MB Market Update for 10/15/08

By Dave Fratello | October 21st, 2008
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets for 10/15/08 are available for download by clicking here, or at any time by using the link in the upper-right corner of the MBC front page. Information in this update closed Oct. 15.

Inventory of SFRs west of Sepulveda has now hit a new high, at least for the 18-months-plus that MBC has provided public market tracking. The new record total: 124, up 8 from the end of September.

During this period we counted 15 new listings and 2 comebackers (failed escrows) adding to inventory, while 2 sales (new escrows) and 6 cancellations reduced inventory. (One more came off our spreadsheets that did not belong on the last report.)

Inventory broke down as follows:
  • Hill Section: 27, far above the 10 active SFRs at this time last year;
  • Sand Section: 47, compared with 20 at this time last year, a rather noteworthy jump. Of those, 27 of the active listings are priced above $2m, many west-of-Highland walkstreet homes contributing to a new kind of glut in MB (see "A Flood West of Highland"); and
  • Tree Section: 50, just 1 higher than last year – hey, Tree Section, at least something is stable around here!
Were times tough in early October? Yes, as those 2 sales and 2 failed escrows attest. But we also saw some evidence from price chops (as always, click any highlighted address for more pics & details via Redfin):

  • A new home at 645 12th (pictured) whacked $500k/-11% off its start price within 2 weeks to $3.999m;
  • A newer listing at 2600 Poinsettia made a quick $100k adjustment to $1.799m, also within 2 weeks of its start;
  • A fairly quick adjustment came to the cute walkstreet cottage at 424 5th, down $300k/-13% to $2.099m, just $49k more than the recent fire-sale price at 408 6th;
  • A recent comebacker, the longtime listing at 1829 Poinsettia, chopped $70k to $1.319m, now $466k off its stratospheric start price in May 2007;
  • 221 34th, a stunning new modern near the water with huge views, cut $699k at once and is now down $1.1m (-20%) from start, currently $4.3m.
The 3 sales we saw close during this period saw cuts of 10% to 26% from start prices:

  • 400 3rd, a delightful South End shingled Cape Cod, went for $2.979m, off $520k (-15%) from its start with the first agent back in March;
  • 900 Pacific, which actually closed in mid-August but just hit the radar, closed for about $1m less than its record-setting $10.9m asking price, at $9.85m. A mil is a lot, but it was just a 10% discount in this case. We doubt that either party to the transaction found this upsetting (see "A New Hill Record"); and
  • Much-discussed 2611 Palm (pictured), one of the last of the true cookie-cutter newbies in the Trees, sold for $1.850m, fully $645k (-26%) below its Jan. 2007 start price.
Here's a kick – that closed price was $40k less than the home's literal twin, 2309 Pacific, which featured a less desirable location, but which sold first, back in April.

(See "Newbies Slipping in the Trees," our story from way back then.)

Let's round this story out with some good news. First, our sales (new escrows), both of which we wrote up the other day in "A Little Action" –

532 6th St., a newer modern home with 4br/4ba and 2700 sq. ft. purchased in March 2005 for $1.818m. It was down to $1.949m when a deal was made. For those of you scoring at home, the last list was +$131k/+7% over the Spring 2005 price, surprisingly flat, but not negative.

2112 Ardmore, a small (3br/1ba, 1125 sq. ft.), slightly frumpy cottage that began in mid-July at $1.099m and was at $1.059m when a deal was made. The sale looks to be a net loss – it was purchased for $1.1m in June 2007.

Among new listings:

2 new shorties: 201 43rd is a newer modern (3br/4ba, 1800 sq. ft.) priced at $1.425m, +$235k over the Oct. 2003 acquisition price, but it's a short sale.

There's also 3109 Laurel (pictured), a little cottage picked up for $1.375m in April 2006, but now up at $1.199m, short.

A year and out: 570 36th is priced below its May 2007 acquisition price – then: $1.306m, now: $1.255m, plus "Bring all offers!" in the listing.

Gems: This being MB, there are always some truly great new properties.

Start with 220 35th, a unique modern that was a bit of a sensation this period, priced at $5m. Or consider 801 Highview, a big, tucked-away Hillie with huge, unobstructable ocean views starting at $7.495m. Finally, 202 Ocean is a year-old home near the Strand that starts at $7.5m.

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