MB Market Update for 1/15/08

By Dave Fratello | January 18th, 2008
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 Jan. 15.

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 70 on Jan. 15, +11 from year end as we saw some new listings and other listings that took the holidays off return in the new year. (See “Shadow Inventory.”)

In the first half of January, there were 2 sales (new escrows) of SFRs listed on the MLS. (In our subject region west of Sepulveda.) To save time, we'll just list them both here:
  • 911 Duncan, the modern home said to evoke "Fallingwater" (see "Fallingprice"), is in escrow, last priced at $3.299m, down $471k from its start.
  • 561 35th, a quite large home (6br/5ba, 4350 sq. ft.) that began in 2006 at $2.299m, took time off, and returned, is in escrow, last at $1.899m (and an eye-opening $437/PSF).
Now, before we look at our region by section, there are a few changes in the spreadsheets worth noting:
1) PPSF for actives – we now provide the current price per square foot for actives. Previously, we only offered PPSF for closed sales.

2) Comebackers don't get DOM resets – Lots of listings canceled near year-end but came back "fresh and new" after less than 60 days. The local MLS rules say you've got to be out 60 days to clear the DOM. So, for any listing that didn’t leave the MLS for 60 days, we’re counting DOM from the start date.

3) Only 6-months' worth of 2007 data – In the “pending/sold” pages for each region, we’re retaining only 6 months’ worth of sales from 2007. With each new update, we’ll delete sales that are older, until the spreadsheets consist entirely of 2008 data. Same goes for cancellations. Then we’ll keep all the 2008 data. For the final 2007 data (March-Dec.), please see the 12/31/07 update.
OK, now let's go by section:

Hill Section

There are 6 active SFR listings.

There's a new high-priced listing at 923 1st (pictured; click address for details via Redfin), a giant house (8,000 sq. ft.) asking $7.998m. The sellers paid $3.3m in September 2003 and pulled off a big remodel in 2006.

We lost the lowest-priced listing in the Hills, 402 Larsson, in foreclosure from Day One. We have not yet gotten word on whether this was rented out, is headed to auction, or some other disposition. The listing simply expired.

One closed sale in this period: Precisely as reported in comments at MBC, the new home at 853 6th closed for $4.5m, just 6% below its $4.795m asking price.

Also, during this period MBC learned that 601 Larsson, a short sale that was well-covered here, had closed off the MLS in late December for $1.710m, down $290k/-14.5% from the purchase price in September 2005. (See "Close the Books on 601 Larsson.")

Sand Section

There are 27 active SFR listings.

There are 3 truly new listings (click any address to see details via Redfin):
  • 200 19th (first pic) is a brand-new home mid-block on a sloping walkstreet near downtown, seeking $5.849m. It offers 5br/4ba and 4200 sq. ft. w/ ocean views.
  • 228 31st could be viewed as a lot sale, offering a dated cottage with extra unit, seeking $2.599m. It's the next-door neighbor to a new home at 224 31st that's priced at $4.995m.
  • 125 El Porto (second pic) is a 3br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft. home (ca. 1995, updated) seeking $1.699m. Hey, are they gonna change this street name, too?
Two other listings we're crediting as new:
  • 224 31st Pl (note the "Place" here) hung around for 5 months in 2007, from May-October, always at $1.639m. This 3br/4ba, 2050 sq. ft. remodel is back – after more than 60 days off – at... $1.639m.
  • 305 Gull is a small duplex that has been listed as such since early October, but now comes to the SFR list as well, because you could join the units. Priced at $1.049m. Big location issue on Highland, and a less significant pea-soup-green issue.
There were 2 substantial price cuts. 420 30th chopped $180k down to $2.399m.

And at the "Gateway to Manhattan Beach," 4419 Highland chopped twice and is now at $1.350m, $149k lower than its price when the new agent took over, and now down $345k from its (silly) start at $1.695m.

There were two closed sales in the Sand Section:
  • 1312 Manhattan Ave. – What is likely a lot sale, steps to Wahoos, started in June 2006 at $2.85m, and has now closed for $2.6m.
  • 233 20th – One-half of the sale of the complete lot (which includes 2007 Highland) has sold for list price, $1.249m. Strangely, 2007 Highland has canceled after going into escrow at the same time as 233 20th. We still assume both of these were sold to the same buyer at the same time, until we learn otherwise.

Tree Section

There are 37 active SFR listings, with 20 priced below $2m, and 17 above $2m.

It has been a while since the number of <$2m listings exceeded the number of $2m+ listings. In this case, a partial explanation is that 2 new homes that had been priced above $2m (1901 Poinsettia and 3104 Pacific) have now jumped below that symbolic threshold. (See "Blowing Their Price Points.")

Also, the Tree Section <$2m segment saw several comebackers – listings that canceled for convenience for the holidays and came right back, most or all via bogus re-lists. Those 6 are denoted in this round's spreadsheets with a special little "r" next to the address (for "returned"). We're not giving them credit for time off.

In the first 15 days of January, there were two new listings:
  • 1413 Pine (first pic), the subject of MBC's second "pricing poll" (see "Pricing Poll: 1413 Pine"), offers 3br/3ba and 2200 sq. ft., starting at $1.759m. Forty percent of MBC's poll respondents thought the right price was between $1.5m and the list price, while 39% said it should sell between $1.3m-$1.5m.
We're with the commenter who said this one might have drawn multiple offers a year ago, but, of course, it's not a year ago now.
  • 3505 Pine (second pic) came on with a different idea of PPSF, offering 3br/3ba and 2390 sq. ft. at $627/PSF, a full $173/PSF less than 1413, and a start price of $1.499m.
Four new-construction homes cut prices:
  • 3104 Pacific dropped $150k to $1.999m, a 7% drop in list price less than a week after the builder placed an ad warning market-timing buyers that prices won't come down 10% this year (see "A Builder's Take").
  • 1901 Poinsettia may have precipitated the move on Pacific by dropping from $2.179m to $1.999m, now down $500k from start.
  • 2709 Oak moved first of these 3, from $2.149m to $2.049m, and now, well, maybe that that wasn't enough.
Noteworthy, also, the lot sale at 3009 Poinsettia made its first cut, from dreamland $1.399m to $1.299m.

There was one post-holiday-season cancellation: 1400 Elm (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft), which lingered for more than 6 months (high: $2.35m, low: $2.245m), stayed active for part of the new year but then dropped out. Sellers had paid $1.7m in May 2005, and may had a price goal that just wasn't being met.

Two sales closed in the Trees:
  • 3300 Blanche, a newer home that was all plush and luxe, despite its location, sold fairly quickly at $2.360m. That was -$65k from what the owners paid, new, in April 2006, and -$299k from the list price. On a relo like this, things happen fast.
  • 637 13th, a pretty forlorn home on a tiny lot near Martyrs, fetched $1.335m, well off (-16%) the dream start price of $1.585m, but still $235k more than the owner paid in Nov. 2005.

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