6th Street is Turning Over

By Dave Fratello | November 20th, 2007
MB's South End walkstreets are among the town's real treasures – particularly the flat, or nearly flat, family-friendly streets between 4th and downtown.

We can thank the developers who carved up the area south of MBB and west of Valley early in the last century. The design was brilliant – maximizing the number of lots per acre, while making each one of those lots more pleasant to live on and, ultimately, more valuable.

Walkstreet homes don't come on the market much. It's said that if you want one, you're going to need to be patient – there's a growing list of folks waiting to pounce.

Since MBC started publicly tracking the MB market in March, just 3 walkstreet homes in the South End have come on the market. Two sold, and one sat for 7 months before quitting (it was an overpriced attempted flip at 404 10th).

Curiously, both of the sales were on 6th Street.

And now, suddenly, three more homes are available on 6th Street. The area doesn't turn over much, but, apparently, 6th Street does. The new listings are:

408 6th (first photo, click for details via Redfin) – asking $2.625m – In the middle of the block, a squarish home built in 1977 that almost pushes itself away from the walkstreet, rather than inviting the street life in. It's got the location, but not the orientation, that you might want when seeking a walkstreet home. It's got 4br/3ba and 2250 sq. ft., and is updated inside, in large part. Do check out the hot-pink dining room (click address for pics). Owners paid $1.050m in July 2001.

528 6th (second photo) – asking $3.449m – is more contemporary, startlingly so. The home was written up in an architectural mag when it was new a couple of years ago. It features 4br/4ba and much more living space than 408 6th, at 4150 sq. ft. But it's east of Ingleside and just one house west of Valley, which is truly a factor. Owners paid $2.995m less than 2 years ago (Feb. 15, 2006).

532 6th – asking $2.7m – is the next-door neighbor of 528 6th – curious! – and is actually situated on Valley on a trapezoidal half-lot. It's also startlingly modern in style. (532 appears to have literally the same builder as 528.) Here you get 4br/4ba and 2700 sq. ft., substantially less space than the neighboring house. The owners paid $1.818m in March 2005. (Note: This listing, with MLS #S958483, currently appears on ZipRealty, but not Redfin or Realtor.com.)

The other sales on 6th Street this year were:
  • a vacant lot (technically 506 6th Pl.) that went for $1.8m in April (off the MLS);
  • 440 6th, a corner lot on Ingleside that went for $2.050m (+$150k over asking) in September; and
In considering the market values of the three new listings, we have just one PPSF ($770, from 332 6th) to go on, then the previous sale prices as a reference. Looking at them first in square-footage terms:
  • 408 6th seeks $1,166 per square foot
  • 528 6th seeks $ 831 per square foot
  • 532 6th seeks $1,000 per square foot
And comparing to their purchase prices:
  • 408 6th seeks +$1.575m (+150%) over its July 2001 price (25% annual appreciation)
  • 528 6th seeks +$454k (+15%) over its Feb. 2006 price (9% annual appreciation)
  • 532 6th seeks +$882k (+49%) over its March 2005 price (18% annual appreciation)
In sum, 528 6th seems the most reasonably priced (everything is relative), while 408 6th has the best location, if not everything you want in a walkstreet home. On Valley, 532 6th is pushing the envelope seeking almost 50% above the price from about 2 1/2 years ago.

What will the rumored legions of walkstreet buyers say about these?

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