End of Year 2018 Market Report

COMMERCIAL SALES: Owner-Users step up

Commercial sales on the South Coast in 2018 did not quite match the remarkable levels generated in the prior five years, as the impacts of the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow set a more subdued pace for most of the year. A surprising showing by owner-users helped maintain momentum in the market, while investors throttled down. There were 78 sales on the South Coast in 2018, the lowest count since 2011 and 16% below the prior 5-year average. On a brighter note, dollar volume (excluding hotel sales) was only 5% below the prior 5-year average.

In terms of transaction volume, the year began with a whimper and finished with a roar. The first quarter, as the area was reeling from the twin disasters, produced very low volume. The second and third quarters brought gradual recovery in transactions, if not in dollar volume. The fourth quarter, by contrast, was the highest dollar volume quarter on record (excluding hotel sales). There were four sales over $15 million in the fourth quarter, including Target’s purchase of 3891 State St in Santa Barbara for $27 million, the off-market sale of 75 Robin Hill Rd in Goleta for $27 million, and RAF Pacifica’s purchase of five entitled parcels in Goleta’s Cabrillo Business Park, listed for $26 million. Read the full report here.

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