Let's Hear It For the Hills

By Dave Fratello | June 16th, 2009
Rolling hills, big ocean views, MB's biggest prestige estates – that's the Hill Section.

But the sub-region also has the most tepid sales pace west of Sepulveda, and that's one reason inventory has been collecting.

There's some news, though – 7 sales (new escrows) in the Hills in just a few weeks, including two of the classiest of the high-dollar listings:
  • 918 10th (5br/5ba, 4475 sq. ft.) is the longest-running listing to make a deal. It's an early-90s home with a fully updated kitchen. The location, on a flat street east of Poinsettia, has more in common with the Tree Section's suburban vibe, not the Hill's view estates.
This listing has been around since May 2008, and was down from a $3.2m start to $2.75m when a buyer knocked. That's good news, but we recall a bolder prediction in a print ad in the Beach Reporter in early September, as noted in our "Sunday Opens" feature then:
The Hill is Selling! This incredible home is next to go!
It wasn't "next" – that was more than 9 months ago – but now is as good a time as any.
  • 1019 Duncan (4br/4ba, 4800 sq. ft.) is a new home that hits a lot of the basic notes with good style and space.
This was also one listing that appeared determined to get a deal done. After a start at $3.899m in January, it moved to $3.299m (-$600k/-15%) without dragging things out, becoming the least-pricey new home in the Hills. (406 Anderson was lower before it canceled.)
  • 1042 2nd (5br/4ba, 4400+ sq. ft.), a newer (2003) home with views of the city, and a location right next door to a commercial building at Sepulveda. Last at $1.999m. Also mentioned, with pic, in last week's "Some Pickup."
  • 717 Poinsettia (4br/5ba, 4175 sq. ft.) was last at $3.449m, down $1.2m from its start last November. It's a unique, incredibly landscaped and private corner-lot home that was priced $100k below the recent acquisition price of the equally sized lot next door. The interior needed some updating, but the basics of the home are sweet.
  • 929 John (3br/3ba, 1875 sq. ft.) didn't hang around for long – a Hill Section home for $1.499m? No, that would go fast. The contemporary remodel offers a wide-open floorplan, plus a pool.
And now, a drumroll, please...

The 2 priciest deals of the year were made within days of each other:
  • 612 John (6br/7ba, 7400 sq. ft.) is a true jewel on this list, a grand home with a big yard (nearly 10,000 sq. ft. lot) and ocean views – what you expect up on the hill.
The current owners updated this home (built in 2000) recently to make it more marketable, and they stuck it.
The listing logged 9 months on market, with a recent change of agents. Start price had been $7.3m but it has been at $6.3m for longer.

Current owners paid $3.3m new in 2000. We'd bet on a closed price this year with a 5 in front.
  • 814 10th is ginormous (5br/7ba, 9000 sq. ft.) and dazzling on a double lot. (Listing can still be viewed while in "backup offer" status.) No views here, though.
Great Cape Cod styling, a delightful pool and cabana, and so much entertaining space upstairs, you could lose half your guests. An additional plus: a master closet suite that's something like a separate living room.
This home, which began at $6.995m in late February, is the complete package, but we haven't seen a sale in this price range for almost 9 months. Now it's one of two.
Now, about those 7 other listings priced above $5m...

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