MB Market Update for 2/29/08, Hill

By Dave Fratello | March 2nd, 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 Feb 29.

We're again doing something different this round, and it may be a permanent change: we're splitting up the discussions of our 3 areas west of Sepulveda so we can focus more on each one. You can download the complete spreadsheet now; it's the discussion with pics and links that will be broken up.

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 84 on Feb. 29, +10 from the end of January and +25 from the beginning of the year, and unchanged from Feb. 15. As we noted last time, this inventory total is the highest, by 1, that MBC has recorded in almost one full year of public market tracking.

Inventory did not balloon in this period, despite a steady flow of new listings, because, in the second half of February, there were 14 sales (new escrows) of SFRs listed on the MLS. (In our subject region west of Sepulveda.) That's quite an improvement over the 5 recorded in the first half of the month. With a total of 19 deals made in February, the horrid data from December and January (9 and 7 sales, respectively) seem a little further in the past.

Though this activity is certainly livening things up, it's also clear that February sales trailed the pace of the same month in the last 3 years, particularly 2007, as we noted in "February Brightens" just the other day.

As always, we'll look at our region by section, with a focus today only on the Hill Section:

Hill Section

There are 12 active SFRs.

There are 4 new listings, 3 of them on 11th St., strangely enough. As always, click any address for pix & details via Redfin:
  • 724 11th is a fairly large (4br/5ba, 3300 sq. ft.) home with ocean views, but a bit of an East Manhattan look at the curb. (Thinking much further east, the listing says the home design has a "French influence.") Built in 1999, the home's debut price is $3.449m.
  • 612 11th, the rear home on a "flag lot," is back less than a year after it was last purchased. As we noted in "Flag It As Overpriced," the home was offered last year for $975k but sold quickly for much more: $1.275m. The seller thinks it has risen another $300k in value in this short time, and now offers it for $1.599m with few improvements.
  • 1100 John is on the smaller side (3br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft.), and an older home that was improved within the last 20-30 years. It's got a pool, which can be nice, but – see the pics – the neighbor is a big new office building at MBB/John. $1.259m.
  • MBC seems to blow kisses at 916 9th every chance we get; that's largely Mrs. MBC's influence. It's hard not to love this large (5br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.) home – it simply shames most Tree Section pretenders with its living spaces, particularly the great room and nice back yard. It's got some quirks, as we discussed in "A Modest +50% in the Hills" back in October. The owners still seek a markup of nearly 50% over the 2003 purchase price, but they're moving – from almost $3.3m last June to $2.895m now.

We also saw one sale in the Hill Section, and would you like to guess which street it's on? That's right, 11th – 1019 11th was once famously described as having the "one of the best locations in Manhattan Beach west of Sepulveda," even though it didn't (see "It's Hard to Be Straight.") It's most interesting to us because of its flat pricing in recent years. In July 2004, it sold for $1.150m, in July 2005, $1.165m (+$15k). It was last at $1.198m (+$33k), with 100+ DOM; we'll see where it winds up.

Among remaining listings, there was some competition for the role of biggest price cut. The $76k cut on 701 Dianthus (pictured) was significant; the sellers are now queued up for a loss, given that they paid $2.53m in Feb. 2006 and put $150k into the place – at $2.699m, they lose as soon as they pay $19k in commissions. It's a relo and perhaps someone else will take the hit.

There was $200k off the big-time remodel/2-year-flip at 939 Duncan, but it's still way up there at $3.695m. The biggest cut dollarwise was at crazily big, crazily built 923 1st, which took a little trim of $250k off the $8m start price; it's now at $7.750m. (See "Unpredictable" for MBC's review; if you're reading this on Sunday, don't forget the 4-5pm sunset open house, and don't forget the dramamine.)

We barely noticed the $49k cut on 872 MBB. This one is now priced at $1.15m, still $210k above the purchase price in Sept. 2005.

One closed sale in the Hills – we say goodbye to Fallingwater/Fallingprice: 911 Duncan closed for $3.190m, -$580k/-15% off its June 2007 start price. (See "Such a Deal on Duncan.") That was a pretty big reality check, but not as far a fall as some had expected.

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