beckons the creative mind to take in both mountain and ocean views with a spacious veranda overlooking the Santa Barbara harbor. Cloaked in stained Pine, the studio’s pitched ceiling and abundant windows create a bright and airy ambiance. Off the motor court is a large three-car garage and exceptional additional multiuse space. Teak floors adorn the incredible expanse, ideal for a gym, games room or workshop.

To explore the estate’s magical grounds is to discover an enchanting facet of its most special character. Escape to the Mediterranean pool garden where a swimmers pool with grotto spa is the centerpiece to lush lawns, gardens and flagstone patios. The Pacific Ocean sparkles to the south while towering tropical foliage boarders the pool garden for a secluded feel. A spacious, fully tiled pool bath with shower is conveniently located near the main house.

A labyrinth of stone-lined pathways wind beneath mature oak and olive trees passed lush lawns and wildflower beds mingling alongside blooming rose, herb and succulent gardens. Uncover intimate patios resting beneath oak canopies enticing afternoon picnics, a tree house for the ultimate game of “hide and seek” and a bocce ball court lined by a galleria of olive trees. Entwined around an ocean view pergola, vine foliage rustles in a sweet summer breeze providing a stunning yet casual outdoor setting.

For those who appreciate a property rich in history, character and mystique, Los Olivitos combines authentic architecture and enchanting landscape with incomparable views to create the quintessential Santa Barbara estate.

Los Olivitos – Quintessential Santa Barbara

Offered at $7,350,000

Presented by Riskin Associates