Beachy-Modern Marks New Plateau High

By Dave Fratello | December 12th, 2011
One of the most spectacular and different beach-modern homes in MB sold off-market last month.

We were alerted to the sale at 445 33rd by a print ad in the newest South Bay magazine. (Disclosure: The author of MBC is also a contributor to the magazine.)

The ad features a photo of a home we love-love-loved when it was on the market in Summer 2010, with a bold red label reading: "OFF MARKET SALE."


We remember this one as that rare case of a Sand Section plateau house seeking $3m+. In fact, it began at $3.125m, and later came down to $2.999m. (See "Nice Homes Need Cuts Too.") Instead of selling, though, it rented out and the listing quit in Nov. 2010.

Alas, the sellers were still keen to unload this custom beauty for the right price. Which turned out to be: $2.775m.

That ain't $3m, but it's in sight of it.

To relive the joys of 445 33rd, link over to our first, excited review from June 2010 (calling it a "true modern beach delight"), or check out this online collection of photos of a mostly vacant house, probably taken right after completion.

This sale at 33rd marks a recent high for the plateau among comparably sized houses. (Note: Our past stories had called this 5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft., and we're told by the seller that's the right number, but the public records on the sale show it at 5br/5ba, 3750 sq. ft.) And as we'll describe, it's the highest PPSF we could find.

473 31st
The last plateau sale to scratch at those $3m-like heights was 473 31st (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) when new in July 2008, as it sold for $2.8m.

However, the same house resold in February 2011 for $2.450m, making the recent trade on 33rd all the more impressive – $325k higher for a slightly smaller house. (See "How Two '08 Purchases Fared at Resale.")

The PPSF difference is even more striking: $611/PSF for the ultramodern at 31st and $739/PSF for the beachy one on 33rd.

That 2.8 purchase followed by a 2.5-ish trade calls to mind a similar case, that of 468 33rd (5br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.), acquired in March 2006 for $2.775m and resold in May 2009 for $2.5m.

Remember when they tried to get $3.5m on the resale? (See "Stuff Our Stockings (Please)" from 4 years ago.)

While $2.8m for 473 31st is the highest recent sale, we do find records from just a couple years prior – the time of the local market's peak – of 2 plateau sales right at $3m, defining the absolute top for the flattop.

444 29th
Very nearly the priciest sale was 444 29th (5br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.), a huge Mediterranean with those 5br plus a game room, elevator, high-end kitchen – the whole 9 yards.

It came up in May 2006 asking $2.989m while construction was just being completed.

Within 2 months, the builder/seller had a deal at asking price: $2.989m.

But the highest price we find among plateau properties was right at $3m, once again for new construction begun and finished toward the end of the bubble.

Sketch of 440 32nd
That was for 440 32nd (5br/5ba, 4350 sq. ft.), first offered in Summer 2006 and sealed up and sold in Feb. 2007.

For this stunning modern: $3.0m.

Consider the prices per square foot on these 2 top-tier trades.

At 440 32nd: $688/PSF.

At 444 29th: $703/PSF.

That gives our beachy delight at 445 33rd a record of sorts. Even if it failed to cross the 3.0 line, its $772/PSF seems to mark a new high PPSF for the plateau among larger homes.


UPDATE: The original story used a square footage of 3750 for 445 33rd to calculate PPSF. That's what is in public records, but prior listings for the property said 3600, and the seller has also recently informed us that 3595 sq. ft. is right – any bigger than 3600 and city regs would have required extra parking. We've recalculated the PPSF at $772/PSF instead of $739/PSF that appeared in the  post originally.

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