First Speedy Speckie Snagged

By Dave Fratello | September 20th, 2011
It was going to happen one of these days, and now it has.

The first new spec build in the Tree Section for about 3 years has posted a deal.

And there are 4 more where this one came from.

2516 Pine
Interestingly, it's 2516 Pine (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) that was the first to move.

This was the first of 5 in an assembly-line production of sorts to launch. The same investors, builder and agent are involved in several simultaneous projects in the Trees.

2516 Pine hit the market in mid-May (pre-completion) at $2.199m. (See "$2.2m for First Speedy Speckie.") They quickly corrected that price, bringing it under $2m and soon to $1.899m, its last list price.

2516 Pine is also one of the 3 of the 5 new spec homes boasting an oddly embellished Mediterranean style, with head-scratching details including palm trees in the middle of the driveway, spirally columns and faux-ornate details outside, gold-flecked interior railings and stacked-stone laminate inside (it's normally an exterior detail).

This one was also the only unit we've seen so far that was staged. (Hey, is that the Mona Lisa in there? Look closely.)

If you had pushed us against a wall, demanding a prediction, we're not sure where we'd have thought this one – or any of these speckies – might close.

So we'll ask you.

Where do you think 2516 Pine will close? Vote in our new Pricing Poll to let us know. And back up your vote in comments on this post, if you're so inclined.

Voting on the pricing poll will close this Thurs., Sept. 22, at 8pm.

Looking back, it's not immediately clear when the "last" Tree Section spec home of the last cycle sold. For instance, do we count mid-to-late '08 speckies that rented out for a while and sold later?

1901 Poinsettia
We do know that the last spec home by this particular builder in the Trees was 1901 Poinsettia (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.), which sold for exactly $2.0m in March 2008.

But wow, oh, wow, were lot prices different back then.

The corner lot for 1901 Poinsettia sold for $1.450m in Oct. 2005. (Call that 6 years ago. And call that $1.5m for an OK Tree Section lot.)

Meantime, the dirt under 2516 Pine sold for $800k55% of that – as part of a double-lot sale at 2600 Pine that closed at $1.6m.

Tree Section speckies under $2m on $800k lots. That's the big new thing, apparently.

Longtime readers will remember the prediction of a local builder to the effect that this could never happen.

In a paid print ad in January 2008, a local spec builder (not this one) made several bullish claims, including this one, which is fun to re-read in September 2011:

In order to sell new homes under $2 million, the price of building sites needs to drop 40%, down to $700,000-$800,000. This will not happen in Manhattan Beach because there are too many investors and home buyers willing to pay much closer to $1 million for a site to build their dream house and still manage to accumulate equity. (See "A Builder's Take" from Jan. 2008.) 
Whoops, building sites did drop ~40%. Seems like those nervous buyers from early 2008 were smart to ignore the builder's advice to "go with the flow and worry not."

Back to the present question. Please vote in our poll. Let us know what you think 2516 Pine will sell for. They've got a deal. It affects everyone in the Trees. What's your guess?

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