MB Market Update for 1/15/10, Trees

By Dave Fratello | January 27th, 2010
One last look here at the first half of January as we prepare for data on the second half. This time, the Tree Section.

We already noted that, of the 4 sales (new escrows) in the first half, 3 were in the Trees. (See the first overview of the 1/15/10 data from last week.) And another followed at 1413 Pine.

Since mid-month? Well, no sales in the Trees, but there are still a few days left in the month.

Really the news was in the new offerings, most of them over $2m:

  • 2603 Palm (4br/4ba, 4725 sq. ft.) is a newer (2006) home on a double lot on a corner with a lot of "wow" factors. The beachy Craftsman-inspired home ("Tropical Plantation," they're calling it) started out with a big, sunny back yard – we're talking the Trees here, folks, it's all relative – and the owners added a stylish pool and spa. The spacious interior also got plenty of upgrades. 
Talk about showing well – 2603 Palm has a lot going for it already, but the professional pics, thoughtfully staged and well lit, truly give the home its best possible presentation. (The virtual tour on YouTube is the listing pics set to music.)

The builder of 2603 Palm is well-known and has gone experimental at times. An interesting, roughly comparable home he produced, known as "The Farmhouse" at 570 27th (5br/4ba, 4100 sq. ft.), sold after 15 months on market in June 2008 for $2.680m, far below its start near $3.9m. (See MBC's "Bought: The Farm(house)" for more.)
2603 Palm and 570 27th share a couple of other things in common: Oddly shaped lots with location challenges. And here's what makes Palm a puzzle this year – for all its charms, can the sellers get $3m (the start price) for a home located right along busy Valley? Having paid $3.4m new in Sept. 2006 before adding value with the pool and upgrades, they seem to know the market has shifted and location is more important now. Definitely one to watch.

  • 3113 Laurel (5br/5ba, 3400 sq. ft.) is a sparkling Cape Cod that lacks the over-the-topness of 2603 Palm, but is drawing raves nonetheless from MBC readers.
It's also a 2006 build looking for new owners already. And the sellers, who paid $2.350m in March 2007, recognize that they won't get out flat, either, starting out at $2.195m.

  • 763 33rd (5br/6ba, 3825 sq. ft.) is just a few doors up and over from 3113 Laurel; a 10-year-old Spanish that's a good bit bigger than your average home in the Trees thanks to the 5400 sq. ft. lot. Starts at $2.097m.

  • 1724 Pine (4br/4ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is said to be a "French Normandy" inspired home, with heavy use of stone outside meant to give it that European flavor. 
Whether or not that's your thing, the inside is comfy and very nicely remodeled (it's a 1998 build), with great attention to detail. A quirk: Though the bedrooms are spacious, the master (up front) is cramped a bit by the folded-down roof detail in the front. Starts at $2.049m.
Maybe you noticed a bit of a pattern in some of these new offerings, and others popping up early this year: Lots of resales of homes held for 5 years or so, some less. We'll look at that trend shortly.

We close out this update with the one closed sale: 2508 Walnut (3br/2ba, 1725 sq. ft.), a plain 50s cottage close to Marine, but nonetheless on one of the unique blocks in the Trees. The home sold this year for $1.033m, nearly a year to the day after the agent/seller had acquired it for $688k (per tax records), a markup of $345k/+51%.

A successful flip in 2009-10? There's a surprise to get your year rolling.

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