More Evidence for '04 Prices Today

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 12:30am.

Another closed sale adds to the notion that we're living in 2004 prices in MB right now.

500 14th (3br/3ba, 2250 sq. ft.), a mid-century-style home with some recent remodeling, was purchased for $1.290m in August 2004, mid-bubble. (Click address for pics & details via Redfin.)

It just closed for $1.329m (+39k/+3%). 


That's pretty much the same markup seen on the last 2 closed sales of 2004 acquisitions, both closing in mid-September. (See the MBC spreadsheet on 2003-2006 acquisitions/resales, to which 500 14th has been added.)

Of course, for the sellers at 14th, the price may be pretty flat, but over 5+ years, owning the property wound up costing them money – not something people expected when buying in Manhattan Beach several years ago.

At 5% costs of sale, commissions would eat up $66k+, significantly more than the little bump in price over 2004. And then there are all the expenses paid for interest and property taxes along the way – no equity built there, either.

This flat-to-negative outcome is somewhat more noteworthy because the same home has been offered for sale in 2007, 2008 and 2009, chasing the market down along the way. As MBC summarized in "Welcome Back" this past July:
Ready to unload for the "right" price, they tried [to sell] 3 years later – offering it for $1.849m (+$559k/+43%) in Sept. 2007.

That listing logged just 30 days, but it came back at the same price in April 2008. Over 2 months, the price came down a bit to $1.699m (+$409k/+32%).

That listing, too, expired after a short try. Here it is back this week [July 2009] at $1.499m, a comparatively modest markup of $209k (+16%) over a 2004 price.

Of course, most of that "comparatively modest markup" was shed in the final negotiations.

Here's a guess: If the same property had been priced with a 1.5 in front back in 2007, there would have been a line at the door. Probably the same goes for the first half of 2008.

Start high, come down too slow: Not the best result. There's a lesson. Again.
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