Lot Shocker: 750 30th

By Dave Fratello | December 11th, 2013

We almost wrapped up the year without another head-slapping shocker of a sale.

But here we go again.

We're going to head over to the northern part of the Tree Section, adjacent to the prestige block of 31st, with its soaring tree canopy.

At 750 30th, one block over, there's a 5400 sq. ft. lot with a not-horrible little house on it. It's 3br/1ba, 1100 sq. ft. cottage that's got plenty of charm.

But the cottage will have to get out of the way for new development. The veritable frenzy that surrounded this listing in November showed that what's really valuable is the land. (Disclosure: Dave had clients in the mix.)

The sale has now posted here, and the land value turned out to be $1.515M.

More than $1.500M for the dirt.

List price had been $1.150M, for whatever reason. They may as well have said $1.00, just to see what the market would do. (Funny, the agent initially skipped a zero and input $115,000 as the start price – this will confuse all the computer algorithms that try to figure out the ask/sale price ratio here.)

This lot is a bit bigger than your typical Tree Section lot at 5400 sq. ft., but it is not street-to-alley. Apply this same lot PPSF to a more standard 4800 sq. ft. lot in the Trees, and you'd still see those land values at around $1.350M.

This was something of a special case, with the sleepy location going for it, favorable south-facing backyard, and scarcity as a major factor.

There are more and more would-be developers out there with the financing to get going, but they can't find the land to build on. And plenty of would-be owner/user builders, families looking for a lot to build on themselves. The prime location here drew everyone.

Lot values are officially back to the peaks hit in the last cycle – and rising.

Indications are that 750 30th will eventually sport a spec new construction project. To make the $1.5+ number work on the land acquisition, you're going to expect a new home heading well into the $3M+ range to sprout here. There are recent precedents, with basements etc., in the mid-3's, so it's not impossible that those heights could be hit again.


Note: The posted sale price for 750 30th, at this writing, is $1.552M. However, our best information is that the actual price paid is $1.515M, the figure we have used above. We'll check against public records again later.

Note 2: Right after we posted this, a reader reminded us about 1804 Agnes, a smaller lot in a super-prime location near Martyrs, which sold in May for $1.700M. We did not label that one a "shocker," but we did reference it in "Dirt Gets Pricey, Too," which has some other interesting comps in the post.

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