Maybe Palm Has Finally Turned

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 4:30pm.

It was way back last July that we said "it's hard to believe more than 4 months have gone by with 1801 Palm (4br/4ba, 3900 sq. ft.) still on offer." (See "Can Palm Turn the Corner?")

And then another 5 months went by after that.

Tuesday the home switched from "backup offer" status – where it had been since mid-December – to "pending," likely an indication that some contingency has been met by the buyers, perhaps sale of their existing home. (Admittedly we haven't pressed for details.) This makes it all the more like that this second reported deal will wrap up. At last.

At Palm, they've rolled on for 279 combined days on market, a pretty surprising accomplishment for an attractive, newer (2000), corner-lot home in a pretty great location.

The last offering price was $2.129m, more than 8% below its 2004 purchase price ($2.325m).

That's interesting when you consider median price trends for all of MB. Our 2011 median price was essentially the same as the 2004 median price (citywide). (See "2011 Wrap: More Sales, 2004 Median.")

Palm is a better-than-average house in a better-than-average location, all things considered across the city. But here it is, queued up to perform notably worse that the median price for the 2 periods in question.

Or, to reframe that: Here the buyers are, poised to get a deal substantially better than one might expect of a 2004 acquisition resold today.

We've never fully understood the market's downcast response to 1801 Palm. We did speculate back in July:
Maybe people don't like the tiered layout (as you can see here, the home runs along an upslope), or the thick, long shag carpeting, or the limited number of bedrooms (4) for the square footage. But none of these are major issues, and that location does sing.
The home also has some bonuses besides location, as we noted in our "Weekend Opens" review back in March last year.

In between our July post and the December deal at 1801 Palm, there was a deal at 1816 Palm (5br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.), which came on at $2.3m and closed for $2.181m in September after making a quick deal.

Notable differences: More conventional layout, 5th bedroom, non-corner/quieter location. It's just steps away, but the balance of those factors made it a must-have.

We'll see where 1801 Palm wraps up. It seems to stand out as a surprising case of a nice property that faced unexpected distress on the open market.
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