MB Market Update for 11/15/07

By Dave Fratello | November 17th, 2007
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are available for download by clicking here, or by using the link at the upper-right corner of the main MBC page. Information in this update closed Nov. 15. This and older updates are archived at our data & archive site here.

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 80 on Nov. 15, +1 from the end of October.

There were 7 sales (new escrows) of SFRs listed on the MLS in this 2-week period. (In our subject region west of Sepulveda.) Of the new sales, 4 had been offered for more than 100 days – 2 of those for more than 400 days each. Two others sold within 2 weeks of popping up.

Let’s look at our region by section:

Hill Section

There are 10 active SFRs.

In the Hills, we lost a pricey one and gained a cheapie. 230 Anderson, first offered at $7.2m and mostly listed at $6.988m since, has given up (for now) after 6 months. (We don’t have the sense that the owners were under a lot of pressure to sell; they’re just spending more time in their other home.)

Taking Anderson’s place: 1019 11th, one that MBC questioned because it was initially touted as the “best location” west of Sepulveda. With that puffery now dropped, it’s just an average 3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft. bungalow for $1.199m. These sellers paid $1.165m in July 2005, and bought it from someone who had paid $1.150m the year before. So the value here has been flat for 3 1/2 years – or, perhaps the market will say it has dropped. Stay tuned.

The rest of our news is just price cuts:
  • 811 Boundary (pictured) is now down $350k (-13%) to $2.249m after 5 months on the market.
  • 222 N Dianthus dropped $100k to $2.399m just a couple weeks after its start.

Sand Section

There are 23 active SFRs.

There were 2 sales (new escrows), both with the street address of 209, a quirk MBC noted here. One was long-suffering El Porto new construction at 209 42nd, which began in October 2006 at the improbable price of $2.3m (for 3br/4ba, 1950 sq. ft.) and was at $1.899m when it went pending. The other was a walkstreet home north of downtown at 209 19th, last at $3.8m.

There are 5 new listings on this report, two of which actually began before Oct. 31.
  • 473 31st (pictured) is a brand-new showpiece at the top of the North End plateau above Sand Dune park – the home offers 4br/5ba and 4130 sq. ft., and the seller requests $3.25m;
  • 704 Highland, a home with 3br/3ba, 1550 sq. ft., features a crusty and worn exterior on a half-lot on Highland; the owners have made no apparent effort to spiff it up for sale, but they would like $1.340m, exactly $25k less than the comparable 7-month-old listing at 117 Highland;
  • Across town, 3505 Alma is smaller than both Highland homes at 3br/2ba and 1420 sq. ft., but it’s remodeled inside – sellers seek $1.499muh-oh, the Redfin listing reveals this one was purchased for $1.430m in October 2006... it's another case of one year and out;
  • 328 16th currently has a dated duplex, but it’s the dirt for sale here at $1.867m (see “Sand Lots” on MBC); and
  • 128 5th is the other lot sale discussed in “Sand Lots,” a truly premier location for which the seller (a local agent) has priced in an expected frenzy, shooting for $3.975m.
We also had no closed sales among SFRs in the Sand and, interestingly, we saw no price reductions this round in the region, either.

Tree Section

There are 47 active SFRs. Of these, 20 are priced below $2m, and 27 are above $2m.

Of all the 7 sales west of Sepulveda in this report, 5 happened in the Tree Section, and 4 were in the <$2m range.
  • Priciest sale: 2310 Palm, new construction that began at $2.699m in August 2006, and was one of three homes mentioned by MBC in “The 1-Year Club in the Trees.” Thanks to MBC’s curse-in-reverse, it went into escrow shortly after that mention. Last priced at $2.399m.
  • Cheapest sale: 1732 Palm, which MBC just days ago called a “terrible, small, older home” that was “approaching lot value” at $1.175m. Ah, the curse-in-reverse!
  • Quickest sales: 3404 Pacific, medium-sized at 3br/2ba and 1750 sq. ft., nicely updated, lasted just 7 days at $1.325m; also, a newer, larger (4br/3ba, 3100 sq. ft.) charmer at 1408 Poinsettia went in 16 days, last at $1.749m.
  • Flattest sale: yes, flat2509 Poinsettia, in which the current owners lived for 18 months, had been listed 40 days at $1.999m, just $19k more than the sellers paid. (It was a relo, we’re told.)
  • Rumored sale: We also heard a couple of times in the comments at MBC that 2807 Elm had sold, but it is not yet posted as “pending.” Specifically, we heard there were two offers and one was accepted at $2.1m. Important, if true. Not only is the price drop huge (this one began at $2.9m – obviously too high), but Elm is a great home with an actual yard. A sale price near $2.1m is going to have ramifications for the remaining inventory.
New to the market below $2m is one home you might have expected to enter above $2m – new construction at 1144 Elm (starting at $1.995m). But as MBC noted, this is the “First Newbie Under $2m” because of its location – just off MBB. Also, returning to the <$2m segment is 3013 Oak, which just took a couple of weeks off, now returning with a bogus re-list and a somewhat less bogus new price of $1.249m (-$100k/-7%).

The only new entry in the $2m+ segment is 3300 Blanche, a used house that was new 18 months ago when the current owners paid $2.425m. They now seek $2.659m to start (+234k/+10%).

MBC was wondering: Is this really among the élite of the new and newer homes in the Trees, even with the location on Blanche? And the answer, actually, is yes – owing to lots of elaborate details in the construction, made all the more posh by lavish interior design. (The owner is a designer.) The place drips luxury. It's almost wasted in this location, with the entry a couple yards off Blanche, but, once inside, buyers may find that the home sings to them.

Most noteworthy reductions:
  • 561 35th, which first tried to sell in 2006 at $2.299m, is now at $1.899m (-$300k from its re-start price this summer);
  • 2404 Palm, with the strange layout featured here by MBC, is down almost $150k (-8%) to $1.749m, a move made (with a bogus re-list) less than one month after its start.
One sale closed in the Tree Section: 1718 Pacific, which raised eyebrows (and got MBC’s attention) when it opened at $4.5m back in June, closed for $462,500 less (-10%) – at a still-impressive $4.037m.

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