SoCal’s steady progress

The counties outside Los Angeles are seeing modest gains in resi sales as commercial projects slowly gain steam

Oct.October 30, 2019 12:25 PM
George Michael’s former home in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Home prices held steady at summer’s end in Santa Barbara, with an August median just about matching August 2018’s median of $1.29 million, according to Fidelity National Title’s analysis of data from the county recorder’s office. However, the number of residential sales slid 13 percent compared to last year. “While the appreciation rate along the South Coast has softened and multiple offers are possible, lately they have become few and far between,” Compass broker Stan Tabler wrote in an analysis of the Fidelity data. “Generally, there is much more inventory available in the higher price ranges than in the lower ranges.”

The priciest sale recorded in the county in August was a Montecito estate that closed for $12 million. The exclusive enclave, which is home to house flippers Ellen DeGeneres and Portia di Rossi as well as other celebrities, had a median sales price of $4.2 million that month, according to the Fidelity data.

Other noteworthy transactions include the pending sale of the one-time home of the late singer George Michael. The 4,800-square-foot residence in the city of Santa Barbara was listed for just under $6 million through Compass with listing agents Kirk G. Hodson and Jon-Ryan Schlobohm.

Over in the city of Goleta, a 132-room hotel on the former site of Santa Barbara Motorsports and the Good Earth Restaurant is in the planning stages, with the project going before the Goleta Design Review Board in late August. Santa Barbara-based architecture firm Cearnal Collective is designing the project.

San Diego county

Park and Broadway

There are reasons to be cheerful for those with their eyes trained on the San Diego residential market. September single-family home sales were up 10 percent compared to the same month last year, and condos and townhouses were up 6.6 percent over the same period, according to statistics compiled through the San Diego MLS by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. Median prices for single-family homes hovered at around $643,000, slightly lower than the same period in 2018.

The county’s priciest sale in September was a 4,200-square-foot beachfront property in Coronado that closed for $23 million.

Bustling San Diego will get some more rental inventory soon. A 30,000-square-foot property in San Diego’s East Village, owned by the Salvation Army, was sold to developer Liberty National in a September deal brokered by Cushman & Wakefield. The property is completes a block totaling just over 60,000 square feet that Liberty had previously acquired. Ultimately, the Park and Broadway project is expected to hold 640 residential units and 16,485 square feet of commercial space. Cushman & Wakefield’s Tim Winslow said the East Village has been viewed as the last major development opportunity for downtown. “We have seen some of the most astute developers, including Liberty National, getting a strong foothold into the neighborhood,” he said.

Ventura county

The Tull estate

Though it was initially listed for a whopping $85 million, a Thousand Oaks estate that closed for $35 million still shattered the sales record for the county. The 33-acre home was sold by former Legendary Pictures chief executive Thomas Tull and his wife, Alba, to an undisclosed buyer. The spread includes a 32,000-square-foot French chateau-style home. Jordan Cohen of Re/Max Olson & Associates represented the Tulls; the same firm’s Bryan Bumbarger repped the buyer.

The town will soon get another employment hub. A joint venture between Los Angeles-based HATCHspaces and Chicago-based Singerman Real Estate acquired a 160,980-square-foot campus with plans to develop it into a collection of life science facilities. The property was previously owned by Harbor Associates.

Over in Moorpark, plans have been filed for a sprawling 755-unit residential development that will include a 6-acre public park. Developer Comstock Homes’ Hitch Ranch project is proposed for a 277-acre site that was previously used for dry farming. Comstock plans to include manufactured slopes, new roadways and water retention basins in the project. 

In the county at large, retail rents have remained relatively constant. Monthly retail rents were $2.22 per square foot on average, up 1.2 percent over the previous year, according to a third-quarter report from CoStar. However, new tenants are pushing for improvement money, “and landlords have been more willing to give [it] to maintain the rental rates and the capitalized value of the property,” according to Matthew May, president of May Realty Advisors of Sherman Oaks.

Residential prices were also largely unchanged. The average price of a home in Ventura for July 2019 was $595,000, the same as 2018, according to CoreLogic. However, the number of sales increased by 6.2 percent year over year.

15700 Lasselle Street in Moreno Valley

Island Empire

Amid a “slightly sluggish” housing market, the median sales price for homes in the Inland Empire was up 2.5 percent in August compared to the same month last year, said Mark Dowling, chief executive officer of the Inland Valleys Association of Realtors. But August’s pending sales were up 16.6 percent over the same month in 2018. Riverside saw the highest number of transactions, with more than $163 million worth of sales that month.

On the multifamily front, a 178-unit residential community in Riverside, Canyon Crest Views, was sold by Klingbeil Capital Management to an undisclosed buyer in a $53.5 million deal that closed in August. The property had been owned since 1996 by San Francisco-based Klingbeil, which purchased it for $12.8 million. Two-bedroom units at the property currently rent for approximately $2,300. According to Berkadia, which represented Klingbeil, the new owner will complete renovations and update amenities. 

Over in Moreno Valley, Irvine real estate investment firm 4G Ventures sold a 304-unit multifamily community for an undisclosed amount to a New York-based real estate investment firm. The property, which features firepits, a pool and whirlpool spa, is close to Riverside University Hospital and Kaiser Medical Center. One-bedroom units there start at $1,440.

In retail news, Swedish home goods giant Ikea announced it will open a 330,000-square-foot store in Ontario, joining other Southern California locations in Covina, Burbank, Carson, San Diego and Costa Mesa.


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