Pushing Into '04?

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 5:55am.

From observations and evidence, here at MBC we often talk about how MB is living in 2005 prices, maybe slipping backward in time.

We're preparing a detailed analysis of recent resales of 2003-2007 acquisitions. While we're doing that, a couple of items just hit the radar pointing back to 2004 prices, not 2005.

First, a new listing at 325 2nd (a TH, not SFR) is a resale of a property acquired in July 2004 for $1.430m. (Click address for more pics & details via Redfin.)

The start price now, 5 years and 2 months later, is $1.379m (-$51k/-4%).

The 10-year-old TH (3br/4ba, 1875 sq. ft.) clearly has some updates, but isn't 100% current. Absent views, the big pluses are location and a relatively newer build.

Townhomes do price out differently and do tend to lose their value quicker, so the implication of this one for SFRs west of Sepulveda is quite uncertain.

Still, it caught our notice that the start was a rewind from a 2004 price.

Second, a new cut at 407 Larsson for a big (6br/5ba, 5000 sq. ft.) custom Craftsman has probably drawn its value back to early 2004 as well.

We can't know that for sure, since the current owners paid $2.980m in Nov. 2005.

The current list price is $2.599m (-$381k/-13%), pulling the value hypothetically back in time. Prices grew so fast in 2003-2006, it's hard to say where you would be if you were 13% behind Nov. 2005 prices.

There are a couple of recent sales that were trailblazers regarding 2004 prices today:
  • 3505 Pacific caused a bit of a sensation when it launched in February, making a deal within 10 days. The owners had paid $1.350m for the home (4br/3ba, 2850 sq. ft.) on a corner double-lot in Jan. 2004, but took $1.299m early this year (-$51k/-4%).
  • 1733 Elm (3br/2ba, 1325 sq. ft.) closed in late May for $801k as a short sale. The sellers had paid $1.050m in Oct. 2004, then gutted the home during a remodel that was later abandoned. The 2009 price was down $249k (-24%) from 2004. (See "Tree Dirt Update.")
Caveats: In Pacific and Larsson, you have some challenged locations in this mix. 2nd is a TH. Elm was gutted.

These homes are not typical of the SFR mix west of Sepulveda. But then, you should expect to see homes with issues of various kinds leading the way backward in a pricing trend.

So, who else might slip into 2004, or further?
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