Is $3M the New Normal in the Trees?

By Dave Fratello | September 25th, 2013

The newest listing in the Tree Section comes out just $1K shy of $3M, and raises an immediate question: Is this the "new normal"?

Are we just supposed to expect and accept that nice, newer (not new), average-sized homes on average-sized lots are going to scratch at $3M?

And even if you say "no" now, maybe some day in the foreseeable future?

The listing that prompts this moment of reflection is 2304 Poinsettia (5br/5ba, 3500 sq. ft.).

This is a 2001 build with a familiar, crowd-pleasing floor plan. The basement space is a nice bonus. 

Don't call it Mediterranean, please.

Three prior listings have called it a "unique Tuscan villa."

But we don't say "Tuscan" anymore, either.

Now it's a home with a "fluid Urban Morocco style."

Oooh, Urban Morocco. God bless the inspired copy writers at the listing firm.

When next-door neighbor 2300 Poinsettia was on the market in late June, we said that one had a "so-so location," specifically there because 23rd St. dead ends into that home. Well, 2304 doesn't have that specific liability. Still, we don't think location is driving a top-dollar price on this one.

We'll have to come through and tour to see upgrades, etc., and this one will be open this weekend for your perusal as well. You can make the call then as to pricing.

Meantime let's review some recent sales that have been in the neighborhood, pricewise:

  • 1813 John (4br/5ba, 3550 sq. ft.) (pictured), sale reported at $2.999M (ahhh, John!)
  • 2200 John (4br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.), $2.875M (ahhh, John!)
  • 625 31st (4br/4ba, 3375 sq. ft.), $2.750M (ahhh, 31st!)
  • 2301 Laurel (5br/5ba, 3400 sq. ft.), $2.850M (mmm, Laurel)
  • 664 33rd (5br/5ba, 3560 sq. ft.), $2.700M

Among those sales, prime locations predominate.

Not one was built in a Mediterranean, Tuscan or Urban Morocco style. In fact, all were Cape Cod or Cape Cod-like. (2200 John was called Craftsman, 664 33rd was "Coastal Plantation.")

So it's safe to say that 2304 Poinsettia would be defying expectations if it were to sell in that general price tier. It just doesn't look like the comps up there.

And look at the competition on the market now, all Mediterranean-type homes (no Morocco, though):

  • 570 29th (5br/4ba, 3375 sq. ft.) seems like a comparable house with a wow location, asking $2.649M
  • 644 33rd (5br/5ba, 4225 sq. ft.) is huge and has a decent location, asking $2.899M
  • 927 27th (5br/6ba, 4235 sq. ft.) is also big, drippingly nice and has a location comparable to 2304 Poinsettia, asking $2.795M

So buyers have choices. And 2 of those 3 have really been hanging around this year.

As is customary here at MBC, we will also take a look at past trades on 2304 Poinsettia. It's an interesting series:

  • new in 2002: $1.679M
  • 2005: $2.300M
  • short in 2011: $1.700M

So we have 2 trades at $1.7M and a peak-year sale at $2.3M. Not much hint there that a $3M listing was ahead in the near future.

No doubt, the 2011 short-sale purchase was brilliant. There are profits to be had, sizable bucks, if they can find a buyer this year – at whatever the market price is.

Is that $3M or so? We'd be surprised if that's the case... this year.

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