Goin' South

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 4:16am.

The South End of MB's Sand Section is one of the town's quieter pockets. Despite the area's charms, not all the recent listings down south have had an easy time.

88 Manhattan Ave. (3br/4ba, 2150 sq. ft., TH) is the southernmost listing we'll discuss – in fact, some may wonder if it's technically Hermosa. (Nope.) The mid-90s modern has been updated to suit 21st-century tastes.

The sellers recognize that they won't get the $2.2m they paid in Nov. 2007 in a resale now.

Last year, they tried at $1.999m and came down to $1.899m. This year, they tried at that price point again for a while, but after several months off, they're back at $1.799m, with the property queued up for a $400k drop in value (-18%), while the sellers stand to lose more after costs of sale.

That sort of realization was slower to dawn over at 420 1st (2br/2ba, 1000 sq. ft.), a little 2-building cottage next to a school parking lot that is back after 6 weeks off the market.

The home was acquired for $1.075m in June 2007 and freshened up a lot from its ruined state. In April 2009, the owners sought a nice markup to $1.275m, while the listing called it a land sale: "Property is listed for lot value but is livable and rentable." (See "Askew Down South.")

The '09 listing (7 months) didn't work, nor did this year's 6-month attempt at $1.190m, last seen at $1.130m.

The new price of $999k is the first attempt to sell below the 2007 acquisition price.

No doubt there was some influence from the quick sale up the block at 516 1st, a small (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) and dated cottage, to be sure, but without all the liabilities of 420. That one had a deal within a month when priced at $1.219m.

A more livable home in a better location was worth more – go figure.

After its most recent cut, 325 9th (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is down quite a bit from its March 2007 purchase price of $3.659m.

The newer (2003), full-featured Cape Cod has now been on public offer for 7 months, at list prices ranging from $3.695m down to the current $3.299m, a drop of $360k (-10%).

Despite its pluses, there seemed to be no one hovering back in July when we last referenced the home (see "Stuck on the Flat Walkstreets"), and this move seems yet another semi-urgent effort to reboot the listing.

That's what is up with active listings. We've also seen a couple of distressed sales close down south that are worth a mention as well:

508 3rd (4br/3ba, 3050 sq. ft.), a nice remodel of a late-80s home, first debuted in July 2008 at $2.299m, nearly a $500k markup over the owners' Sept. 2005 acquisition price of $1.805m.

A $500k profit on a mid-to-late-bubble acquisition? That wasn't going to happen. 

508 3rd came back in late June this year for $600k less than that 2008 request: $1.699m, and has now closed for a sliver more: $1.725m. More than this year's start price, anyway, but still 4% less than the 2005 price.

Somewhere in between the listing's 2010 launch and the sale's closing last week, there was a foreclosure sale, the details of which are murky to us for now, but seem to be maddening to all involved.

505 3rd (4br/3ba, 2550 sq. ft.) is a tired, dated home on a typical local lot of 2700 sq. ft. that sold short in July for $1.352m after first hitting the market in May 2007.

Investors had grabbed the property in Sept. 2005 for $1.6m and tried to resell it for prices as high as $1.949m from 2007 forward. MBC wondered aloud what it "should" sell for in Aug. 2007 in "What's Right for 505 3rd?"

The final sale price at 505 3rd was -248k/-15% off the Sept. 2005 trade.
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