Known for being ostentatious but undoubtedly luxurious, the storied Santa Barbara County ranch owned by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is being readied for sale. Jackson, who passed away in 2009, purchased the property at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road in 1988 from golf course entrepreneur William Bone and took to renovating the house and property into a grown-man’s playground.
The estate known as Neverland lies about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles and consists of 2,680 acres of property in the Santa Ynez Valley region, which Jackson turned into a combination amusement park and zoo following his purchase of the property. Aside from the pop superstar himself, one of the most famous inhabitants of the property was Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee named Bubbles, who now resides at a sanctuary in Wauchula, Florida.
After Jackson fell into financial disarray in 2008, the ranch was purchased for $23.5 million by Colony Capital, a Santa Monica-based real estate investment firm. After years of serving as custodians to the fantastical property, the firm is readying the property for sale after it has been assessed at a value of $30.3 million by Santa Barbara County.
“We’ve really just been custodians of an irreplaceable estate and are proud to say we’ve restored it to the original elegance Michael first envisioned,” Thomas Barrack, owner of Colony Capital, said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. “We are now considering putting it up for sale.”
This isn’t the only Jackson-related real estate deal to be inked in recent months. Just a few weeks ago, Jackson’s mother secured a Calabasas estate for herself and Jackson’s three young children.
Santa Barbara Real Estate Update
As Neverland Ranch gets shopped around to just the right luxury home buyers, the rest of the Santa Barbara real estate market is looking particularly healthy for high-end home buyers as well.
According to Altos Research, a California-based real estate analytics company, the median single-family home value in Santa Barbara clocked in at $2,177,500 as of July 25. In looking at trends for the last 12 months, this value marks a decrease from the yearly high of about $2.75 million noted in April but prices have remained stable in the last few weeks.
Altos has a unique figure known as the Market Action Index that remarks on buyer and seller activity from a neutral value of 30 within a particular market. At 29.15, Santa Barbara’s MAI indicates that buyers have the slight edge over home sellers with an influx of inventory creating quite a bit of competition among owners wanting to sell. These factors have been the driving force behind the plummet in home prices in Santa Barbara but are in no way an indication of a weak real estate market.
MAI data looks to be trending upward, noting an increase in demand may be on the horizon, which will help properties to move and asking prices to rise.
Santa Barbara is home to a number of unique luxury properties. If you are interested in Santa Barbara real estate please feel free to contact our team of property experts today.