MB Market Update for 3/31/08, Trees

By Dave Fratello | April 4th, 2008
This is the third story of 3 detailing market activity west of Sepulveda in the second half of March. Click to download the complete 3/31/08 spreadsheets, or, any time, use the link in the upper-right corner of the front page.

There were 49 active SFRs in the Tree Section as of March 31, 28 of them priced below $2m and 21 priced above $2m. This continues a trend we first noted 5 weeks ago, when, for the first time in about a year, the inventory below $2m exceeded the number of higher-priced listings. (See "Lines Cross in the Trees.")

There were 5 new listings in the Tree Section in this period. At the lower end, 3 new listings all sport challenging locations:
  • 3601 Pacific is not all the way at Rosecrans, but it's close (4 doors in). That said, it's got some charms; a decent Spanish-inspired remodel of a late-1970s home. Offers 4br/3ba and 2700 sq. ft. at a low PPSF of $512 – start price: $1.395m.
  • 2505 Pacific starts below $1m – something we're seeing more of these days. (In MBC's April 5, 2007, update, there was just 1 listing below $1m in the Trees; now there are 4.) The home is a 2br/2ba, 1100 sq. ft. cottage at the corner with Valley. The lot is smaller than the typical Tree Section lot at 3890 sq. ft.
Interesting fact: This home fell in value between its last two purchases – 1988 purchase price: $360k/ 1997 price: $327k. Adjust that $33k drop for inflation, and it's a real wallop. Today's start price: $995k.
  • 1400 Oak (no pics) is a fixer that offers 3br/2ba and 1400 sq. ft. and is on a corner lot on the "wrong" side of Oak (backing up onto businesses on Sepulveda). Also, 14th is a cut-through/escape street off Sepulveda. Start price: $975k.
Meanwhile in the $2m+ range, we have one resale and one edgy new home:
  • 560 36th is surprisingly warm for a concrete-glass-and-steel modern home. It's new construction with 4br/4ba, 4000 sq. ft. and a different flavor – not what you expect in the neighborhood and not the sort of stark, soulless contemporary that you might find elsewhere. (The listing has pics but they don't do it much justice.)
Overall, though, the project is pretty daring for a speckie and for this location – steps from the armory and Sand Dune Park. 36th starts at $2.999m.
  • 621 Marine is a newer home (2002) with an even more recent sale (March 2007: $2.436m). The "rustic Spanish" home offers 5br/4ba, 3100 sq. ft., and now is up at $2.489m.
The bigger news in the Trees was a new round of price cuts on new homes that have hung around a while, trying to find a new balance:
  • 3305 Laurel, once optimistically priced at $3.75m and mostly at $3.65m since last June, took at 10% hit and is now at $3.290m, down $460k total. The listing does not hide this: It screams, "HUGE PRICE REDUCTION." OK, we hear you.
Interestingly, this home was put up for a pricing poll of sorts last year (really a guessing game) on Curbed LA, and, without being told anything, readers there thought the asking price was probably around $2.5m. (See MBC's story: "LA Doesn't Know MB" for more, plus links.)
  • 757 30th took another $116k off, and is now down $220k from its start at $2.699m – currently $2.479m. (We can't link to the property because it's been stuck in a "hold" status for a while, for unknown reasons. Well, unknown? It doesn't accumulate DOM.)
  • 2309 Pacific, after a bogus re-list in this period, was down $200k from its start, at $2.099m as of March 31. Apparently, that cut worked – it's in escrow as we write. Curiously, its twin (same builder/layout, though reversed) at 2611 Palm still lingers (450+ DOM) at $2.399m – a pretty big gap even with the location difference.
  • 2509 Walnut, a home whose earthtone exterior veers strangely toward orange, chopped $100k in this period. It's down $250k from its start last July – now at $2.199m.
  • 2509 Palm started at the same price ($2.449m) as 2509 Walnut, but last April. It chopped $100k this round and is down $150k total, now at $2.299m.
There were 2 sales in the Trees in this 2-week period, and 6 sales closed:

Newly sold were 2005 Oak, around for less than 2 weeks at $1.479m (a job transfer); and 1821 Walnut, new construction brazenly priced at $2.750m last May amid a glut, and last at $2.495m – who gets the last word on that? It'll go higher than we thought.

Closed sales, compared to their start prices:
  • 2312 Poinsettia: $2.767m (-$227k/-8%)
  • 2100 Flournoy: $2.750m (-$450k/-14%)
  • 609 26th: $1.950m (-$149k/-7% off this year's price, -$349k/-15% off last year's price)
  • 1901 Poinsettia: $1.999m (-$500k/-20%)
  • 3613 Oak: $1.030m (-$59k/-5%)
  • 626 Rosecrans: $772k (-$27k/-3%)

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