Buyer’s Market in Santa Barbara
Sitting on the coast of California just north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a highly sought-after area for families and those looking for a relaxing, beautiful city to reside in. The climate in Santa Barbara is often described as Mediterranean, and it sits on the longest stretch of south-facing California coast. The official boundaries of the city actually comprise more water (53.61%) than land. The total land area of the city of Santa Barbara comes to 19.5 square miles. Ranking as the 91st city in California for population, Santa Barbara remains a quieter residential area with only 88,665 residents as of the 2020 census.
The economy in Santa Barbara has a strong foundation in a variety of sectors. In addition to attracting a high number of tourists, the city’s economic diversity includes service, health care, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, and education. The service industry accounts for over 35% of all employment within the city. High education is also an economic focal point; Santa Barbara is home to four esteemed university institutions: the University of California, Santa Barbara City College, Antioch University, and Westmont College. The University of California, Santa Barbara is the second top employer, employing almost 5% of Santa Barbara residents.
Entertainment and Culture
Due to its agreeable weather, city-central beaches, and beautiful Spanish architecture, Santa Barbara remains a popular tourist destination year-round. Visitors don’t leave without laying eyes on the Mission Santa Barbara, a national historic landmark, and the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, an open air tower offering the perfect view of the downtown area. Many annual events drum up a lively celebration from residents and newcomers alike, such as the Santa Barbara French Festival, the largest French Festival in the western United States. Other popular cultural events include the New Noise Music Conference and Festival, the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the Summer Solstice Parade, which attracts up to 100,000 people for its colorful parade.
In addition to offering many cultural events and celebrations, the city promotes art and culture with a variety of museums. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art features exhibitions of international importance as well as widely recognized art collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) offers free admission as a non-profit, non-collecting museum. The University Art Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History are also popular locations for a variety of art exhibitions and an impressive planetarium.
Real Estate in Santa Barbara
It’s easy to see why so many people would be eager to rent a home in Santa Barbara. If you’re looking to do so, now could be the right time. As of December 2021, the city is a buyer’s market, with homes remaining on the market for an average of 43 days. The median listing price is $1.8M, and the selling price significantly lower at $1.6M. If you’re looking to rent, the median rent prices in 2021 for all housing types are as follows, according to the City of Santa Barbara Rent Survey for the South Coast:
- 0 bedrooms/studio: $1,695
- 1 bedroom: $2,000
- 2 bedrooms: $2,800
- 3 bedrooms: $3,993
- 4+ bedrooms: $5,000
Apartments make up the most listings of all housing types, and have lower median rent than other housing types with the same number of bedrooms, which includes condos, houses, and duplex or townhouses. Every neighborhood in Santa Barbara offers high quality schools, safety, and gorgeous architecture, but these are the 5 most popular areas in the city:
- Downtown Santa Barbara
- Mission Canyon
- The Riviera
- The Mesa
- Isle Vista
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