Lots of Bucks for Lots East of Highland

By Dave Fratello | November 24th, 2014

It has been something of a crazy year for land sales, and we're going to end 2014 with a bang, it looks like.

We'll be focusing on a few of the most recent Sand Section land sales. There's plenty to help drop your jaw to the floor.

First up, today, is one that will ultimately seem like "not such a huge number." We'll turn to the others in later posts.

The new sale at 309 18th at $3.250M immediately raises the bar for properties in a distinct pocket east of Highland.

Only once has there ever been a full standard-size-lot property sold in the same area for more... just $15K more, and there was a brand new house on the site at the time.

Here we are looking at the narrow set of walkstreets between 16th and 20th east of Highland, a rarefied sub-sub-market.

These are ultra-private streets that are right near downtown and a short walk to the beach. There is minimal to no foot traffic on the walkstreets, because even most MB residents don't know the streets are there, and surely no tourists do. The upward bulge in the hill here delivers very nice views from many lots – some more commanding than a 200-block house west of Highland.

The only sale in this pocket that was higher than the new sale at 309 18th was new construction at 305 20th, which sold for $3.265M five years ago.

There are just a few more sales ever in this little area that ever came in near, or very slightly over, $3M. Those sales always with a good, large, often new/newer house on site.

And now you have a land-value sale coming in at $3.250M. Wow.

(Worth noting: There's a serviceable, remodeled duplex on the site of 309 18th. It sold at an insane overbid in April 2013 for $2.459M. Well, that seemed insane at the time to all the other bidders, including our clients in the mix. Our info is that the newest owners will not keep the quaint, obsolete structures on the site.)

The highest sale, period, in this little east-of-Highland neighborhood was a 2014 lot sale (aha! 2014!) at 329 17th, which closed in April for $3.740M.

But that was 1.5 lots. (Our pic is the view from the ground level at the front corner of 329 17th.)

If we look at that lot sale, the land value, inferred from that sale, for a standard 2700 sq. ft. view lot, would be $2.493M – or can we just call it $2.500M?

So the new land trade at 309 18th is fully 30% higher on a land-per-square-foot basis than a comparable sale from just 6 months ago.

And you could try to call it an anomaly.

Maybe 309 18th is so super-special that this feat can't be repeated.

But no. Don't bet on this being an anomaly just yet.

We've got info that there are 2 more just like it at the same price point – or higher – locked up now in escrow.

Suddenly this little neighborhood has gone big time. "East of Highland" seems like no liability at all.

And all 3 sales with 3's in front were lined up recently and off-market. It all came together extremely fast.

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