Deals in the North End

By Dave Fratello | December 12th, 2008
It's bargain-hunting season.

Just the other day MBC noted that someone grabbed 808 Highview in what may well be the deal of the year. (All cash and a super-quick 10-day escrow will help in a case like that.)

That's great for the Hill Section, but what about the Sand Section, which went 0-for-November in SFR sales?

Suddenly, two good deals have been struck.

The new modern at 221 34th is in escrow now (not yet posted), and the discount from start looks to be greater than the $1.65m chop at Highview.

How about $2m or more off the start price of $5.4m?

The exact deal price is a bit of a moving target; it'll be around $3.3m or $3.4m. We'll know more in a couple of weeks.

It was about time for 34th to go. Since it began in April, we've always liked the home. We've called it an "ultra-contemporary showpiece, stunning, cool, clean, and featuring world-class ocean, PV & pier views."

Perhaps we were seduced by those views. Moderns just aren't crowd-pleasers. There was less enthusiasm among other commenters here at MBC, particularly for the price.

The sellers have been working on it, though, getting very aggressive over the past two months. It was last at $3.599m, down $1.8m and -33% then. They've taken one little step further down to reel in a buyer.

The lot at 34th was acquired for $2.150m in June 2005.

At almost the same time, neighboring 220 35th (pictured) has also made a deal. (Listing can still be viewed while in "Backup Offer" status.)

This one hasn't been around long, but the seller's determination to find the price soon was evident. (See "Spectaular, But Shifting Fast," which discussed both of these homes.)

35th is a daring custom build that reflects the taste of a noted custom builder who intended the home for himself. Problem once it hit the market: North End homes just don't have the same draw as downtown or South End walkstreets, and this particular street is, er, less improved than others. Two strikes on an otherwise great ocean-view location.

The listing for 35th began unofficially at $5.5m in early October, officially at $5.0m several days later, and was last at $4.395m. Look for 10% more to come off that in the final deal. That would be $1m, or 20%, off the start – and an admirably quick effort to find the current market.

We'll close here with some observations from a reader, posted on the thread for "Spectacular, But Shifting Fast" –
[Both homes] are a relatively good value at their current prices especially 221 34th which is now priced well below replacement cost, something rarely seen for a new ocean view home and also a short term phenomenon. After these places sell you won't be able to buy a new home below replacement cost because builders won't break ground on deals that don't pencil. These two got caught in the whipsaw and some buyers with a big picture vision will figure this out and pick up quality homes at a discount.
That was 2 weeks ago.

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