Close the Books on 2312 Pine

By Dave Fratello | November 17th, 2009
Back in early August, MBC called a pricing poll on 2312 Pine. We explained then (see the original story) that it wasn't clear that the home was "dramatically overpriced," as some previously polled properties clearly had been:
What drew our attention instead was that this home was sold new in 2003 and is now up for resale for the first time.
It turns out this one wasn't up for resale for the "first time," though. We later learned that it had been offered in 2005, got bid up well above asking, then did not sell upon the decision of the owners to stay.

So now we have a story about what a 2003 acquisition was able to fetch in 2009, and also how that's different from what was offered in 2005. It's a look at the local market in 3 separate stages.

We'll also compare the results here to reader opinions on the pricing. In short: most people voting in our pricing poll were much too bearish on 2312 Pine, and on the question we posed here about what kind of markup sellers might expect on a 2003 purchase when selling today.

Our first chart here summarizes data from 2003, 2005 and 2009. Actual sale prices are in green. Offering prices in 2005 and 2009 are blue. (Click chart to enlarge.)

Note, as mentioned above, when the home was offered for sale 4 years ago, it triggered a bidding war to a price we're told was $1.950m (grey to reflect our fuzziest number), but the owners decided at that point to stay put.

A word about the most recent closed sale price: the MLS and tax records both show $1.755m. However, we're reliably informed that there was an error in the reporting somewhere, and the actual price was $1.775m, so we're running with that figure instead.

Knowing what we know now about today's prices, it's interesting to see that you could get a high-quality new home in a good location for just over $1.5m. That was 6 years ago, and we're not back to that point yet.

The market experience of 2312 Pine provides additional support to the notion that the local market peaked at some point in 2005-2006, depending on the house.

Now we'll look at the same figures expressed as percentage increases.

Back in our first pricing poll story, MBC said:
Our poll probably boils down to: Can you get 20% above 2003 prices nowadays? If not, how much more can you get?
This graph shows that 2312 Pine, anyway, got 14% more than its 2003 price this year. (Click to enlarge.) 

That's consistent with the markups on 2 other 2003 acquisitions resold this year, according to MBC's chart on how 2003-06 purchases are faring.

As you can see on that online spreadsheet, there were 3 other 2003 purchases with bigger markups – all, we believe, remodeled significantly between 2003-2009. So it's pretty safe to say that this year, unchanged homes are fetching in the low teens above their 2003 prices, percentagewise.

Finally, let's look at how MBC readers did in their effort to forecast the sale price on 2312 Pine.

In a word: not so good.

69% of those expressing an opinion on price did not believe Pine would get more than $1.7m. Of those who proved too bearish, almost half chose the category $1.6m-$1.699m, so some were off by about $75k and some were off by $175k.

Of the potential comps referenced in our story setting up the poll, 2 were over $1.7m, plus we mentioned 1812 Palm as an "outlier" at $2.1m (better location plus a rare, 2009 bidding war).

MBC's story did say:
2312 Pine starts at $601/PSF. The main comps we're looking at were between $478 and $541/PSF, suggesting a price range of $1.5m-$1.7m for Pine if we go on PPSF alone.
But, of course, no one goes by PPSF alone. Maybe we steered some readers wrong.

Prior pricing polls have shown a good breadth of opinion, and several have proved to be insufficiently bearish, mostly assuming higher prices than market values worked out to be. One day we'll detail the results of various polls systematically to see how we've all been doing.

The end result here at Pine, meanwhile, is that a 6-year-old home in a good location got a nice return, if not all that was available at the market's peak, a good outcome for both parties this year.

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