MB Market Update for 2/29/08, Sand

By Dave Fratello | March 3rd, 2008
This is the second installment of the twice-monthly MB Market Update, this time looking at the Sand Section. For the previous story with the overview for this period and Hill Section information, see immediately below, or click here.

The complete spreadsheets can be downloaded by clicking here, or any time by using the link under "MB Market Info and Updates" in the right-hand column of the front page.

Sand Section

There were 26 active SFRs on Feb. 29.

One new listing came and went quickly: 207 Homer. This 3br/3ba, 1800 sq. ft., South End home felt cramped and dated, but it does offer wave-crash ocean views from the dining room and deck. The location's nice and the home can be rehabbed, but those ocean views are not forever – a 3-story building in front will kill them. Sort of a surprise to see it go quickly at $1.779m.

The remaining new offerings:
  • 131 Kelp (pictured) is a cheery cottage in El Porto with an ocean-view deck, starting at $1.095m. It's surrounded by bigger neighbors and does not offer too much space (2br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.), but that price will draw interest. By the way, Kelp is an alley between 40th and 41st.
  • 2808 Manhattan Ave. is a lot sale in the quiet North End, obviously west of Highland. There's a crusty duplex on site now. Offered at $1.799m with free plans to build a 4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft. SFR. (See "They've Got Plans.")
  • 505 3rd (4br/3ba, 2600 sq. ft., dated) was with us for 6 months in 2007, always at $1.949m. It's back now at $1.929m. We've never seen it listed as open, and there are still no interior pics, adding to the mystery. Twice last year, the seller opened escrows but flopped. It would appear the seller – an agent – is holding out for a price, having paid $1.6m in Sept. '05. (See "What's Right for 505 3rd?")
  • 228 29th Pl. is a new, custom home, very striking, although not for everyone. It's another comebacker – it began last year at $3.049m, dropped a bit, took time off and is back at $2.629m.
We saw 5 sales in the Sand Section during this 2-week period, of which perhaps 3 were lot sales. In addition to 207 Homer (above):
  • 420 30th (pictured) is a nice home (4br/3ba, 3250 sq. ft.) that just needed time to get the price right. About 6 months ago, it began at $2.579m, but it had come down -$180k/-7% to $2.399m before making a deal.
  • 3216 Alma certainly was a lot sale; this one began at $1.699m, dropped to $1.550m and got a deal shortly thereafter – zoned R2.
  • 233 20th is the front 2/3rds of a lot on a walkstreet, at the corner with Highland, which previously was offered simultaneously with the rear portion – legally a separate lot. For complex reasons, the back portion was withdrawn from the market, and the front sold quickly after going up for $1.289m. We assume the old duplex is history, but we could be wrong.
  • 325 21st is another walkstreet lot on Highland, this one on the east side. It was offered at $1.679m, reflecting the full 2700 sq. ft. lot size. Again we assume the old box on site is history.
Only one price reduction worth noting this round: The listing for 228 31st began in the first week of 2008 at $2.599m. Twice in February, including once this round, the price dropped $200k. Twice. It's now at $2.199m, trying to find lot value (please look past the vintage duplex) in a nice area west of Highland.

Finally, with all this talk of lot values, let's have a look at the priciest Sand Section lot sale in some time (from the MLS). A coveted South End walkstreet lot at 129 6th was first offered at $3.9m one day after Christmas 2007. It lasted almost 3 weeks then, and closed in this period for $3.625m (-$275k/-7%).

That's plenty pricey, but here's a contrast worth noting. The last South End walkstreet home in the 100s to sell from the MLS was 120 2nd. It came on in March 2007 at $3.3m, and the sellers learned, to their great embarrassment, that they had underpriced the lot. It sold for $3.810m after a bidding war.

Both 129 6th and 128 5th "priced in" the bidding war they knew of just a bit further south. They each shot a bit higher (128 5th hit the MLS first at $3.975m, and is now off market). And yet, the going rate came down a smidge in this time.

That's not a trend, but it's something. When/if we see 128 5th back, we'll know better what it means.

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