New Lows Achieved in Trees

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 7:03pm.

In early November, we greeted a new listing at 2500 Oak (3br/2ba, 1350 sq. ft.) with the suggestion that its successful sale might mark "A New Low" for values west of Sepulveda.

That story has now panned out pretty much as expected. The sale has closed at $738k, off a bit from the start at $824,900 (-$87k/-10%).

That makes 2500 Oak the lowest-priced full-lot (4840 sq. ft.) Tree Section sale in the last 6 months, and for a long time before that, too.

A smaller house (2br/1ba, 875 sq. ft.) on a bigger lot (5350 sq. ft.) at 772 Rosecrans sold for a trifle more, $744k, in late January.

Meanwhile, a 2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft. home on a half-lot at 3119 Valley fetched $720k last August, the low-water mark for the area, it appears. (MBC initially reported a price of $760k, which we believe came from the MLS, while tax records show the sale at $720k.)

2500 Oak, you will recall, has a screaming liability of a corner location at Marine/Sepulveda. The other 2 sales mentioned here are on busy streets as well, which will tend to mean they'll come in lower to account for location.

Despite the price, we're not expecting to see Oak razed. Increasingly, we're seeing buyers taking less-desirable but lower-priced homes and tidying them up for someone to live in – maybe themselves. As the cost of entry drops, more people who want in will take what they can get, even if that means pouncing on smaller homes with big challenges.

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UPDATE: Shortly after this story was published, 2111 Valley hit the market – listed as a full lot (4400 sq. ft.) with a "major fixer" 3br/1ba, 1000 sq. ft. home on the land. Price: $638,000.
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