Close the Books on 848 14th

By Dave Fratello | June 21st, 2010
The bubble-era building cycle in MB is long since over, and some of the last spec homes are finally selling.

Among the most recent to close is 848 14th, a big (5br/5ba, 3500 sq. ft), stony Caliterranean near Pacific School's dropoff line.

It was daring, to say the least, for the builder to grab this lot for $1.352m in Sept. 2007 and proceed with an ambitious big home, even as the headwinds began to grow. 

14th hit the market a year later, in Sept. 2008, at $2.899m, and became one of the longest-running listings west of Sepulveda thereafter, hitting 606 DOM by our count.

But 14th has now found a buyer and closed at $2.150m, down $749k/-26% from start.

Location and price punished the listing over time. The lot's proximity to the lower soccer fields and Pacific School could be an asset at various times, but being on the Pacific dropoff line was a turnoff for some, and the parking lot straight across the street is an eyesore.

Only after chasing the market down did the listing find a buyer – and then suddenly there was more than one. Funny how demand works.

Also, earlier this month, 529 18th closed for a hair more than $3m ($3.075m) after a very similar 612 DOM, and a much higher start price – literally and proportionally – of $4.279m. Its closed price was down $1.204m/-28%. 

The lot for 18th was purchased late in the building cycle, though not exactly after the bell had rung as with 14th. The builder paid $2.1m for 18th in Oct. 2006.

848 14th was a relative deal, but for sheer size, there probably won't be a deal quite like 660 33rd (5br/6ba, 4750 sq. ft.) for a while, if ever. That stony Spanish 3 blocks south of Rosecrans sold as an REO in April for $1.990m, an amazing $418/PSF if you want to go by that measure.

For a look back at the last new construction wave, revisit "A Building Cycle Ends," MBC's February post outlining the steep dropoff in new home sales locally after 500 newbies traded in the prior 10 years.

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