Home » Greater Los Angeles » In the Know: Santa Barbara & Montecito Real Estate Insights from Eric Haskell

In the Know: Santa Barbara & Montecito Real Estate Insights from Eric Haskell

by | Jun 4, 2024

With its divine position just north of Los Angeles and access to scenic beaches, rolling hills, wineries and charming town centers, the appeal of Santa Barbara and Montecito is crystal clear. We spoke with The Agency’s Eric Haskell, a longtime resident and top-producing agent well-versed in the region’s heritage and dynamics, to get an of-the-moment overview of the current real estate market. Here, Eric discusses the area’s unique European-like charm, the most sought-after features in properties today, and what he anticipates the market will do for the remainder of the year. 


What’s your connection to Montecito?

I grew up in the Santa Barbara/ Montecito area and my family has been there for over four generations. Our family even has a beach named after it and my dad has had an antique store on San Ysidro Road since 1969. 


What’s the market like there right now?

The interest in Montecito went crazy during the pandemic and grew more with the Royals (Harry and Meghan) moving there and the publicity that came with that. There was an influx of new families and buyers, the market is still very hot for finished homes and homes in prime locations. 


How has the area evolved in recent years? 

More restaurants and new amenities are moving in. The Rosewood Miramar was a huge addition, the Coral Casino Club just reopened in January. Thomas Keller is also opening a restaurant this year. The region is evolving but also staying the same. Inventory is always low, and great estates are so hard to come by. People don’t tend to want to let go of their properties in the area. 


What draws buyers to the area? What lifestyle are they seeking?

It’s as close to a European lifestyle as you will find in the States. The combination of the mountains and the stunning beaches is always appealing. There’s also great food and a laid-back but sophisticated lifestyle. Incredible public schools are also a plus. There’s stunning architecture throughout the community as well. 


What are the top communities/areas in Montecito that are attracting buyers? 

People always wanted the large estate in the Golden Quadrangle region but now a lot of people want to be closer to town or in the Hedgerow region for proximity to the beach, shopping and restaurants. 


What features are they looking for in properties?

Main residence guest house with views and a pool. Gyms and home offices are a huge plus as well. People want the property they live on to feel like a vacation at home.


How do you think the local market is going to behave over the course of 2024? 

I think it will remain hot, with more people choosing Montecito as a primary residence escaping the crime and over-regulation in major cities. Lifestyle is such a huge part of people’s drive these days.


What advice would you give to potential buyers who are interested in your market based on the current trends and activity?

Location is always king, but choose the neighborhood that matches your personality, it’s all there. I think long-term, Montecito is an incredible investment and I still think it’s very underpriced for the architecture and proximity to Los Angeles. 


For more insight into current market trends and the world’s most dynamic real estate destinations, browse our other recent In the Knows: The Rise of Lake Town Real Estate in Tahoe & Beyond and Today’s Golf Course Home Market, Palm Beach to Palm Springs.

Ready to make a move?
Let’s get started.

Explore Listings