MB Market Update for 3/31/08, Hills

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 at 4:05am.

The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are available: download the 3/31/08 update by clicking here, or at any time by using the link at the upper-right corner of the main MBC page. Information in this update closed March 31.

We now split up the discussions of our 3 areas west of Sepulveda into separate articles. You can download the complete spreadsheet now or any time. Articles on the Sand Section and Tree Section will follow.

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 97 on March 31, +7 from the middle of the month and +13 from the end of February. [Note that this is 2 higher than we noted in the first version of our recent story ("Inventory Swelling"), due to one new listing and one apparently failed escrow.]

This is the highest SFR inventory MBC has published in one year-plus of operation, though we're assured that these levels were met and exceeded in prior years – pre-boom, mainly.

In this 2-week period in March, there were 18 new listings, bringing the total to 34 new listings west of Sepulveda for the month (although 1 or 2 canceled, we record the total that hit the MLS at some point). This total of 34 was also a record for the past year (see graph) – exceeding, by 3, the number of new listings in June 2007, the Summer peak.

We saw a total of 5 sales (new escrows) of SFRs listed on the MLS in this period, bringing the sales total to 13 for the month of March. (In our subject region west of Sepulveda.) By comparison, there were 19 total sales (new escrows) in February.

Let's put those all together…
  • More new listings than in any month over the past year.
  • Fewer sales this month than last.
  • Higher inventory than MBC has recorded in 1 year.
Well, Spring has only just sprung.

Let's look at one of our areas in detail.


Hill Section

There are 16 active SFRs.

Three new listings came on during this 2-week period, including 2 that readers will find familiar, though they took their 60-plus days off the MLS and we treat them as "new." As always, click on any highlighted address for more pics & details via Redfin:

  • 617 6th is a big new home (not quite complete) just a couple doors up off of Ardmore – high enough to garner some ocean views. Offers 5br/5ba and almost 6000 sq. ft., and starts at $5.950m.
  • 402 Larsson was with us for almost 3 months from early October 2007 till year end. It was in foreclosure and faced a late-December auction date. We do not believe it was sold, however. The recent open-house listing called it a "for sale by owner" situation, and we're fairly sure that's the longtime owner doing the selling. By the way, the home is a 3br/3ba, 1800 sq. ft. fixer on the "wrong" side of Larsson, asking $1.050m.
  • 869 3rd is a sleek, modern home built in 2000 with 4br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft. and a decently sized, 5700 sq. ft. lot (now with a basketball court out back).
MBC has noted before that this one is owned by two local real estate agents who purchased it for about $2.4m in May 2004. (See "Two Views from the Hills" from last July.) Last year it began at $3.995m; it's starting its second run now at $3.750m.
In the rest of the Hill Section, there was not much activity. No new sales and no closed sales.

We did see two noteworthy price cuts. At 701 Dianthus, a listing that began at $2.775m only 2 months ago is down $200k to $2.575m. The sellers, who are said to be facing a job transfer, paid $2.530m – just $45k less – only 2 years ago in Feb. 2006. They then put $150k into upgrading the home, but the price is flat now, taking no account of the upgrades.

Meanwhile, 811 Boundary continues to flatten out, getting closer and closer to its September 2004 purchase price. The sellers paid $1.789m then, and are now asking $2.099m (+$310k/+17%). That would still be a nice profit, but it's $500k less than they wished for when they started last June.
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