Long in the Tooth

By Dave Fratello | February 24th, 2010
Yesterday we discussed several listings that have sold quickly here in 2010. But of course, there's some stale inventory out there as well.
That contrast was on full display when 645 12th (pictured) made a price cut early this week amid the minor rush of fast sales. The "new" home near Martyrs is now down to $3.445m, down $1.054m from its start in September 2008, a full 515 DOM ago.

(We're saying "new" in quotes because, while the home is new construction, 515 days was a long time ago – here's a link to our Sept. 2008 open-house feature mentioning the first open. Note that the listing gives 2009 as the build date because that's when the occupancy permit was issued.)

So what else is lingering long-term, getting a little long in the tooth? Let's look by section west of Sepulveda, as is our custom here at MBC:

Hill Section

The DOM champs in the Hills are both halfhearted lot sales (1022 1st at 630 DOM, and 113 S. Dianthus at 403 DOM).

Among homes for sale, 2 listings stand out:

645 9th (6br/6ba, 7750 sq. ft.), a big, new certified "green" house with no views to speak of, now at 257 DOM after a start last Summer.

We've taken note of the home several times – it's a beautiful accomplishment, inspired, but also, we fear, off-base in its "green" mission. Such a massive house demands higher-than-average energy usage for heating and basic operations.

Still, it's not the Prius set that's turning up noses over some esoteric "green" debate. There's a different kind of green problem. After a start at $7.950m, the home's still at $6.999m, the highest-priced listing in the Hills (by $4k). It might take a bold move to get some action.

913 Highview, a fairly small (3br/4ba, 2350 sq. ft.) but luxe home with views, is now at 250 DOM and $2.199m, still nearly $300k above its February 2005 acquisition price.

Sand Section

The longest-toothed listings in the Sand Section are, first, the home of a prominent athlete who just doesn't seem to be in any hurry to sell, a new build and a Strand offering:

204 19th (4br/4ba, 4250 sq. ft.) is still on the MLS after 530 DOM. Someone may want to wake the listing agent or drop an update in Derek Lowe's inbox. (He's probably reported to Kissimmee by now, so he's likely preoccupied.)

To recap, Mr. Lowe acquired the home for $5.0m in August 2006 when he played for the Dodgers, but after clearing out of town, he tried to sell – first for $5.7m, then gradually allowed the price to come down to its current point, $4.599m. The last price adjustment was in May last year. Yes, May.

Also in the 200 block, but further south, 216 7th is a custom Tuscan with a corner lot along Bayview. We called it one of a few "big and audacious" homes in a "Weekend Opens" feature last June. Since then, 258 DOM later, the listing is down from $6.495m to $5.295m, but still not finding the love.

2920 The Strand set up the listing agent to fail. Acquired for $9.0m in June 2006, this one's been stuck at $12.5m since late June last year (240 DOM). This, despite a range of oddities in the layout and the simple fact that the home needs work to reach the tier it's priced at. (See our "Weekend Opens" description from October.) Mr. Lowe seems more committed to selling.

Tree Section

645 12th, which kicked off the story up above, is near the head of the pack, but not the leader in the Trees for DOM:

529 18th (5br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft.) edges out the 12th St. listing with 16 extra days on offer (531 DOM). It's also new construction, but someone's currently enjoying the digs. That means either that there's some bonus value to having the home pre-tested, or it's lost the caché of "new."

Take another look at that square footage (5600+) and the location (18th!!!) and you can imagine why the listing began at $4.279m. (Location note: The MB Badminton Club across the street is something of a distraction.)

Alas, the home now has an NOD against it and the price is down nearly $1m to $3.399m.

848 14th (5br/5ba, 3500 sq. ft.) is another speckie that began way too high in September 2008, and you know what happened right around then? Some called it Armageddon. The stony palace near Pacific School has lingered for 521 DOM, slowly dropping from $2.899m to $2.299m now.

This one also list a 2009 build date, due to an occupancy permit coming some months after the home was first offered. Re-lists cause the listing DOM to show up in the low 100s.

But we're going to go out on a limb and trust our own public market tracking and various posts on the Internets (like this one) in saying this one's dustier than they might tell you at the front door.

UPDATE: Upon receiving information that the build dates on 645 12th and 848 14th are properly listed as 2009, based on occupancy permits coming that year, some elements of this story were changed.

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