2011: A Year of Highs, Part I

By Dave Fratello | December 28th, 2011
Real estate news is mixed nationally, but one thing stands out as we start to look back at 2011 in MB: There were some ceiling-busting deals.

Let's take a little tour over the next couple days. And here's a hint: We're saving the biggest news for Part II.

Tree Section

If you think Tree Section sales over $4 million are at all routine, check yourself. There have been a few, at the lower end of the 4s – mainly new construction in 2008, to be specific.

But this year...

533 15th (6br/6ba, 5300 sq. ft.) sold for $4.7m.

Is this home worthy of being the priciest-ever sale in the MB Trees? Well, one man's opinion is: Yes. (And this guy is reputed to be a bear.)

We've offered lots of superlatives on this home, calling it "simply one of the greatest homes in MB," suggesting that it "could give a pulse to a dead man [or] bring songs to the lips of a cynic."

We have further called it "a monster, must-have house." (See "A Saturday Treat" from April.)

Martyrs hill, a big lot (7700 sq. ft.), a crisp, classic Cape Cod with ocean views and tons of common space... The home absolutely sings.

Sure, there was plenty of tut-tutting among agents (confidentially, of course) that it's a crazy price, but this is what happens with must-have properties, isn't it?

The sellers hold out, the buyers start to think, "What if we don't get it? We must!" And after that...

For more on some other $4m+ sales, see: "$4+ in MB" from October.

East MB

Only once before has a sale in East MB eclipsed the recent sale at 116 Terraza Place. The home's got 7br/9ba, 10,000 sq. ft. of living space and a half acre of land, including the driveway.

The recent closed sale price of $4.9m was notable in one sense for the dramatic contrast with the spec build's start price in the $10m-$11m range. (See "11 – No, Wait, $5m – or Less.")

But it was also simply one of the very highest-priced transactions ever east of the highway.

The only MLS-reported sale we can find that came in higher was at 1240 5th St., a comparably sized (6br/8ba, 10,000 sq. ft. on 1/4 acre) home built in 2003 along one of East MB's best streets – a private drive that ends in a cul-de-sac a few doors away.

The "French Villa" (per the old listing) was offered for lease at $25k/mo. or for sale at about $6m starting in June 2005 – bubbly times. It wound up selling for $5.860m in May 2006.

So while Terraza was built to beat that record, it fell about $1m short.

Tomorrow, we'll look at the Sand and Hill Sections, and we'll bring out that big news we alluded to earlier.

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