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Market Reports
Q2 Report, 2022

Q2 Commercial Sales Summary: QAD Campus Leads Stellar Q2 Sales

Trophy properties, hotels & more State Street deals highlight quarter

The South Coast saw another definitively strong quarter for commercial sales as activity continued to accelerate, solidifying a very strong first half of the year and putting things on par with the record-breaking two previous quarters. The same trends persisted and we attribute most of the quarter’s activity to leftover demand from previous quarters as many of these closings started in Q4 2021 or early Q1 2022

Specifically the market tallied 41 total sales during the second quarter, with $254MM in volume (excluding hotel sales volume), marking a significant uptick from the first quarter’s 30 sales / $152MM…

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Q2 South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate ticked down from 9.7% in Q1 to 8.5% in Q2 2022. That said, at this time we are not including the approximate 90,000 SF of office space in the former Nordstrom building as that space is not deliverable until Q1 2024. However, the vacancy rate does include the 87,500 SF of available office space at the former Macy’s site at 701 State St. For the quarter, there were three leases over 10,000 SF in Santa Barbara which included Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, LLP renewing their lease at 1123 Chapala St; Hawk Applications expanding into 12,320 SF at 925 De La Vina St.; and American Riviera Bank taking 10,500 SF at 3780 State St. While there remains not much tenant activity in the market, we are yet to see vacancy rates rise.

Downtown State Street Q2 Retail Update

The beginning of Summer in Santa Barbara was highlighted by positive activity for the downtown corridor with an overall decrease of available retail storefronts on State Street. Perhaps the most exciting deal involved hip retailer Vuori signing a long-term lease at 833 State St. in the former Wendy Foster storefront. It’s a welcome site having this highly visible corner location filled by the popular performance brand which fits well with the Santa Barbara lifestyle.

Q1 Report, 2022

Q2 Commercial Sales Summary: Strong Quarter Continues Momentum

30 Q1 commercial sales most in 5 years; 3 more hotels trade

Coming off a record fourth quarter and 2021 overall, commercial sales continued this momentum into the first quarter of 2022. While first quarters typically tend to see the slowest sales activity of the year, a few spillover Q4 2021 deals ushered a hot start to Q1 2022 and we continued to see many of the same robust market characteristics we’ve been experiencing.

In fact, it was the strongest first quarter in five years with a total of 30 sales at a volume of more than $152MM (excludes hotel sales), up significantly compared to Q1 2021 (12 sales / $39MM). The 15-year average for Q1 sales is 19. The quarter also fared well compared to the record breaking Q4 2021 (43 sales / $335MM), validating our strong market fundamentals. The breakdown for the quarter includes 10 office sales, 7 retail, 6 industrial, 3 hospitality and 4 land sales…

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Q1 South Coast Leasing Summary

The Santa Barbara office market has weathered the impacts of the COVID storm and currently sees a 9.7% vacancy rate. This rate includes both Macys and Nordstrom’s second and third floor space being converted to “office” from “retail”. Without this new supply from Macy’s and Nordstrom the vacancy rate would be closer to 8.0%. The largest lease of the quarter was UCLA Health leasing nearly 22,000 SF at 111 E. Victoria St. Mercer Advisors also vacated their long-time space at Las Aves and leased 6,210 SF on the fourth floor at 222 E. Carrillo St. formerly occupied by Fell Marking Attorneys at Law.

Downtown State Street Q1 Retail Update

The start of 2022 delivered positive news for downtown Santa Barbara with an overall decrease of available retail storefronts on State Street. Two new restaurant leases including Pizzeria De Michele at 1031 State St. and Beans BBQ at 1230-A State St. combatted the restaurant closures seen during Q4 2021. More progress was appreciated with additional new leases at 427 State St. (State Street Axe Club) 809 State St. (Sunglass Hut) and 1101 State St. (LA Kaiser). Meanwhile the 900 block continues to experience limited progress with nine vacancies on that block.

Q4 Report, 2021

Q4 Commercial Sales Summary: So. Coast Sales Buck Pandemic

Surge in Q4 deals helps boost 2021 with record 109 sales & $556MM volume

Market trends and momentum persisted on the South Coast throughout the fourth quarter, closing 2021 on a high note and capping a year that produced both a record number of commercial sale transactions and dollar volume.

While Q4 is typically the most active quarter any year, the last three months of 2021 were especially prolific given the current economic climate. Not surprising, there was strong motivation by many to close on deals before year-end, in part fueled by uncertainty of what direction 1031 Exchange and Capital Gains laws were potentially headed in 2022.

The final quarter of 2021 saw a robust 43 total sales with $335MM in volume…

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Q4 South Coast Leasing Summary

After the high watermark office vacancy rate of 10.8% for Santa Barbara in Q2 2021, this figure edged down over the last two quarters landing at 9.2% to close the year. As noted in previous reports, roughly 87,500 SF of this vacant space sits in the former Macy’s building which anchors the Paseo Nuevo Mall and is currently marketed as office use rather than retail. Without this space the vacancy rate would be a more traditional 7.5%. While we’re on the odd subject of discussing big box retailers in the office market summary, one new wildcard is portions of the 3-story Nordstrom space in the same mall. We hear the upper levels may come to market for lease as creative office space, though ownership is tight-lipped on plans which could include other uses. If this happens it could mean roughly 100,000 SF of office space hitting the market which will increase vacancy substantially...

Downtown State Street Q4 Retail Update

The end of 2021 was capped by an overall increase of available spaces on State Street. This was a discouraging sign as the city continues to strategize on solutions for a complex downtown economy. Two more restaurant closures along with various restaurants building for sale further highlight the difficulty attracting consistent patrons to our local eateries who cannot sustain purely off tourism.

Q3 Report, 2021

Commercial Sales Summary: Q3 Doubles Jan-Jun Sales

Seven off-market deals underscore market’s low inventory as high demand remains

The South Coast commercial sales market has been nothing short of healthy as we wrap up the third quarter of 2021 and head toward the end of the year. For the first three quarters, sales were up 31% over the same period in 2020. In fact strong activity from Q2 carried into Q3, with 33 total sales and a haul of $89.4MM between July and September. By comparison, Q3 in 2020 reported 23 sales and $115.3MM in volume. (It should be noted that Q3 2021 dollar volume does not take into account one of the largest commercial transactions in our market’s history—the off-market sale of the Hotel Californian in September for an undisclosed figure—as these large hospitality deals would otherwise skew this figure). Once again, despite continued low inventory, high demand persists among both owner-users and investors alike.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate remained above 10% for the third consecutive quarter, closing out Q3 2021 at 10.2%. The largest of these available spaces remains the 87,000 SF on the second and third floors of the former Macy’s location in the Paseo Nuevo Mall. That said, this long-time retail space with limited windows would require a large office tenant and would generally not be considered traditional Santa Barbara office space. Therefore excluding this space from the data would result in a vacancy rate of about 8.5%, much more in line with historical figures.

Downtown State Street Q3 Retail Update

A slight decrease in vacancy is a welcome sign of positive change on State Street. More long term leases were signed than pop-ups which means businesses are gaining confidence in long-term outlooks.

Q2 Report, 2021

Commercial Sales Summary: Back on track in Q2?

Commercial sales rebound with investors continuing the charge

While we may not be entirely out of the woods with Covid and its repercussions, it is safe to say that great strides have been made as we get back on track to the likes of a normal year. While momentum slowed in the first quarter of the year after a strong Q4 2020, the second quarter of 2021 fared better, bringing back the healthy trends we saw in the humming times of 2019.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Sales activity during Q2 was considerably stronger than what we saw during Q1. The market remains incredibly strong with little inventory. We are still seeing multiple offers on many properties, which has driven up prices significantly. The vacancy rate has dipped to 3.3% from 3.8% a year ago, even while several rental communities delivered in 2020 remain in lease-up. There was a total of 24 multifamily investment transactions in Santa Barbara South County in Q2 of 2021, with seven (7) of those in the 5+ unit range and 17 in the 2–4 unit range.

Multifamily Sales Summary

Sales activity during Q2 was considerably stronger than what we saw during Q1. The market remains incredibly strong with little inventory. We are still seeing multiple offers on many properties, which has driven up prices significantly. The vacancy rate has dipped to 3.3% from 3.8% a year ago, even while several rental communities delivered in 2020 remain in lease-up. There was a total of 24 multifamily investment transactions in Santa Barbara South County in Q2 of 2021, with seven (7) of those in the 5+ unit range and 17 in the 2–4 unit range.

Q1 Report, 2021

Commercial Sales Summary: Momentum slows in Q1

Lack of inventory has market doing double-take with repeat sales

At the end of the first quarter last year, at a time when the new Covid scare was fresh in everyone’s mind, no one in our industry had any idea what direction the market was headed. Many feared a major market tumble the likes we hadn’t seen for a decade. Fast forward to Q1 2021 and the commercial sales market is in a much different place than most would have expected.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate notably jumped from 8.1% in Q4 2020 to 10.0% in Q1 2021. While this rise continues a trend over the past few years, the numbers can be a bit misleading. Earlier this year the owners of the former Macy’s building on State Street made the bold decision to market the space as 100% office use. While we believe the ground floor will remain retail, the 2nd and 3rd floors, comprising ±87,500 square feet, will become office. A shift of this magnitude alone was enough to increase the office vacancy rate by 19%. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this property.

Multifamily Sales Summary

Three months in to the new year and we are still seeing an adjustment in Santa Barbara County multifamily sales due to the pandemic. Although the market is strong, inventory remains low, generating multiple offers on many listings. Demand for apartments is still high even with the delivery of new development projects.

Q4 Report, 2020

Sales Summary: Solid finish to unpredictable year

Strong showing in Q4 pushes 2020 commercial sales past 15-year average.

Despite the craziness of 2020, the South Coast still managed to end the year on a strong note with 85 total commercial sales, just six (6) short of 2019’s 91 haul, and above the 15-year average of 77.1 sales/year. This was due in part to a solid Fourth Quarter which produced 29 total transactions, just shy of the 32 deals inked during Q4 2019.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Without a doubt COVID has impacted the Santa Barbara office market as the vacancy rate rose to 8.1% for 2020, its highest annual level in more than 20 years. Many of the larger open-office “tech” spaces will likely be the slowest to lease until COVID fears wane.

Multifamily Sales Summary

A total of eight (8) investment properties of 5+ units in size sold during the Fourth Quarter of 2020 in South Santa Barbara County. Two of the largest sales involved the two adjacent Sandpiper Mobile Home communities on Via Real and Cravens Lane in Carpinteria, which combined for 100 units and about $19.9MM total.

Q3 Report, 2020

Sales Summary: All aboard the roller coaster

This year has been anything but predictable, so we’re throwing all forecasts out the window and reporting facts, just the facts.

The third quarter 2020 commercial sales numbers were refreshingly positive compared to the beginning of the year. When compared to Q3 2019, the activity was surprisingly similar: 23 closings resulting in $115MM in volume in 2020 vs. 27 transactions totaling $146MM in 2019. Considering all that the country and economy have been through over the past several months, this is truly remarkable. In fact, you may also be surprised that Q3 sales are very close to average quarterly sales for all but recession years.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

During the third quarter, Santa Barbara registered its highest office vacancy
rate since 2003 at 7.7%, up from 7.1% in Q2. During the start of the
fourth quarter a few additional spaces have also come to market. At this
point there has not been a notable change in lease rates, hovering at $3.12/
SF average gross asking.

Multifamily Sales Summary:

The third quarter saw some sense of normalcy return to the local multifamily investment market. Investors mostly snapped up assets in the 2- to 4-unit range, with a few sales above 5+ units. As usual, not much inventory came to market, though the assets that did tended to have multiple offers and generally sold quickly.

Q2 Report, 2020

Sales Summary: Corona Crisis Curbs Enthusiasm

“Steady as she goes” downshifts to “Proceed with caution” for investors, owner-users & lenders

To absolutely no one’s great surprise, when you shut down an entire economy, financial activity in all areas of commerce slows down DRAMATICALLY.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Despite current events, Santa Barbara’s office market vacancy rate rose only slightly from 6.8% in Q2 to 7.1% in Q1. The average gross asking rate remained nearly unchanged at $3.13/SF, while the average gross achieved rate for new leases signed in Q2 dropped to $3.11/SF. The largest new office lease involved the 7,963 SF space at 4183 State St. which leased for $1.13/SF Mod GR. We also saw a drop in gross absorption from 41,000 SF in Q1 to 32,800 SF in Q2. No doubt the pandemic has cooled the market dramatically across all sectors, yet the minor increase in vacancy rate is a small relief for Santa Barbara office landlords.

Multifamily Sales Summary:

The second quarter did not see a significant change in the volume of inventory coming to market. There has not been a rush by sellers to move properties as sellers seem to be more in a preservation mode at this time. That said, it has been a good time for sellers who have brought properties to market as the appetite for multifamily investment remains strong for well positioned properties.

Q1 Report, 2020

Sales Summary: What a difference a quarter makes

The recent “Corona Crisis” has sent everyone into lockdown, thrown all financial markets into a tailspin and brought commercial real estate activity to a crawl.

Since none of us have lived through a crisis that included both a pandemic and stock market meltdown, it is difficult if not impossible to predict the direction of the market.

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South Coast Leasing Summary

Over the past 20 years, Radius has been publishing these quarterly market reports providing analysis of the previous quarter while looking forward to the future. During this stretch it is arguable we have never entered a quarter with more uncertainty than the current one. While it’s abundantly clear we are all in this together for better or worse, our three main leasing sectors—industrial, office and retail—are not equal in the impact the pandemic has thrust upon us.

Multifamily Sales Summary:

The year started with multifamily sales activity in the local market continuing as previous quarters, but the first quarter of 2020 ended on uncertain footing along with all financial markets as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

Q4 Report, 2019

Sales Summary: Sales volume jumps notably in 2019

Another big quarter helps push annual commercial sales to $531.0MM.

As we predicted, 2019 came to a close with South Coast commercial sales activity following similar suit to 2018, buoyed by a strong 4th quarter. We continue to see the market stabilizing.

Despite the similar number of sales transactions, there is a notable difference between 2019 and 2018 fiscal year sales volume totals. In total, 2019 concluded with 87 transactions and approximately $531.0MM in sales volume, a hearty 52% increase over 2018 which ended with 81 transactions and $350MM in sales volume.

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State Street Quarterly Retail Vacancy Update

Radius conducts a monthly visual inspection and research of the downtown State Street corridor (400–1300 blocks).

South Coast Leasing Summary: Santa Barbara Office vacancy rate flat for 2019, still high at 6.6%

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy remained relatively flat during the second half of 2019 with vacancy ticking up slightly from 6.4% in the third quarter to 6.6% in Q4.

During the fourth quarter there were 19 new leases signed accounting for just over 29,000 square feet with the largest being Bright Market leasing 5,092 square feet at 200 E. Carrillo St.

Q3 Report, 2019

Sales Summary: The Goldilocks Effect, Again

It seems that 2019 commercial sales numbers are following the same script as 2018 in almost every aspect except for dollar volume.

Total sales for the first three quarters of 2019 were 58, just one more than the same period in 2018. Even the number of sales in each commercial use category (office, retail, industrial, land) are similar, with the only somewhat notable statistic being the decline in land sales. This may be attributed to dramatic increases in construction costs, but also to the dearth of land sales in general in our development-challenged South Coast environment.

The big difference between 2019 and 2018, however, is the dollar volume to date. For Q1-Q3 2018 this figure was $184,833,720 with an average price per transaction of $3,243,000. But in 2019 this figure has soared to $320,445,000 total with an average price per transaction of $5,525,000.

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State Street Quarterly Retail Vacancy Update

Radius conducts a monthly visual inspection and research of the downtown State Street corridor (400–1300 blocks).

South Coast Leasing Summary: Santa Barbara Office vacancy rate at 6.4%, still trending higher than Goleta since 2018

The largest new office lease of the quarter involved 111 W. Micheltorena St., suite 300, an approx. 6,147 SF space leased by Bragg Live Food Products, the world’s top apple cider vinegar producer based in Santa Barbara and now partially owned by celebrity couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom. Yet perhaps the most notable development in the office sector involved a space leased last year. The converted retail property at 1001 State St. is now officially occupied by Amazon, continuing the trend of tech companies moving into the downtown area.

Q2 Report, 2019

Sales Summary: Steady-as-she-goes

With the 2nd Quarter of 2019 in our rear view, the South Coast market seems to be following suit similar to Q1 2019 and the first two quarters of 2018.

Sales closed during Q2 2019 totaled 15, the lowest quarterly figure since Q1 2018. This brings the first half of 2019 to a total of 30 commercial sales, just one more transaction than the first half of 2018. The local market seems to be trending slightly below the 15 year average of 75.4 sales per year. However, in years past sales have tended to increase during the last two quarters so we should expect to end the year close to our annual average. Still, South Coast annual sales have in effect been on the decline since 2016 which saw a near market high of 101 sales…

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State Street Quarterly Retail Vacancy Update

Radius conducts a monthly visual inspection and research of the downtown State Street corridor (400–1300 blocks).

South Coast Leasing Summary: Santa Barbara Office vacancy rate still high at 6.6%; Goleta dips to 5.2%

The office vacancy rate in Santa Barbara decreased from 7.4% in Q1’19 to 6.6% in Q2’19, but still remains at the higher end of what we’ve seen since 2003. Also of note, Santa Barbara vacancy rates have historically been lower than Goleta but this has not been the case over the past few quarters as Goleta has seen its vacancy drop to the 5.0–5.5% range.

Q1 Report, 2019

Leasing Summary: Office vacancy rate climbs to highest level in Santa Barbara since 2003

Santa Barbara’s office sector offered the most notable story in South Coast leasing activity during Q1 as the vacancy rate ratcheted up to 7.3%

Santa Barbara’s office sector offered the most notable story in South Coast leasing activity during Q1 as the vacancy rate ratcheted up to 7.3%, its highest level since the 7.9% recorded in the Summer of 2003. This constitutes about 379,000 SF from 123 available properties.

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State Street Quarterly Retail Vacancy Update

Radius conducts a monthly visual inspection and research of the downtown State Street corridor (400–1300 blocks).

Multifamily Sales Summary

We continued to experience slowed multifamily sales activity during Q1 with only four sales of properties 5+ units in size, no real change from the three recorded in Q1 2018. As with all parts of the South Coast, and really most of the Central Coast, it continues to come down to supply and demand as many investors wait eagerly in the wings with very few properties available.

Q4 Report, 2018

Sales numbers down. Market sees some adjustments, remains steady.

As we predicted in our reporting during the year, the total number of commercial sales for 2018 came in well under the all-time highs we’ve seen during the past five years.

In the 4th Quarter there were 24 sales including one agricultural (read: cannabis) property. While this was two more transactions than Q4 2017, total deals for all of 2018 amounted to only 81 versus 97 for 2017, a 16.5% decrease. Part of this decline can be attributed to the catastrophic December and January events on the South Coast which resulted in lower sales during the first and second quarters. It should also be noted that we still surpassed the prior-15-year average of 75 sales per year. And we should not rush to speculate that this softening in sales activity portends anything ominous. As noted in our Q3 report, we may in actuality be witnessing a balancing of the market.

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Q4 Report: South Coast Leasing Update

The office vacancy rate in Santa Barbara has been relatively steady over the last three quarters, ending the year at 6.6%. Smaller spaces continue to make up the majority of vacancies in this market, with 83 of the 112 vacant spaces at the end of Q4 being under 3,000 SF in size, representing approx. 135,000 SF or about 40% of total vacant square footage.

Multifamily Sales Summary

No doubt 2018 was a relatively slow year for multifamily investment sales in the South County. The effects of the twin natural disasters from last December and January certainly impacted all commercial real estate sectors at the beginning of the year. That coupled with the continued trend of low inventory, we tallied just 21 total sales of multifamily properties 5+ units in size during 2018, four fewer than 2017 and well below 2016’s record 42 sales.

Q3 Report, 2018

Commercial Sales Summary: Balancing the market?

3rd Quarter sees second straight year of declining sales activity since 2016; rise in owner-user versus investor purchases

With 2018’s 3rd Quarter coming to a close, we can confirm that market activity year-to-date is continuing to decline since the peak in 2016.

Q3 Report: South Coast Leasing Update

We’ve seen very little change in Santa Barbara’s office leasing market since early 2017, with the vacancy rate fluctuating between 5.8% (Q2 2017) and 6.6% (Q2 2018). The 3rd Quarter ended with vacancy at 6.1%...

In comparison to last year’s 3rd Quarter total of 25 commercial sales amounting to $85,387,500 in sales volume, this year’s 3rd Quarter came in at 22 commercial sales with total sales volume of $64,328,520, not including the outlier sale of the Hyatt Centric Hotel located at 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd., which traded in July for $87,500,000. Large hospitality sales typically tip the scales, so subtracting that sale reduces 3rd Quarter volume to roughly $21 million below Q3 2017.

Q2 Report, 2018

Commercial Sales Summary: Second Quarter Sees Softening Sales

As the second quarter of 2018 came to a close, market activity, as expected, did not seem to change much from the first quarter. Overall, the second quarter’s 15 sales brought the total number of sales for the first half of the year to 29. That is a sharp decline compared to the 49 commercial sales we recorded in the first half of 2017.

Q2 Report: State Street’s Sad Song Plays On

In an effort to more accurately assess State Street retail vacancy, Radius conducted a visual inspection and research of the downtown State Street retail corridor (400–1300 blocks) during June 2018...

Total Q2 sales volume was approximately $50.2 Million compared to $69.5 Million this time last year, with the largest transaction of the quarter at 3045 De La Vina St. The 18,000 SF office building that shares a parking lot with Trader Joe’s at the upper end of the emerging De La Vina corridor traded for $9.5 Million. In fact a majority of Q2 sales came from Santa Barbara office properties which included 6 sales for a total of $21.4 Million.

So why has the transaction total decreased?

Q1 Report, 2018

Commercial Sales Summary: Natural Disasters and a Slow Start

Perhaps not surprisingly, sales during the first quarter of 2018 got off to a markedly slower start versus Q1 2017. Altogether the first quarter compiled 14 sales of commercial property totaling approximately $53 Million in volume, not too far off the prior 15-year average of 18.7 sales per quarter but significantly fewer than Q1 2017’s 30 sales and Q1 2016’s 24 sales. In fact, Q1 2018 has been the weakest first quarter since 2013. So what is causing the slow start to the year?

South Coast Leasing Summary

As expected, Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate dropped slightly from 6.7% in Q4 2017 to 5.9% in the first quarter of 2018...

Q4 Report, 2017

Commercial Sales Summary: The Momentum Continues

The high annual transaction volume that started in 2014 continues. Last year was another strong year with 97 total sales, just six short of 2014’s record 103. The majority of commercial properties sold in 2017 were office buildings (37) followed by retail (24). Though not for lack of demand, industrial and land sales totaled just 17, while there were also two hotel sales. The 4th Quarter’s 22 sales were down from Q1’s high of 31, yet still above the 17 sales-per-quarter average and in line with 2nd Quarter (19) and 3rd Quarter (25)…

South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate has been slowly increasing since 2014 bringing the current vacancy rate to 6.7%, the second highest level we have seen over the last 17 years. It would be realistic to expect lease rates to level off or decrease, likely driving vacancy rates back toward 5%…

Q3 Report, 2017

Commercial Sales Summary: Market Metamorphosis

From 2014 to 2016 we experienced the three strongest years of commercial sales on the South Coast since Radius began recording market activity in 1998. In fact 2014’s record 103 transactions were nearly matched by last year’s 101. And despite the fact that dollar volume dipped last year to $366 Million versus $437 Million and $439 Million in 2014 and 2015 respectively, 2016 was still a strong year by any standard.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate remained stable with a slight decrease from 5.8% in the second quarter to 5.6% during the third quarter. The majority of vacancies remain below the 3,000 sq. ft. range, with leasing activity skewing heavily to smaller spaces...

Enter 2017 and, while we are on track for another strong year, we do appear to be in a bit of a transition period (call it transformation?) with some divergent storylines emerging, particularly involving industrial and retail properties in the downtown area…

Q2 Report, 2017

Commercial Sales Summary: A Tale of Two Quarters

The second quarter of 2017 came to a close with 18 sales, considerably short of the first quarter’s strong haul of 31 transactions which was the strongest first quarter we have seen in the last 18 years. This brings the first half of the year to 49 total deals. That said, the first half of the year was only 4 transactions shy of tying 2014 for the most prolific first half we have ever recorded…

South Coast Leasing Summary

…Goleta (as expected) experienced a major drop in industrial vacancy, plummeting from 3.8% in Q1 to a low of 0.9% in Q2, matching Santa Barbara’s vacancy rate…

Q1 Report, 2017

Commercial Sales Summary: Super Mighty Start to 2017

South Coast commercial sales for the first three months of 2017 were the strongest we have seen in the last 18 years.

During the first quarter there were 30 commercial sales, twice as many as the 18-year average of 15 for Q1 sales. We even surpassed the 24 sales closed in Q1 2016 which was another strong opening quarter.

South Coast Leasing Summary: Macy's & The State of Retail

Undoubtably the big news heading into 2017 was that Macy’s would be closing their massive 141,000 sq. ft. anchor location in the Paseo Nuevo Mall this Spring...

Total sales volume for the first quarter was $134 million, up slightly from 2016’s $129 million and completely overshadowing the $49 million closed in Q1 2015…

Q4 Report, 2016

Commercial Sales Summary: Ho hum, just another (almost) record year

Based on Radius records going back to 1998, 2016 was another impressive year for commercial sales on the South Coast. The year came to a strong close with 101 sales transactions, just two shy of 2014’s record 103 sales. In spite of a slow recovery from the Great Recession, commercial sales on the South Coast for the past half decade have not fallen below 83 deals for each of the last five years, reinforcing the region’s status as a relatively safe haven for real estate investments.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office sector remained relatively stable in 2016, finishing the year with a modest increase in vacancy rate to 4.9% due primarily to downtown vacancies, the largest being the 14,148 SF former Rabobank building at 33 E. Carrillo St. that came on the market in November...

That said, despite 11 more transactions in 2016 than in 2015, total sales volume and average sale size fell off pace. For example, 2016 saw total transaction volume of $366 Million, compared to $437 Million in 2015 and $439 Million in 2014. While this certainly does not suggest that property values are dropping, individual deal sizes are. A possible trend to monitor, but probably more of an anomaly due to the fact that inventory size and quality vary from year to year.

Q3 Report, 2016

Commercial Sales Summary: Peak, Plateau or Neither?

Why is it when we consider the state of commercial real estate investments in our market, everything starts looking like a trek through the Santa Ynez Mountains?

South Coast Leasing Summary

The most dramatic transition we have ever seen in any of our submarkets occurred in Carpinteria’s office sector with vacancy dropping from 20.7% this time last year to its current level of 1.8%...

Hills and valleys. Peaks and plateaus. Given the commercial activity of recent years, to some it might seem the valleys are shallower and the peaks are milder. Casual climbers have certainly enjoyed a more easy-going trail over the past few years, while aggressive hikers have recently been left needing a bit more.

Q2 Report, 2016

Commercial Sales Summary: Fundamentals Remain Strong Into 2nd Half of Year

The second quarter of 2016 came to a close with 23 sales, one short of the first quarter’s strong haul of 24 transactions, and bringing the first half of the year to 47 deals total. In fact, the first half of the year was only 5 transactions shy of tying the first half of 2014, the most prolific first half of a year Radius has recorded.

South Coast Leasing Summary

The office market in Santa Barbara remained largely unchanged during the second quarter of 2016 with the vacancy rate at 4.0% and the average gross asking rate at $2.88/SF...

Total sales volume for the quarter was approximately $72 Million with the largest sale being an approximately 12.5 acre land property in Goleta that sold in April for $13.5 Million. At the midyear point, overall sales volume was approximately $201 Million in comparison to $157 Million during the same period last year. This represents a 28% increase in total sales volume year over year…

Q1 Report, 2016

Commercial Sales Summary: Amid Robust Q1, Seller’s Market Marches On

Statistically, first quarters tend to produce the fewest sales of the year. However 2016 got off to a solid start with 24 commercial sales during the first three months. To put it into perspective, first quarters over the past 18 years have averaged just 15 sales.

South Coast Leasing Summary

As predicted, Santa Barbara’s office vacancy remained flat at 3.6% at the end of the first quarter of 2016, still below the 16-year average of 4.7% vacancy…

Furthermore, the 24 commercial deals closed during Q1 2016 represents the most prolific first quarter since 2011…

Q4 Report, 2015

Commercial Sales Summary: Let The Good Times Roll

The resurgence of commercial sales activity in the South Coast that began in 2012 rolled through 2015 with an impressive 89 total transactions for the year. In fact, the past four years have been so strong that the annual average which Radius began tracking in 1998 has increased from 65 sales per year to 70. While the last four years have been phenomenal, 2015’s 89 sales (second most recorded) could not top the record high of 103 sales achieved in 2014.

South Coast Leasing Summary

In 2015 the Santa Barbara office market strengthened for the third year in a row...

Q3 Report, 2015

Commercial Sales Summary: Breakthrough Year for Development Deals

As many have probably noticed, sleepy Santa Barbara has an unusual amount of development projects either underway or breaking ground soon. We have seen a backlog of moth-balled projects — some of which have been 20+ years in the making — which are now moving forward as a result of an improving economy, available financing and political will.

South Coast Leasing Summary

The South Coast leasing market has enjoyed a stable and healthy pace in 2015 with most average gross lease rates up slightly and vacancy mainly in the single digits...

Q2 Report, 2015

Commercial Sales Summary

While 2015 got off to a slow start with only 15 sales completed during the first quarter, the market, as expected, began to pick up steam with 23 sales in Q2, which is well above the 16 sales-per-quarter average. Despite the fact that both quarters paced behind a record-setting 2014, the market remains frothy for well priced properties in Santa Barbara.

South Coast Leasing Summary

On the leasing side, commercial vacancy continued to remain quiet/stable throughout the second quarter in the South Coast, with inventory in all three Santa Barbara sectors continuing to tighten slightly...

Q1 Report, 2015

Commercial Sales Summary: Strong Fundamentals = Solid 2015

On the surface it was a rather unremarkable first quarter on both the sales and leasing side. Activity has eased after 2014’s gangbuster 103 commercial sales with considerably fewer deals during Q1 2015 than the same quarter last year, though we were not far off the 17-year quarterly average with 15 total. In fact, the +$20 Million sale of the REI building in downtown Santa Barbara is just the first of several larger sales we anticipate this year, which may shift the narrative from the number of deals to sales volume.

South Coast Leasing Summary

On the leasing side, vacancy was also relatively stable across the South Coast, for the most part, particularly in Santa Barbara...

Q4 Report, 2014

Commercial Sales Summary: South Coast logs record 103 sales in 2014

And we thought it couldn’t get any better. In 2014, more commercial properties were sold in the South Coast than ever before, totaling 103 transactions and just under half a billion dollars in sales volume ($425,899,476 to be precise). Consider that it was not long ago in 2009 when the market, in the midst of the Great Recession, sunk to a measly 35 sales. Still, perhaps it is even more impressive that at 103 deals, we not only crushed the previous record of 85 sales set in both 2005 and 2012, but we did so on the heals of a very strong 3-year stretch from 2011–2013 (71, 85 and 83 sales respectively).

South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate dipped to 3.9% by the end of 2014, just below where the year began, the lowest it has been since the summer of 2008 when office vacancy was at just 3.8%...

Q3 Report, 2014

Commercial Sales Summary: What’s The Big Deal?

“…Well located real estate … has returned to 2007 prices and in some instances has surpassed those levels.”

This time last year we were questioning whether we had truly come out of our economic slump and now we can answer with an affirmative—at least it certainly seems so here on the South Coast.

South Coast Leasing Summary

In Santa Barbara, both the vacancy percentage and lease rates show the Office market is doing well. Currently at $2.90/SF Gross, average asking rates continue at all time highs with no visible signs of dropping any time soon, though it’s worth noting that achieved rates averaged about $2.41/SF in the third quarter. Vacancy currently sits right around the 10 year average at about 4.7%, though it has increased modestly since the first quarter when it stood at 4.3%.

Q2 Report, 2014

Commercial Sales Summary: Records are made to be broken

It seems the market cannot get any hotter, at least with regard to commercial sales.

The second quarter of 2014 came to a close with 27 sales, edging the very strong performance of 25 transactions during the first quarter, and bringing the first half of the year to 52 deals total.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Santa Barbara’s office market remains virtually unchanged from Q1 with vacancy increasing slightly from 4.3% to 4.4%. Gross average asking rates rose slightly from $2.85/SF to $2.86/SF. The market has clearly been headed in the right direction since the 6.1% vacancy and the $2.40/SF average asking rate reported a year ago in Q2 2013.

This is the most prolific first half of a year on record, and we are quite possibly on pace to end the year with total sales transactions in the high 90’s, which would also be the greatest number of annual sales we have seen since Radius began keeping records about 17 years ago.

Q1 Report, 2014

Commercial Sales Summary: Strongest Q1 Since 2011

…one major factor driving this sales activity is the proliferation of 1031 exchange transactions. As we predicted, the combination of limited supply and hungry buyers started the year with a bang.

The first quarter of 2014 was undoubtedly the strongest first quarter we have seen in three years. The 23 commercial sales recorded easily trumps Q1 2012’s 11 deals and Q1 2013’s 14 transactions.

South Coast Leasing Summary

There is a palpable shift in the market as vacancy downtown continues to tighten. At the begining of 2013 the vacancy rate was 6.3%. A year later it has fallen to 4.3%, causing the average asking rate to climb to $2.85/SF gross, its highest level since 2007 before the recession hit. Asking rates remained relatively flat between 2009 and the beginning of 2013 but have been on a steep upward trajectory since then.

If this pace continues—with inventory remaining low and investors poised to pounce—2014 could produce the greatest number of commercial sales in the South Coast in more than 17 years.

As we alluded in our 2013 year-end report, one major factor driving this sales activity is the proliferation of 1031 exchange transactions. We expect this practice to continue.

New buyers are absorbing the limited supply, driving prices ever higher and breaking off-market properties loose, forcing sellers to then exchange into new properties and continuing the cycle.

Q4 Report, 2013

Commercial Sales Summary: Another Big Year for Investor Sales

…More and more investors are competing for a very limited supply of real estate in the Santa Barbara area.

The local commercial real estate market undeniably has experienced steady growth since the “Great Recession” hit six years ago. Consider that in 2012 there were 85 sales transactions, up by 142% over 2009’s low of 35 and equaling 2005’s 15-year high. Last year’s haul came in just shy of that mark at 83 total commercial sales, as it was difficult to match the rush of transactions completed the final weeks of 2012 when many investors sought to escape the impending capital gains tax hikes of 2013.

South Coast Leasing Summary

...Prime retail space on State Street and Coast Village Road, as well as in Goleta, should continue to be in high demand.

Sales activity has returned to pre-recession levels and investors are now purchasing prime property for record prices. As to be expected, record high sales have taken place in the most desirable locations including Montecito, State Street and the “Funk Zone”, led by the “Old Firehouse” building in Montecito’s upper village which sold for a record $2,500/SF.

Then there’s Santa Barbara’s “700 Club”, three deals from the past year involving local restaurants that passed under the public’s radar despite high price/SF sale figures, all around the $700 mark.

Q3 Report, 2013

Commercial Sales Summary: Are we feeling good yet?

Last year at this time we were asking ourselves, “Are we there yet?” Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of “there”, but it seems that in spite of the chaos and confusion in our government, the general public is ready to move on with their lives, and that includes the economy. While the Fed’s support (also known as Quantitative Easing) continues, interest rates are still historically low, banks have either healed or been consumed by their brethren, and business is moving or wants to move forward.

Commercial Sales Summary

There is a significant shift in storyline in the world of commercial sales in the South Coast. This appears to be the year of the investor.

This includes the real estate industry. Housing has certainly come roaring back with the number of sales substantially over the previous year’s numbers. Overall, prices have stabilized and for houses that are priced right and are affordable to the majority of buyers, there are multiple offers. Whether this precedes another bubble is too soon to predict, but suffice it to say, it is cleaning up the inventory and creating a more stable environment for lenders and consumers.

Q2 Report, 2013

Mid-year marks: Apartments steal more spotlight; Q1–Q2 sales remain steady

Despite a lack of “game-changer” headlines during the first two quarters, there are a handful of developing stories that merit attention. Perhaps none more noteworthy than the sustained surge in popularity of the multi-family (apartments) market.

Commercial Sales Summary

Sales of office, retail and industrial property are holding their own this year with 29 transactions to date (including 15 in Q2), compared to 24 sales for the same period in 2012. The more interesting story is the dramatic increase in price-per-squarefoot (read more on page 2).

Given a host of factors, including historically low vacancy rates, there are an increasing number of investors in the South Coast willing to put cash on the table to scoop up apartment properties as soon as they hit the market. While interest is showing no sign of letting up, declining inventory may cool things off (see pages 9–10 for more detail).

Q1 Report, 2013

Commercial Sales Summary: Sales return to Earth in Q1

What may seem to have been a somewhat pedestrian performance for first quarter commercial sales at just 14 total (down substantially from Q4 2012’s stellar 35 transactions) was in reality not far off the 15-year average of 16 per quarter.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Surprising as it may seem, Santa Barbara's office market remains at 2009 levels from a vacancy and lease rate standpoint.

Q1 2013 sales were higher than the 12 recorded in the first quarter of 2012. And thanks to one very large commercial transaction, the sale of Bacara Resort for between $150-$180 million, sales dollar volume was in line with previous quarters. Altogether a decent start to the year.

Q4 Report, 2012

Commercial Sales Summary: A Year Driven by Growth

Local Commercial Real Estate makes great strides putting uncertainty of recent years in rearview mirror.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Both vacancy and lease rates for the Santa Barbara Office sector remained relatively steady in 2012 despite a lack of tenant activity during the second half of the year.

It would be an understatement to say 2012 was chock full of compelling stories. And while in any year you can point to peaks and valleys in any economy or market, the peaks last year drove much of the storyline. Here are five of 2012’s top stories…

Q3 Report, 2012

Commercial Sales Summary: Are we there yet?

A look at the trajectory of the Commercial Real Estate industry in the South Central Coast…

Needless to say, all business activity in the United States, and the world for that matter, has been adversely affected by the dire economic conditions we have been experiencing over the last five years. Banks, the automotive industry, energy, real estate, even governments, all have taken their blows.

South Coast Leasing Summary

At the end of 2008, following the historic collapse of the financial markets, Santa Barbara office vacancy not surprisingly spiked to its highest levels since the end of 2002...

Some of these industries, most notably the banks and auto industry, have been propped up by government subsidies, be they low interest rates or flat out “loans”, in the hopes that they would make comebacks and that the loans would be repaid.

Q2 Report, 2012

Some ups & downs, but will 2nd Quarter optimism continue?

Despite historically low interest rates, continued European financial uncertainty has sidelined many investors for the first two quarters of 2012. Locally, there are two contrasting financial indicators that are worth keeping a close eye on.

South Coast Leasing Summary

Leasing trends are showing stabilization throughout the south Central Coast. Four out of the seven commercial real estate sectors show downward trends, with Carpinteria office vacancies decreasing substantially due to the continued expansion of lynda.com and Gigavac.

While the latest figures show an uptick in Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate, increasing from 7.4 percent in May to 7.9 percent in June, “We continue to see the trend of improvement over the same period from the previous year, which is a silver lining,” said Raymond McDonald, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board, in a Noozhawk report.

Q1 Report, 2012

Job, Commercial Real Estate Markets Rebounding

Generally speaking, as the job market goes, so does the economy. It’s worth noting that both the job and the commercial real estate markets in Santa Barbara County are showing encouraging movement in the right direction.

South Coast Leasing Summary

The Santa Barbara office market started the year steady with both lease rates and vacancy remaining nearly unchanged for the last two years...

As reported recently in the Santa Ynez Valley News, the latest state figures show unemployment in Santa Barbara County improved from 9.7 percent in February 2011 to 8.9 percent this February.

Q4 Report, 2011

Optimism for a year of Opportunity

As 2012 moves forward, it’s worth taking another look back at a sluggish 2011 to gauge how the commercial market responds.

South Coast Leasing Overview

It was a year of two stories when it comes to leasing...

All sectors are seeing improvements or signs of improvement, so it appears a slow recovery is underway…

Q3 Report, 2011

Leasing Overview

Continuing uncertainty in the national and local economy contributed to a lackluster third quarter in the South Coast Leasing Market.

South Coast Sales Overview

One bright area of note saw a busy third quarter in the commercial sales sector.

Vacancy rates were mixed along the South Coast with small drops in the Industrial sectors of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria and the Office sector of Santa Barbara while there were slight increases in the Carpinteria Office and Goleta Industrial sectors…

Q2 Report, 2011

Leasing Overview

The Leasing Market returned mixed results during the second quarter even as leasing activity remained strong.

South Coast Sales Overview

There was a decline in the number of sales during the second quarter when compared to the first quarter of 2011...

Vacancy rates increased slightly in all sectors (office, industrial and retail) in Santa Barbara while the Carpinteria and Goleta office sectors experienced decreases.

Q1 Report, 2011

Leasing Overview

The South Coast lease market saw positive downward movement in vacancy rates across the board, with the exception of the Carpinteria industrial market.

South Coast Sales Overview

The first quarter of 2011 saw a robust market for sales including some high profile properties changing hands...

This is the first time in four years that all office indices saw a reduction in vacancy.

Q4 Report, 2010

Leasing Overview: Is it over yet?

That’s a common question that a lot of people are hearing and asking these days. Is the economy improving yet? Is the commercial real estate market improving yet?

South Coast Sales Overview

Sales of commercial properties improved along the South Coast as we saw a 40% increase in the number of sales transactions (not including apartments) in 2010...

Well, one thing is for sure, 2010 is now over and we are looking forward to 2011…

Q3 Report, 2010

Sales Market Overview

The third quarter of 2010 saw 11 completed commercial sales transactions. The largest sale was the Salvation Army’s 57,000 square foot campus in Carpinteria.

South Coast Leasing Overview

The largest retail lease transaction during the third quarter was REI's lease of 24,500 square feet at 314 State Street...

This property sold for more than the asking price of $6,000,000 to the neighboring tenant lynda.com…

Q2 Report, 2010

Sales Market Overview

The second quarter of 2010 saw a slight decline in the total number of commercial sales, however, that is still a continued improvement over the same period in 2009…

South Coast Leasing Overview

For the most part both lease rates and vacancy numbers remained relatively unchanged during the second quarter...

We saw nine commercial sales (excluding apartments) for the second quarter versus 12 for the first quarter…

Q1 Report, 2010

First Quarter Market Overview

The commercial markets are heating up compared to 2009 but it will take a fair number of consecutive strong quarters for vacancy rates to decrease.

South Coast Leasing Overview

During the first quarter of 2010 we saw an increase in commercial activity across nearly all submarkets...

At the end of the first quarter the vacancy rate for the overall office market on the South Coast is currently at 9.3% which is the highest overall rate we have seen since we began tracking the vacancy percentages in 1992.

Q4 Report, 2009

2009 Year End Market Overview and Going Forward

2009 has ended and while there was little celebrating to do, the overall impact of the year was not as calamitous as many people predicted.

South Coast Leasing Market Overview

On the leasing front, 2009 started out slow but then rallied in the 3rd and 4th quarters...

About halfway through the year we saw a noticeable increase in activity on both the sales and leasing side…

Q3 Report, 2009

2009 Third Quarter Commercial Vacancy and Sales Market Overview

In 2009 to date, the South Coast has had only 22 commercial sales transactions compared to an average of 68 transactions per year over the last 11 years.

Santa Barbara Office Leasing

In the third quarter of 2009 the Santa Barbara office vacancy rate continued to increase for the 9th straight quarter...

In the last few months, however, we have seen an increase in the amount of sales activity evidenced by 12 of the 22 sales happening in the third quarter and more offers and more properties going into escrow…

Q2 Report, 2009

2009 Second Quarter Commercial Vacancy and Sales Market Overview

The commercial (office, R&D and retail) sales market continued to limp along through the second quarter of 2009.

Santa Barbara Office Leasing

The Santa Barbara office market has seen the vacancy rate steadily rise for the last two years...

The first quarter finished with only 6 commercial sales, and the second quarter witnessed only 4 bringing the grand total to 10 for 2009…

Q1 Report, 2009

2009 First Quarter Commercial Vacancy and Sales Market Overview

The most telling statistic from the first quarter of 2009 was the lack of completed sale transactions.

Santa Barbara Office Leasing

Over the last 12 months we have seen the office vacancy rate increase by 96%...

The dramatic decline of both the stock market and credit markets beginning in September of 2008 were contributing factors as very few properties went into escrow in the fourth quarter of 2009 and subsequently only six properties closed escrow in the first quarter of 2009…

Q4 Report, 2008

2008 Year End Commercial Vacancy and Sales Market Overview

The commercial market in South Santa Barbara County (Goleta, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria), is not immune to the recent economic downturn which has affected the majority of our country.

Santa Barbara Office Leasing

Santa Barbara office vacancy increased from 3.0% one year ago to the current rate of 4.5%...

In 2008, we saw commercial vacancies rise across the board and lease rates start to decline…

Q3 Report, 2008

2008 Third Quarter Vacancy Overview

For the year, vacancy rates have increased across all quarters of the commercial real estate landscape.

Santa Barbara Office Leasing

The Santa Barbara office leasing market saw the vacancy rate rise from 3.8% to 4.3%...

The initial slowdown was first noted at the end of the first quarter before the true nature of the credit crisis was discovered…

Q2 Report, 2008

The Big Picture: Spring 2008

Along the South Coast, commercial markets saw a decrease in activity over the second quarter of 2008.

The average vacancy rate is still low with Santa Barbara office at 3.8% and Santa Barbara retail at 1.2%, however office vacancy in Goleta increased slightly to 9.0%…

Q1 Report, 2008

The Big Picture: Winter 2008

Along the South Coast, commercial markets continued to see good activity through the first quarter of 2008. The exception is that the office market in Goleta saw vacancies more than double from the end of 2007, from 3.5% to 8.6%, as several new locations have come on to the market during the first quarter of 2008…


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