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We weren't exactly skeptical, but we were surprised early this year when new construction at 705 26th (5br/4ba, 4875 sq. ft.) was listed, during the framing stage, at $3.599M.

In a post in February, we tried to look at some comparable heights hit in past years. Mainly we saw similar new construction hitting $3.2M-$3.375M at the peak of the mid-2000s bubble.

Most of those homes we not near the plus-plus size of 705 26th, where the basement added about 1300 sq. ft. above the other properties.

Now, not only has 705 26th sold for asking price, its near-twin, developed at the same time on a (former) double lot, has sold for more.

That'd be 709 26th (5br/4ba, 5120 sq. ft.), slightly larger, and slightly pricier at $3.700M.

Not only are these sales numbers major…

We last checked in on the progress of the crop of new construction we've called the Speedy Speckies back in April.

Back then, it was starting to look like the investors behind the speckies were going to have the last laugh.

One of the original crop, 1605 Pine, was due to close near $2M after having failed to sell on the first offering and turning into a rental. (See "Speedy Speckie May Hit $2M;" that post also has a thorough rundown of the crop of Speedy Speckies and their fates to date.)

We said of the builders then: "They're defying the naysayers, and starting to rake."

Since then, they've had even more success.

1605 Pine closed at $1.980M, the highest price yet for one of these homes, and the neighboring home at 1601 Pine followed soon thereafter at an

There's a new act opening in the saga of 2509 Palm, one of the failed auction houses: It's got a buyer.

Oh my, a nice little pickup in sales in the Tree Section has actually spilled all the way over to one of MB's longest-running listings west of Sepulveda.

The backstory on this one goes way back... Back more than 2 years to April 19, 2007, in fact.

That's when this particular cookie-cutter speckie (5br/5ba, 3150 sq. ft.) was first offered to the public. Start price: $2.449m.

Just stop a moment to consider – what were you doing in April 2007? And how did you feel about the local RE market? Yes, things are different now.

For 2509 Palm, the clock ticked, the market changed, and eventually the home's twin at 2509 Walnut sold (for $2.025m, July '08). Still, they…

You know things are getting strange in the local real estate market when a noted builder takes out a half-page ad (click to enlarge) not to market a home, but to persuade fence-sitting buyers that prices "will not and cannot come down another 10% this year."

We'll reproduce the text of the ad here and comment below:
The Crystal Ball Story

Advice for New Home Buyers

I've been in the real estate development and sales business in the South Bay for more than thirty years and you can rest assured that prices on new homes will not and can not come down another 10% this year. Here's why:

New homes currently on the multiple listings service that are between $2.1 million to $2.6 million were purchased as building sites in the ballpark of $1.3 million (cost to purchase