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Demand for properties along Central Coast remains high despite global pandemic

Real Estate Market
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Realtors have needed to implement new safety precautions for showing properties to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Demand for properties along the Central Coast is booming in spite of the global pandemic.

During the height of shelter-in-place orders, an initial dip in demand was experienced locally. 

However, buyers are now searching for and purchasing homes in Santa Barbara and beyond, just as they did before the pandemic.

Montecito-based real estate firm Village Properties has experienced a lot of activity from buyers looking for homes throughout Santa Barbara.

"We are in a trend of definitely selling a lot of property right now and a price point that is very different,” Village Properties owner Renee Grubb said.

Many of the buyers are from bigger cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. 

Another reason behind this recent spike in demand is hesitancy from sellers to put their homes on the market during this time of uncertainty. 

"They've always loved Santa Barbara and maybe they'd had it on their mind to someday move here or own a second home,” Grubb said. “This kind of pushed it into fast gear."

Meanwhile, realtors have needed to implement new safety precautions for showing properties and conducting real estate transactions to reduce any risk of virus spread. 

At Village Properties, agents are meeting with buyers and sellers virtually through FaceTime and Zoom, conducting open houses via video along with writing and signing offers virtually.

"All of our properties either have a virtual tour or they have professional photos which have been transformed into a virtual tour,” Grubb said.

When prospective buyers do visit a property in person, agents are ensuring social distancing is maintained between themselves and clients, wearing masks and conducting careful sanitizing procedures before and after visits. 

Similar precautions are taken when other types of in-person meetings with buyers or sellers are required.

"If there's another person that also wants to see the property, they need to wait outside,” Grubb explained. “When this group comes out and the house is sanitized, then the next group can come in."

In these uncertain times, it’s also possible that these skyrocketing homes sales could help elevate the economy. 

"Real estate is really going to help bring us out of this recession,” Grubb said.

With an eye towards summer, realtors remain hopeful that even more sales will come.

"Our spring months are the best, but we're calling these months sort of our delayed spring months,” Grubb concluded. “I think it'll go into the fall."

Founded in 1996, Village Properties has been representing buyers and sellers in Santa Barbara County for over 20 years. 

Article Topic Follows: Economy

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.


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