MB Market Update for 3/15/09, Trees

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 5:33am.

Wrapping up now with a third installment of our update for the first half of March, we'll cover the Tree Section.

To bring things up to the moment, we'll drop in some more current news as well.

Inventory for the first half of March stood at 54 SFRs in the Trees, 36 of them below $2m and 18 listings priced higher.

Here the totals are a bit higher than at the same point in 2008, and the mix has shifted more notably toward the lower end. In our March 15, 2008 update, inventory was 47, with 26 below $2m and 21 above.

New listings totaled 5 in the first part of the month:
  • 2404 Elm (3br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) is a remodeled cottage with a finished basement, offering another 600 sq. ft. of usable space. Starts at $1.199m.
  • 2404 Palm (4br/3ba, 3100 sq. ft.) is a quirky home that first hit the market in Oct. 2007, vastly overpriced at $1.895m. (See MBC's story, "Unique Ain't Always Great.") More than a year later, the start price is now $1.599m.
  • 1204 Fisher is a tiny (2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft.) MB original, a 1929-vintage home built mainly of brick. It's really a lot sale by the developers who bought up 3 consecutive lots, developed 2 into the huge new moderns to the north, and realized they wouldn't be developing this one, too. Purchased for $1.7m, now offered for $1.575m.
  • 700 35th (5br/4ba, 3675 sq. ft.) is a terrific, big home in the Trees with a quiet location and a big yard, which was discussed in some detail in "Back Again on 35th." Now priced below its July 2006 acquisition price ($2.482m) at $2.349m.
  • 755 31st (4br/5ba, 4050 sq. ft.) is another great, warm family home, offering big entertaining spaces and big bedrooms. The listing notes another benefit of the location: the alley out back is a cul-de-sac, creating a protected play area for kids – nice bonus. Starts at $2.450m.
Since our 3/1-3/15 window closed, we've seen only 2 new listings pop up in the Trees:
  • 1828 Walnut (4br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.), on the corner with 19th, a self-described "fixer" that needs TLC and "vision." So it's something more than dirt starting at $975k.
  • 1817 Pacific (5br/4ba, 3320 sq. ft.) is a newer (2005) home that's priced below acquisition – $1.925m in April 2005, now: $1.799. No question, this one has generated some enthusiasm in its first few days.
We saw just 2 sales (new escrows) in the Trees during the first half of the month:
  • 3505 Pacific (4br/3ba, 2850 sq. ft.) offers a double lot on a corner, which is great, but a location that's near both the refinery and a 4-way stop – not so great. The home is wonderfully situated to push away both liabilities and is, itself, spacious, lovely and all on one level. Sold within days near that $1.299m asking price amid lots of interest; start price was below the acquisition price of $1.350m in Jan. 2004.
  • 2111 Valley is a full-size lot sale (4400 sq. ft. of dirt) that listed at $638k and appears to have gone for around $725k.
Just outside the window of 3/1-3/15, we're hearing that 2909 Elm has also made a deal (again); last at $1.559m and not so far removed from MBC's huzzahs for making a deal previously (see "2 Years and $1.3m Later"). The listing is still active, so we aren't sure what to make of this info.

Just a single cancellation in the first part of the month: 636 13th, a 3br/3ba, 2175 sq. ft. home that tried for about 6 weeks, ranging down from $1.849m to $1.599m.

More recently, we've seen 4 other Tree Section listings quit, 3 of them pretty large homes:
  • 608 33rd (4br/4ba, 3700 sq. ft.), which just needed to be rescued from its remodels, ran 9 months, most of that at $1.799m;
  • 1816 Oak (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) tolled a quick 5 months with surprisingly little interest, last at $1.449m;
  • 591 26th (5br/5ba, 3650 sq. ft.) tried only for about a month, with one slight trim to $1.879m; and
  • 2300 Oak (3br/2ba, 1225 sq. ft.) is a rental offered for about 5 weeks at $1.189m, and then, no.
During the first half of the month, we saw just one closed sale: 1728 Poinsettia (4br/3ba and almost 3500 sq. ft.) at $1.6m even. For what the home offered (see MBC's writeup from Nov. 2008), this was a remark-worthy deal.

Outside the 3/1-3/15 window, there's one more sale: the dirt at 1308 Walnut, an unusually large 6720 sq. ft. lot, which has closed at $1.0m. That lot is 50% bigger than the smaller of the standard Tree Section lot sizes (4480 sq. ft.).
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