The Coast News Group

‘Camelot’ for sale, but few kingly buyers

RANCHO SANTA FE — Catherine Barry held an open house on Nov. 18 for one of Barry Estates’ listings in Fairbanks Ranch. Nicknamed “Camelot,” the estate truly conjures images of the French Countryside, with a castle fit for a king. The 13,342-square-foot house is situated on more than four acres of land, complete with a giant koi pond, pool and spa, tennis court and a two-bedroom guesthouse.
The custom built home was originally built by Ballard and Linda Smith. Ballard Smith, son-in-law to Ray Kroc, builder of the McDonald’s empire, was once the general manager of the San Diego Padres baseball team, then owned by Kroc. The property was sold in the mid-1990s and the current owners are looking to downsize elsewhere in Rancho Santa Fe.
The “Camelot” property was only one of three properties that Catherine and Jason Barry were featuring on that day. In the Covenant, Jason Barry was holding an open house for Villa de Nove Camini, another custom-built home with an Italian flare. It featured an indoor basketball court and six bedrooms — a house big enough for an entire basketball team.
Yet despite the magnificent features of these homes — and there are too many to list — the market in Rancho Santa Fe is currently saturated with high-end homes. The “Camelot” home in Fairbanks Ranch has been on the market for nearly a year and its price has been dropped substantially.
“You couldn’t build this house for its current price,” Catherine Barry said. The house was originally listed at $11,750,000 and is currently listed for $8,995,000, a substantial drop in price. According to Sandicor, there are currently 72 homes in Rancho Santa Fe priced at $5 million or more. That’s a lot of high-priced castles, with very few kingly buyers. According to a local title company and results taken a search on Sandicor, fewer than 10 homes priced at $5 million or more have sold in the past year in Rancho Santa Fe. An overabundance of supply and lack of buyers presents challenges for those trying to sell high-end homes. Where do these buyers with king-sized checks come from? “Forty-two percent of the time, we sell to Rancho Santa Fe residents,” Catherine Barry said. “The majority of buyers come from right here in San Diego County. Many sell homes in La Jolla and move to the Ranch. We’re also seeing quite a few Russians buy in the area,” she said.
So “Camelot” and other estates fit for kings are available in Rancho Santa Fe, but owners of these properties are a little harder to come by.