MB Market Update for 11/30/09

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 4:39am.

The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are online for your viewing by clicking here, or at any time by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page under "MB Market Updates." The current update, dated 11/30/09, covers the final 2 weeks of last month.

Remember, with the new online format, properties actively for sale can be viewed instantly (via Redfin) by clicking the property address in the spreadsheet. Also, you can easily click between the different pages (seeing MB by region, and by active or sold) using the blue tabs at the top of the page.

November saw more sales than new listings, a reversal of the way the numbers shook out in October. No huge surprise – fewer people want to start a listing now, while bargain-hunters are starting to grab properties that have lingered, reducing inventory.

Total new listings of SFRs west of Sepulveda: 13 for the month, 5 for the second part. Total sales (new escrows): 20 for the month, 10 in each half of November.

Plenty more pre-holiday cancellations (15 for the month) brought inventory further down to 66 as of Nov. 30. That's a net drop of 21 since Halloween.

You're wondering, maybe, how 2009 stacks up against last year?  Inventory's WAY down from '08.

The financial market meltdown last year nearly brought home-buying to a halt at a time when inventory was already reaching new highs. Bad combination. As MBC said in "Inventory Higher This Year" last December, inventory reached a then-record 119 SFRs on Nov. 30, 2008.

So from 119 a year ago to 66 now: that's a drop of 53 listings, more than 44%. A little more normal around now. Indeed, we're down now from 73 SFRs west of Sepulveda at the same point in 2007, MBC's first year of public market tracking.

This year, inventory by sub-region west of Hwy. 1 broke down as:
Hills: 9
Sand: 30
Trees: 27
So let's talk a little more about the Hills.

Note that Hill Section inventory is down by half in a month – another achievement – dropping from 18 to 9 offerings as we head to the holidays. Suddenly it's starting to look like the Hill Section again, with sparse availability, at least for now.

In the second half of the month, as you can see from this Hill Section actives page, 6 listings left the actives – 3 as sales (new escrows) and 3 as dropouts.

Two recent MBC stories have already discussed the sale at 718 Poinsettia, new construction last at $3.489m. The other 2 listings to find buyers were:

  • 408 N. Dianthus (3br/3ba, 2175 sq. ft.), which we described in October as "a little symphony in a tricked-out postwar cottage." That's to say, the remodel was great, the yard serene. (Click address for more pics & details via Redfin.) This was also priced below the March 2006 acquisition price ($1.708m) at $1.595m.
  • 918 1st, a 10,000 sq. ft. lot on the south side of the downsloping hill, offers big views and even bigger potential from a larger house. First, we sadly must bid farewell to a pretty cool older home. Priced at $3.4m, this lot sale began and found a buyer within the month of November.
Dropping out:
  • 919 1st, yes, right across the street from 918 1st. This is another lot sale offering slightly less land (8600 sq. ft.) that has lingered since February at a price more than $1m higher: $4.5m. Higher price: no sale, lower price: quick sale – there must be something to this formula.

  • 617 6th (5br/6ba, 5725 sq. ft.), new construction (is it even finished yet? we're not sure...), had hung around for more than 600 DOM (with some re-listing). 
It debuted in March 2008 at $5.950m, was last at $4.699m. The listing faced NODs and a threatened foreclosure sale, but this month – if we're reading the title activity right – appears to have been taken by one of the financial partners in the build. Don't be surprised to see it back in the new year.
  • 1011 Pacific (6br/5ba, 6875 sq. ft.), which plenty of MBC readers complimented after some opens, gave up after 430+ DOM, still priced more than $1m above its 2004 acquisition price of $3.975m; last at $4.995m.
Just one price cut in this period among the actives: 713 Anderson is down to $1.699m (-$100k).

Two closed sales in this period, both written up previously at MBC (click property addresses for more pics & details via Redfin – yes, even for closed sales):
That wraps up the Hills for November.

More on the Sand & Trees soon.
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