Neighborhood Watch: Santa Barbara's Westside

1724 Sunset_0002.jpg

There was a time, not too long ago, when the Westside was an afterthought for Santa Barbara home shoppers.  Hidden behind Carrillo Hill, it lacked the direct beach access of the Mesa.  Bounded to the East by Highway 101, it lacked the serenity of San Roque.  And unlike more sought-after neighborhoods, it didn't have a sterling reputation.

But as real estate goes in cycles, so does the popularity of certain areas.  The Westside is now experiencing a resurgence.  No longer a de facto fallback option for buyers who are priced out of other areas, the Westside actually ranks high on some buyer's wish lists.

We aren't yet to the point where long-time locals cry foul at the gentrification of the area, but momentum is certainly picking up.  See the chart below, in which we compare the median home prices of the Westside to all of Santa Barbara going back eight years.

Median Home Price

Pay particular attention to the 2016 and 2017 data points.  You'll notice that property values on the Westside are climbing at a higher rate than the rest of Santa Barbara.  Not only do we see this in the data, but we're experiencing it anecdotally with our clients.  

Our recent listing at 1724 Sunset Ave (more info here) was incredibly popular, garnering more than a handful of offers over list price in less than one week on the market.  Many of these buyers were specifically seeking a home in the neighborhood.

Looking at the quantity of home sales on the Westside, we see more interesting data.  There's an outlier peak in 2012 when prices were rock bottom, but most years see sales over 40.  In 2018 so far, we're on pace for a non-2012 high of 54 sales!  Buyers are not dissuaded by rising prices, but rather they're seeing the untapped potential of a neighborhood on the rise.

Number of Home Sales

Markets can change quickly, so we're keeping an eye on this development.  Stay tuned for more research on other areas of interest, and reach out to us if you'd like to tour properties in person!

- Devin Wong