The first half of 2020 was very tumultuous for the California housing market. Real estate sales activity came to a virtual halt shortly after the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March, and it took a couple of months before construction resumed along with social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Things improved in the middle of the summer thanks to motivated sellers who were anxious to reach the closing table. It did not take long for sales to resume and prices to increase, but not all markets looked rosy.
In San Francisco, the sizzling seller’s market had to cool down at some point, and COVID-19 seems to have taken care of that, at least for the time being. On the other hand, we have the Southern California market heating up once again, particularly for luxury properties. According to Haute Residence, an online magazine dedicated to covering news developments relate to high-end residential markets, the sales and value appreciation momentum experienced in Southern California last year will continue to be felt in 2021.
Spec Home Markets in Southern California
In markets such as Montecito, Malibu, West Hollywood, and Santa Barbara, wealthy buyers relocating from San Francisco and Silicon Valley have been spotted. These are the kind of house hunters with deep pockets who are often on the lookout for interesting properties. We are talking about spec and custom homes with extras such as roof-mounted solar panels, smart home automation systems, covered swimming pools, panoramic balconies, wine cellars, and natural ventilation systems. With regard to architectural style, Modernist, Spanish Colonial, and Mediterranean revival are still favorites, but there is also a trend for updated split-level California ranch homes. Something else that buyers are looking for is home-within-a-home floor plans for families with extended relatives, elderly parents, adult children, or simply to profit from by listing on AirBnB while still retaining privacy.