Last to First on Highland

By Dave Fratello | January 25th, 2010
The very last new listing of 2009 has already closed as one of the first sales of 2010.

1704 Highland (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) is a newer (2001) home with big ocean views and downtown proximity. (Click address for more pics & details via Redfin.)

The home was briefly the home of a former Dodgers pitcher, Brad Penny, who paid $2.425m in May 2005 and then unloaded the home to this year's sellers for $300k less ($2.125m) in Aug. 2006 – just 15 months later.

The listing began Dec. 29, 2009, the only new listing in MB west of Sepulveda for the second half of December.

A quick-closing sale on Friday for $2.100m (all-cash, 4-day escrow) puts the home down a few pennies from the 2006 acquisition price, which, on the surface, could mean the property held its value better than most in town. We've noted repeatedly that MB is living in 2004 prices (see "How Resales of '03-'06 Purchases Are Faring").

Of course, the new 2010 price on 1704 Highland is still down 13% from 2005 – probably fixing its value now at some hypothetical point in 2004. It's hard to say with any precision, though, as Mr. Penny may have overpaid in 2005, and the most recent owners may have paid too little when he decided to pitch the house.

But the interesting story here is how quickly the sale was made – less than 30 days from the listing's debut to a title transfer. That's consistent with what you hear in the marketplace these days – there are buyers hovering and waiting for their chance to grab quality offerings.

The sellers in this case also became buyers. They're in escrow on a comparably sized home in MB, away from the beach. (A home that's been off-market a while.)

There are all kinds of hints and theories about what might happen in 2010 in the local real estate market. Here's one sale, soon to become 2, that support the more optimistic scenarios.

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