MB Market Update for 12/31/08

By Dave Fratello | January 5th, 2009
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 Dec. 31.

If we say that not much happened in the second half of December, it will hardly shock you.

Here's how little it was, though:
  • 1 new listing – 8 total for December;
  • 2 sales (new escrows) – 6 total for December; and
  • 15 cancellations – 17 total for December.
Yep, that's a lot of holiday-season hibernators at the end there. MBC will have a story on late-season (November/December) cancellations soon.

Despite those many dropouts, inventory at year end was not quite double the level we saw at the end of 2007. We had 105 SFRs active west of Sepulveda as of Dec. 31, 2008, compared to 59 active SFRs a year before. (See our "MB Market Update for 12/31/07.")

One further comparison, if you don't mind a 2-year sample – the highest inventory MBC ever recorded in 2007 was 83 SFRs west of Hwy. 1, so we begin 2009 well above than that. (See our Dec. 2008 story, "Inventory Higher This Year," for more, plus graphs.)

Inventory by section at year's end was as follows:
  • Hill Section: 28
  • Sand Section: 38
  • Tree Section: 39
You may wish to connect our data from the 2nd half of the month with the information in a recent story covering activity back to November (see "Sales Activity for Nov./Dec.")

Let's give a moment for the only new listing in this period, 228 20th. (Click for more pics & details via Redfin.)

Here's a 10-year-old, maxed-out (5br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.) midtown walkstreet home with the expected big ocean views. The new stuff a stone's throw from here is fetching high-$4m to $5m or more; here the start is $3.899m.

Meanwhile, the 2 sales (new escrows) in our subject region in this period were:
  • 772 Rosecrans, a small (2br/1ba, 900 sq. ft.) rental cottage on a bigger lot (5300+ sq. ft.) that went quickly at a list of $798k.
Also, the wrapping-up of past sales slowed to a trickle – MBC recorded just 2 closed sales in our subject region in the second half of the month. These were:
  • 1948 Ardmore (pictured) (3br/2ba, 2000 sq. ft.), kinda boxy, kinda 50s, but priced attractively at $1.240m and which sold within days (yes, that can still happen), closing for just $10k less than its start ($1.230m); and
So there wasn't much new, very little deal-making. Maybe the biggest news was among listings that made cuts to become more attractive in the new year:
  • 815 2nd, a Hill Section newbie that we've mentioned several times at MBC, is now at $3.875m, down $920k from its start in Feb. 2008;
  • 325 1st, a South End Sand Section home (3br/4ba, 2075 sq. ft.) that boasts a complete 2005 remodel, is now at $1.749m, enough to help the sellers do just a bit better than break-even after 5% costs of sale (they paid $1.617m about 3 years ago, in Dec. 2005);
  • 465 30th, another frequent guest star at MBC, is now at $1.999m and still short – this new price, however, isn't yet bank-approved (uh-oh, it took them 5 months to respond to the last offer);
  • 757 30th, a new home in the Trees that recently marked its second Thanksgiving on market, is now at $1.895m and may be near to compensating for its unusual layout, varied issues and unsightly neighboring homes (see "The Wreck Next Door");
  • 2900 Maple, a double lot in the Trees with a single home on it, is now down to $2.377m, a fall well below its $2.555m acquisition price from Feb. 2007 by a builder who hoped to split the lot and develop it.
Of all the cancellations – which, as we promised, we'll cover separately soon – one stands out: 2509 Palm, one of the failed auction homes. It lingered for several days after a courthouse-steps auction in mid-December – it even cut to $1.679m before dropping out. But it's gone now, and we hear conflicting things on next steps there. More to come.


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