MB Market Update for 2/15/08, Part 3

By Dave Fratello | February 21st, 2008
This is the third and final installment of the MB Market Update for the first half of February.

You can download the complete Market Update spreadsheets by clicking here or by using the link at the upper-right corner of the MBC front page. (Click to read the Hill Section story, and here for the Sand Section story.)

Tree Section

As of Feb. 15, there were 49 active SFRs, 25 of them priced below $2m, and 24 priced above $2m. MBC noted yesterday that having more offerings in the lower segment than the higher segment was fairly new in the Trees, at least since we started public tracking last year. (See "Lines Cross in the Trees.")

There were 13 new listings in this short 2-week window. Some highlights follow (click any address for details via Redfin).

2 new homes, both in off locations, both optimistic on price:
  • 1825 Oak (pictured) was custom-built by the owner-occupants, and completed only in November, but they've decided to sell. It's sweet, with 4br/4ba and 3125 sq. ft., but its location is also a challenge. Starts at $2.399m.
  • 3500 Blanche is Spanish-inspired, pretty busy on the outside, on a somewhat busy street, offering 4br/4ba and 3300 sq. ft., and starting at $2.549m.

2 high-style modern homes:

  • 2310 John (pictured) is unlike its neighbors, with concrete, steel and glass, offering 5br/5ba and over 3500 sq. ft. for $2.2m – among the lower prices per square foot in the market segment at $624/PSF.
  • 794 27th is a contemporary Asian-inspired home with great kids' spaces and a great vibe. The seller paid $2.5m (achem, overpaid) in May 2006, and now seeks $2.599m.
2 neighbors on 26th:
  • 609 26th begins this year at $2.099m, after trying a while at $2.299m last year. It's huge (3800 sq. ft.) for the price.
  • 625 26th offers one less bedroom than the neighboring listing, at 4br/4ba, and 100 sq. ft. less, in a more familiar Spanish style. Sellers paid $1.795m in August 2004. It starts now at $2.185m.
3 truly new listings below $2m:
  • 848 12th Ct. is a newer home offering 4br/4ba and 3250 sq. ft. at $1.999m ($615/PSF); the street can be quiet but the back yard abuts a parking lot for a medical building and MBB.
  • 1720 Oak is a big home (5br/4ba, 3475 sq. ft.) with a design you'll recognize if you know the general area – several homes with this 3-garage face and similar floorplan were put up in the late 1980s. Starts at $1.650m, with a low $475/PSF accounting for the location ("wrong," i.e., east side of Oak).
  • 3613 Oak is quite a bit smaller, at 3br/2ba w/ 1400 sq. ft., and with a big location issue – just off Rosecrans, facing out onto a commercial building. Starts at $1.089m.
3 more listings are comebackers, meaning they took some time off. Of these, we note that 3521 Elm is on the market for a third time in 1 year. It sold to a builder in July 2007 for $1.150m, but it would seem that project is being abandoned. (Good call.) Now, pay $1.225m and get free architectural plans for – you guessed it – a 5br, 3300 sq. ft. Tuscan-style home.

Getting their chops: There were several price reductions in this period, including 4 separate cuts of about $100k each on new construction. At 2100 Flournoy, the recent cut to $2.795m (from a start at $3.195m) may have done the trick – it sold a few days after the 15th. At 1144 Elm, the new price of $1.879m is the lowest we've seen for new construction in a year's worth of tracking.

Gone for now: Just one cancellation this round, at 3009 Poinsettia, a lot sale that began at $1.399m and was last at $1.299m. (See "Last-Minute Lot Shopping.") MBC just discovered that this lot was purchased in early December 2007 for $980k.

We saw just 2 sales (new escrows) in the Tree Section in this period, including one more example of new construction on which the builder likely loses money:
  • The lot for 1901 Poinsettia was purchased for $1.45m in October 2005 – the new home there started at $2.499m in August but quickly shot down to $1.999m before making a deal. We're sure that the costs to build a 5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft. home exceeded the $500k & change between land acquisition and completion.
  • The real bright spot in the Trees so far in 2008 was 2317 Pine, which – as we predicted – just did not last. (See "It Can't Last.") This one sold within a couple weeks for slightly over its $1.799m asking price ($1.860m, we're told).

Our spreadsheet also notes another quick sale, at 612 30th (4br/5ba, 3450 sq. ft.) that took place in the prior period but didn't make the update. It was listed at $2.270m.

Two closed sale prices came through in this period. One was for the quite large (6br/5ba, 4350 sq. ft.) home at 561 35th. This one tried to sell in 2006 at $2.299m, and tried again in 2007 at prices ranging from $2.199m down to $1.899m. It has closed for $1.850m (-$349k/-16% off the 2007 start price).

The other closed sale was 2612 Poinsettia, a new home (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) that was no one's favorite, and which logged 482 DOM. It began at $2.399m all those days ago (Labor Day 2006) and apparently got $2.199m (-$200k/-8%), faring much better than similar new construction these days.

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