MB Market Update for 11/30/09, Sand

By Dave Fratello | December 11th, 2009
As the responses pour in to our MBC Reader Survey, one of the first things that's apparent is that readers like our MB Market Update writeups.

And here we are, more than a week between such writeups, virtual tail between virtual legs. It's time to catch up. (And it's time to take the survey if you haven't. Thanks!)

You'll recall that the last update was for activity from Nov. 15-30, which is starting to seem like a while ago. So we'll sprinkle in some up-to-the-minute info to make this update more current.

An overview of inventory at month's end and Hill Section activity was published previously (see "MB Market Update for 11/30/09"). We'll cover the Sand here, and get to the Trees shortly.

Sand Section

As of Nov. 30, inventory for the Sand Section was at 30 total, among the lower figures for the year. These included 13 active under $2m (click here for the list) and 17 active and priced over $2m (click for that list).

Would you believe there were new listings hitting the market just before Turkey Day? Think big:
  • 202 Ocean is a maxed-out (5br/6ba, 4150 sq. ft.), newer home at the bottom of the 2nd St. walkstreet. It's a Cape Cod that's just about perfect, with great décor, good flow for entertaining, nice ocean and Catalina views. That Ocean address means an extra-sunny, open exposure to the west.
Just about the only major liability is that the immediate area has been a construction site for years, and still promises to be for a while to come. As 202 Ocean was completed, the triple lot at 212 The Strand – just north – got under way. That huge home is now complete (see "Big, Beautiful, Too Much?"), and the finishing touches are going up on a home directly west on 2nd at The Strand.
But a couple of neighboring homes (204 and 208 The Strand) are slated for demolition soon, with a new double-lot Strand home to come. (Worth noting: those 2 lots went for a combined $12.8m.) Put aside the noise, and there's this other wrinkle: 202 Ocean loses some views when all these projects wrap up.
202 Ocean was offered last year for $7.5m, definitely stratospheric, but re-debuts now for $6.2m, or $1.3m less. As seems to happen often, this home was featured in the American Martyrs "Sophisicated Snoop" tour in May, a sort of prelude to formal marketing. This time, we think it'll find its buyer.

As you might hope for in a bold new Strand offering with the added contrivance of a formal sobriquet, this big (6br/5ba, 5550 sq. ft.) home reaches for another level entirely with its ambition.
They've jetted in reclaimed materials from old Tuscan homes, 600-year-old fountains and sinks from Cyprus, old ceiling beams and roof tiles. Some of the other parts were manufactured in Italy as well.
The home is back for its second tour, having been featured at MBC pre-completion back in April in "Another Week, Another Titan." Price is down a paltry mil, from $13.999m to $12.999m.
  • One other new offering sold almost immediately: 216 30th (2br/3ba, 1975 sq. ft.), a mid-90s build along a walkstreet, west of Highland (corner at Bayview), for well under $2m – $1.675m. They're accepting backup offers if you're intrigued.
Not new, but freshening up, trying to add some buzz with cuts:
  • 121 17th (pictured), a strange and smallish 80s custom build, is coming off its ultra-high $3.999m start price, now down to $3.475m, but that really can't be all they'll move, can it?; 
  • 228 20th, quite near the one-year mark on the market, is finally priced below $3m (by a buck), after a start Dec. 17, 2008, at $3.899m (don't believe the DOM on this one); and
  • 3408 Crest is down to $899k, same as the Sept. 2005 acquisition price, after an attempt to mark it up to $1.050m didn't pan out.
Now, those are the sellers looking for deals. Who found buyers?

Sound the trumpets, folks, because our first winner has been around the block more than a few times:
  • 505 3rd may finally have a deal that sticks, but first, the short sale process has to work itself out. 
Short version: This subpar home (4br/2ba, 2475 sq. ft.) in a nice location was acquired as an investment in Sept. 2005 for $1.6m, but after various attempts to resell at a markup from 2007 to the present, it was last at $1.425m.
  • 528 24th is a refreshing contrast, a very quick sale, although still one with a loss attached. 
As MBC described it in the 11/15/09 update, when it was new to the market, the home is a "taut, sharply remodeled little 2br/1ba, 1200 sq. ft. cottage in the gaslight area." Current owners paid $1.250m in Oct. 2006; listing began at $1.150m.
The one other listed new deal, if you look at the spreadsheets, was 435 10th, but it has actually returned to market here in December. That's a 50s-era house (4br/3ba, 2025 sq. ft.) with a 70s vibe, right along Valley and very near downtown (steps to Vons!), now at $1.699m.

As you know, near the holidays, more and more listings cancel to wait out one of the slower periods of the year. In the Sand, just 2 did in the last half of November, and one has since returned. Gone for now is 221 3rd, a pretty spectacular walkstreet house west of Highland and down South, last at $4.495m. Quitting, but quickly returning here in December (what's that called? Oh yes, a "bogus re-list") was 2516 Alma.

Closed sales in this period were an interesting spectrum (click any highlighted address for pics & details via Redfin, yes!, for closed sales!):
  • Brand-new, modern-style, downtown-adjacent 128 9th nabbed $4.9m, quite a bit off the $6.499m start price, but 82 DOM was pretty quick for a high-end listing of this nature (see "Downtown Beauty Goes");
  • 229 24th, a gorgeous big (5br/4ba, 4200 sq. ft.) Spanish west of Highland, closed for $4.2m (see "New & Gone"), a not-incidental discount of $1.295m/-24% from start;
  • 317 5th (4br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.) is a corner-lot contemporary on a South End walkstreet that faced tougher sledding than maybe anyone expected. Priced at $3.2m to begin in April 2008, it just hung. a. round. (538 DOM by our count.) People didn't like the 90s feel, the sellers' high demands, etc., but now it has closed for the strangely precise price of $2,653,508, which, you guessed it, amounts to $546,492 (-17%) off the start.
  • Down at the lower end, totally rebuilt 472 35th (3br/2ba, 1125 sq. ft.) got $1.195m, not so far up from its Feb. 2008 acquisition price (as a wreck) of $1.0m.
  • 220 36th, an updated 60s box (3br/2ba, 1325 sq. ft.), moved quickly this year (< 2 wks.) by coming down a lot from its April 2006 price ($1.425m) to $1.139m, a 3-year drop of $286k/-20%.

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