On average, listings lease in the $30's per square foot per year. The Santa Barbara region is going through a decline in rates. In the last 3 months, the median rate decreased $6 per sqft per year. That's a 15% decrease in rent.
In the last 90 days, 99 listings have come on the market, so you'll want to check back regularly for new listings. About 42% of the listings in the Santa Barbara are subleases, so you might be able to sign a shorter term by taking over a previous lease. There aren't many listings below 2,000 square feet on the market, so finding a space for a small business might be tough.
The standard measurement for office space in this area is around 1,080 sqft. Most buildings in this market are close to 2 floors. Most buildings in this area were built in 1974 and are Class A.