A Year of Threes in the Trees

By Dave Fratello | December 27th, 2014

Tree Section homes selling in the $3-million-plus range? That was basically new in 2014.

Six times, we saw $3M-range sales of new and new-er homes. In each case but two, it was new construction fetching that 3+ number.

The first had to qualify as a surprise. That was a 2002 Spanish at 665 36th St. (5br/4ba, 3685 sq. ft.).

36th St.! First to $3M!

The home has a somewhat bigger-than average lot (5400 sq. ft.) with a street-to-alley orientation (garage in back). Looks like the timelessness of Spanish style was validated again. Sale price in early August: exactly $3.000M.

Next up was a Cape Cod at 742 33rd (5br/6ba, 3975 sq. ft.).

This one had sold twice in the past several years for quite a bit less than each seller had projected: $2.700 in Summer 2008 (after a launch at $3.295M), and $2.275M in 2011 (after a start at $2.449M).

But this year, the launch at $2.998M seemed like it was priced right to market – at least the way trends were emerging. (That was our call in "Nice Bounceback on 33rd" in June.)

Yep. Sale price in mid-August: $3.000M.

With two resales in at $3M, it was time to hear from the spec market.

Over a 6-week period late in the year, we saw 4 spec homes post sales from $3.100M-$3.300M:

Though it was last to post, 1905 Elm (5br/5ba, 3100 sq. ft.) had inked a deal pre-completion months prior.

The sale price of $3.100M, posted in early December, was rumored and became a comp for other new construction that did come out.

Meantime, neighboring near-twin Cape Cod/Plantation homes at 3309 Walnut and 3313 Walnut, built by the same developer, each sold for $3+ figures.

3309 got $3.300M in a deal arranged off-market, while 3313 listed at that price point but sold a bit lower at $3.141M in a public-market sale. Both were nearly 500 sq. ft. bigger than 1905 Elm, thanks to basement media-room spaces, although neither had the walk-to-all location boasted by Elm.

The last of 6 deals to hit the 3's was 717 25th St. (5br/6ba, 3525 sq. ft.), arguably the best-located of the 6 homes we're discussing here (with the tradeoff of catching headlights up Marine Ave.).

This new construction Cape Cod had, we heard, had a deal locked up for a while, then had to change horses to a new buyer.

No matter: It closed at the very respectable (and new) price of $3.245M.

(We mentioned this one and a few others in a tongue-in-cheek discussion of the extra "parkland" in the architectural rendering – a seemingly common feature of new home listings – in "Wide Open Spaces That Aren't.")

For all these 3-ish sales in the Trees, there were also several resales in the Tree Section that came awfully close – illustrating how high the bar has been moved.

And those weren't all the highest-priced homes in the Tree Section this year.

That's for another post.

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