MB Market Update for 2/28/10, Trees

By Dave Fratello | March 5th, 2010
Our first overview the other day on the MB Market Update for 2/28/10 didn't delve much into the specifics of individual listings or sales.

This time let's start up with the busy, busy Tree Section, and here we'll look at the whole month at once.

Click here to view MBC's online spreadsheets for 2/28/10, or at any time use the pull-down menu under "MB Market Updates."

Tree Section

Overall for the month of February, the Trees saw 15 new listings and 11 sales (new escrows), dropping out one quickly failed escrow (2708 Pacific).

Looking just at the sub-segment of listings priced below $1.5m, absorption was about evenly matched by new inventory: 9 new listings, 8 sales and 1 cancellation (2606 Pacific) left the total offerings flat at 11 after an active February. (See here for the page of actives < $1.5m, or here for the page of actives >$1.5m.)

We can't cover all those new offerings, so we'll focus first on a few that came on in February and were not immediately snapped up:
  • 1812 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) is a 50s cottage that maximizes period charm in a fairly prime Tree Section location near the school at Martyrs. We really can't call it updated, but it's sharp.
Started at $1.349m, owing mainly to the location.
  • 3213 Walnut (3br/2ba, 1850 sq. ft.) is a surprisingly charming remodel. The start at $1.475m is ambitious, but look at what's around in terms of comparable inventory – near zero.
There is a second category to discuss – new February listings that were snapped up quickly. Some examples:
  • 2911 Pacific (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.), a 60s cottage with no very special updates, on a fairly busy street. A clean, cool rental, perhaps? Priced right, it would appear, at $989k.
  • 1509 Walnut (3br/3ba, 1925 sq. ft.) lasted less than a week at $1.2m, which some thought was low to begin. This one squishes a lot of pretty nice home into a 1940s-vintage cottage with some good updates.
  • 3104 Poinsettia is a lot sale on a pretty sweet block, and just 50 yards from one of the greatest blocks in the Trees – at least the northern part. The lot was up at $1.050m for about 4 weeks. Watch these land sales!
Those weren't the only sales (new escrows), of course. Two others that stood out were:
  • 560 35th, a big Craftsman (6br/6ba, 3600 sq. ft.) that was featured in "Adjusting Upon Return" in late January. The "adjustment," in this case, was reflected in steady reduction in the sellers' ambitions, from $2.425m in July 2008 to $2.125m in Jan. 2009, down to $1.895m in Jan. 2010. All were still significant markups over the Jan. 2004 acquisition price of $1.635m. This year, they had a deal in about a month.
  • 2603 Palm, a big (4br/4ba, 4700 sq. ft.), newer (2006) home on a double lot, purchased for $3.4m in Sept. 2006, improved boldly, and offered this year for $3.0m – which found a buyer within 3 weeks, after a start in late January. (See "Quickies in the Trees.") 
Some sellers see this activity in the market, and they want some for themselves. Among price-cutters beckoning:
  • 2900 Oak is notable for having dived $136k (-14%) in its first month, trying to nose in on the action all around with a quick adjustment or two. Now at $829k
  • 2708 Pacific chopped $72k quickly after falling out of its very quick escrow, now at $1.777m (with those numbers, can they get lucky again?).
  • 1724 Pine (4br/4ba, 3525 sq. ft.), the French Normandy, is down $99k to $1.998m, midway through its second month.

  • 645 12th is down to $3.445m, maybe finally trying to find its market after 500+ days of lingering. (See "Long in the Tooth.")

That's our wrap-up for the Tree Section for now. Look for updates on the Hills & Sand soon.

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