Hills Heat Up

By Dave Fratello | June 17th, 2011
The Hill Section has seemed fairly quiet this year, until a small rush of recent deals:

222 John (4br/4ba, 3850 sq. ft.) first drew our notice more than a year ago, and it has run continuously on the market since.

The start price of $3.399m was one obstacle. It gradually trimmed down to $2.999m. The bigger obstacle was probably the layout – as we once said, "a bit formal for the average family" with no yard.

At last, the 90s contemporary with panoramic ocean views has found a match. A deal posted this week.

910 2nd (5br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.) is a dozen years old, and probably familiar to lots of MBC readers because of its 2 (unsuccessful) runs on market in the past few years.

Restarted this year in late May, 2nd posted a nearly immediate deal but came back. Now it's pending again.

Sale records show a trade at $1.425m in April 1999 and $1.7m in Sept. 2006, but we're assured that the '06 sale was actually for $2.7m.

What's clear to all is that 910 2nd was at $2.299m when a buyer knocked.

861 10th (5br/6ba, 4500 sq. ft.) sold quickly in May 2010 for $2.635m, then came back on the market just 5 weeks after close of escrow. (See "Hey, Didn't They Just Buy That?") The story had something to do with an out-of-area buyer coming to SoCal and facing an immediate change in the new job location; the commute was intolerable.

Through the course of 2 separate listings by 2 separate agents, the home has often been marked up from its June 2010 sale price. Only recently did the seller acknowledge that there was no market at a markup, finally bringing the price to $2.495m (-$140k/-5%). (See "Slow to Clue In.")

That was the magic move, though. A deal posted Wednesday.

813 Duncan (5br/4ba, 4075 sq. ft.) is a large, early-90s home low on the Hill with top-floor views of PV and ocean peeks.

As we noted in "Do-Overs in the Hills" in March, Duncan was offered late last Summer at $2.585m, but suffered from a dated kitchen.  It came back this year at $2.395m after some remodeling work, including a much sharper, more modern kitchen.

The closed sale posted this week much lower, at $2.1m, which looks a bit like a steal at this point for such a big place. (There's a bonus space in the finished garage that makes for an excellent "man cave" but isn't counted in the square footage.)

219 N. Dianthus (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.), with its ginormous views and slightly odd layout, launched a year ago at $2.089m.

That was a slight markup from the Oct. 2006 acquisition at $2.0m, but those ambitions didn't last once neighboring 217 N. Dianthus (4br/3ba, 2950 sq. ft.), with comparable views and a somewhat more comprehensible layout, launched at $1.750m. We thought the neighbor was priced aggressively until it went down further and further, finally closing in January this year for $1.500m.

219 quit in late November last year, rather than try squaring off against the fire sale next door (see "Farewell to the Dianthus Twins"). But in a quiet off-market sale 10 days ago, it closed for $1.750m.

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