Three Sales, Several Trends

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 4:43am.

A splendid ocean-view home down from its peak price. A short sale with a serial-refi history. And a little fixer cottage selling below $800k.

There's no one trend in these 3 recently closed sales. Instead, there's a a little bit of several trends in each of them.


400 N. Poinsettia (5br/6ba, 4550 sq. ft.) is an impressive house that went impressively fast for an impressive price amid a somewhat stagnant Hill Section submarket. (Click highlighted address for pics & details, which Redfin now provides for pending and sold listings.)

The final sale price, $3.855m, is a token $5k above asking.

It's also below the Aug. 2006 acquisition price of $4.1m. Total drop is $245k (-6%), somewhat better off than most 2006-purchased resales this year. (It's now the last entry in this online spreadsheet showing how recent acquisitions have fared upon resale this year.)

Word is that the same buyers flitted from one Tree Section offering to another, having offers accepted in each case for homes near $2m, before moving up to a much bigger, much pricier ocean-view home in the Hills.

This is a problem not all home shoppers have – setting a budget, picking out a nice house (or two), feeling a little indecisive and then doubling down for something far better. Gotta be nice.



649 29th sold short for $1.375m. (Click address for pics & details.) The home offers 4br/3ba, 2650 sq. ft. (including guest house), and needed some updating, despite the cheery, inspired Cape Cod feel to the exterior.

When the listing debuted in May, it was at a stratospheric $1.699m, accompanied by this in the listing:
THIS IS A LIFESTYLE PURCHASE!!
At the time we read that all-caps hype as saying something like, "we firmly believe that you should overpay."

No one did, and $160k later it was officially short – but the sale dropped twice that far, a total of $324k, from start to finish.

Short sales around these parts are often homes bought during the boom that just didn't work out right after the market turned. But 649 29th has been in the same hands since at least 1994, with several refi's along the way, tracking the market's great inflation through 2006, making it a shortie of a different sort.


3609 Poinsettia (3br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.) continues the run of fairly quick sales for lower-priced cottages in the Trees this year.

After just 5 days of market exposure in September, a deal was in place. The closed price of $792k is up $13k from asking.

This one was a fixer, unlike some other recent cottage sales. Nearby 3600 Elm, which sold in May for $975k, was pristine and cute, and therefore set the bar higher almost 6 months ago.

Some other points of comparison are seen in cottage sales discussed in "Tree Dirt Update" from early September.

With no spec builder demand these days, 3609 Poinsettia has a date with some contractors, but no 'dozer this time – a relief for the neighbors, to be sure, and a nice step forward for the town as well, as we keep a little of that old-time charm and scale.
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