MB Market Update for 4/15/08, Hills

By Dave Fratello | April 20th, 2008
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are available: download the 4/15/08 update by clicking here, or at any time by using the link at the upper-right corner of the main MBC page. Information in this update closed April 15.

We now split up the discussions of our 3 areas west of Sepulveda into separate articles. You can download the complete spreadsheet now or at any time. Articles on the Sand Section and Tree Section will follow.

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 96 on April 15, -1 from the end of March. How's that?, you may ask. Inventory dropping?

In this 2-week period, we saw 11 new listings and 9 sales (new escrows), so we would be +2 on inventory, but cancellations make up the difference (2 in the Trees, 1 in the Sand). That's a rough balance overall in this period, not a continuation of the trend of the first many weeks of 2008. (See "Inventory Swelling.") That said, several new homes hit the market after our spreadsheet closed Tuesday; more on that this week.

Those of you who were finding the Sand Section spreadsheets increasingly difficult to read due to rising inventory there (yes, we read all emails) will be relieved to see that we've added a third page to the Sand report. Just as we do with the Tree Section, we have one sheet with homes priced below $2m and one with those priced above $2m – the bulk of Sand Section SFRs. For now, sales in the Sand Section are reflected on a single sheet.

Let's take a look at activity in the first half of April in one region, the Hill Section.

Hill Section

There were 15 active SFRs on April 15.

Two new listings came on in this period:
  • 930 John (pictured), offering 5br/6ba and 5400 sq. ft. and starting at $4.995m. It's what you expect in a grand Hill Section home, except for the views – not ocean, but city, since the home faces north and west.
  • 943 9th, a 7500 sq. ft. lot that may well have been underpriced at $1.6m, for it was gone in 3 days. (See "Action on 9th.")

There were 3 sales (new escrows), an unusual turn of events in a low-inventory, low-turnover area (see "Hills En Fuego"). One sale was the lot at 943 9th and the others were:
  • 916 9th (pictured), often referenced here as a favorite. It offers 5br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft. and one terrific great room/back yard combo, so complete and spacious as to mock Tree Section pretenders on narrower, shallower lots. (For more, see our review in "A Modest +50% in the Hills.") This one began last year at $3.275m and was last at $2.895m (-$380k/-12%).
  • 811 Boundary, often referenced here because it had been for sale for 9 months. Boundary began last June at $2.599m and was last at $2.099m. The sellers paid a bit less than $1.8m in Sept. 2004.

There were 3 price cuts, including:

  • 815 2nd (pictured), a new home that began at $4.795m in February, has now cut $300k to $4.495m; and
  • 612 11th, the dated home on the "flag lot" purchased last May for $1.275m, offered anew this year for $1.599m.Now $200k has been chopped and it's at $1.399m, still +$124k/+10% over last year (see our review at "Flag It As Overpriced.")

Finally, an unremarkable home in a challenged location at 1019 11th, which had a recent, flat pricing history, sold for a bit less than its July 2005 price. Here's the recent sale history:
  • July 2004: $1.150m
  • July 2005: $1.165m
  • Apr. 2008: $1.110m

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