MB Market Update for 11/15/09, Sand

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 5:01am.

The other day we took a first look at data from the opening 2 weeks of November, and focused on some specific activity in the Hill Section.

Now let's look at what's going on by the beach.

Recall that there were 33 actives in the Sand Section as of 11/15/09. Here are links to the actives priced below $2m, and to actives above $2m.

New to the market were 3 listings, 2 priced below acquisition and one offered as a short sale:


  • 528 24th is a taut, sharply remodeled little 2br/1ba, 1200 sq. ft. cottage in the gaslight area. Current owners paid $1.250m in Oct. 2006, now seek $1.150m;
  • 123 44th is a 2007 acquisition that's short, though it's offered at precisely the Jan. 2007 price of $1.490m. Someone's going to need to break some bad news to the bank (see "Tinkering Won't Save It"); and
  • 317 17th is another 2007 acquisition (Nov. '07), where the seller paid $2.050m, tried to unload for nearly $2.8m, and is now in escrow at $2.0m. (See "17th Gets Busy.") This one is a "new" listing only technically; it came up in escrow.
Yes, those are the sorts of listings you'll see late in the year.

There's also one big closing story...

502 24th, the glorious, fun, cool new "green" modern across from the Grandview parking lot, the home that MBC called a "Beautiful Loser," has closed for $2.3m.

That's an astonishing $2.6m less than the start price, a 53% reduction from that nervy beginning.

This means that November has already seen the biggest percentage price chop from start (53%) on a closed sale in 2009 and the biggest dollar price cut from start – at 218 Anderson in the Hills, which went from about $10m to $6.525m (total drop $3.463m/-35%), as noted in "Ground Down to $6.5m."

The lot for the Beautiful Loser was acquired for $1.375m in 2005; a less spectacular speckie might have turned a profit near this price point. But recall that the listing said that this one was already priced $1m below costs when the list price was $2.995m – take another $700k off, and the bath taken here is $1.7m.

The closed price for 502 24th is precisely the same as that for another orphaned contemporary that sold well below its ambitious start price – 425 26th, just the other side of Grandview, on the hill overlooking the school (and with big views as a result); start price: $3.75m, sold short in July at $2.3m.

There were 3 new deals (new escrows) in this period in the Sand. These included the 17th St. house mentioned above, plus its neighbor, 321 17th, a lot-and-a-half last offered at $2.499m. We covered this ground in "17th Gets Busy."

We're almost afraid to mention the newest deal at 132 2nd, a star-crossed listing, it seems sometimes, but one of these days; no, best not to say any more.

Added to the spreadsheet in this period is also 441 6th Place, though it was never on MBC's spreadsheets as an active SFR (it's a lot sale that launched in late September). This is a prime corner lot at the dead-end of Ingleside, right up on the flat 7th St. walkstreet.

Offering price was $1.649m, fully $401k below the lot price at directly comparable 440 6th on the next block, purchased for $2.050m in Sept. 2007 before the current, new Cape Cod there was built. (Offered currently at $3.999m.) We'll see where 6th Place ends up; it's the better lot (splitting hairs!) but it's now 2 tough years later.

Among the active listings wishing for some actual action, there wasn't a lot of movement:
  • The cheapest listing in the Sand, 532 5th Place, is gone. MBC called it "a dinky, 1930s-vintage house" (2br/2ba, 900 sq. ft.) and noted that it was on an alley. Sellers had paid $923k in Jan. 2006 before a significant remodel; last at $899k
  • The strange case of 217 Seaview continues. This was the "lease-option" house a couple years back, offered this year with urgent language pleading for bids, now offering "owner financing" and a tiny markup of $12.5k over the start price from July to $1.325m.
  • Higher up the scale, 121 17th (pictured) made its first cut, dropping $300k to $3.7m. We have the sense that there's much further to go. As MBC noted in a "Weekend Opens" story featuring this listing:
The one 100-block sale we see in the last 6 months was substantially larger 132 19th (3br/3ba, 3300 sq. ft.) which sold in May for $3.315m and $1,005/PSF. (See "Some Sand Sales" for more.)
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