MB Market Update for 4/30/08, Hills

By Dave Fratello | May 3rd, 2008
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are available: download the 4/30/08 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 30.

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

Total SFR inventory west of Sepulveda was at 107 on April 30, +11 from the middle of the month and +10 from the end of March, yet another new record in our year-plus of public market tracking. (See "Climb, Climb" for our 1-year inventory graph.)

Overall, in April we recorded 31 new listings, 17 sales (new escrows) and 9 cancellations, including a few listings that have been "on hold" a while that we now treat as canceled.

Those 17 sales (new escrows) compare with these figures for 2008 thus far (of course, these are for SFRs west of Sepulveda):

2008 Sales (New Escrows) by Month
Jan: 8
Feb: 19
Mar: 12
Apr: 17
For comparison's sake, last year, MBC recorded 23 sales (new escrows) in the month of April.

Note that the March figure for this year was previously reported as 13, but we know 2005 Oak fell out of escrow (it's back on the market now), so we've subtracted 1. We also heard that 1821 Walnut canceled while in escrow – which could mean it's failed, too – but since it has not returned to the market, we're still counting it as a March sale for now.

Hill Section

There were 19 active SFRs in the Hill Section on April 30.

There were 4 new listings in this 2-week period (as always, click on any highlighted address for details via Redfin):
  • 511 N. Dianthus, a 3br/2ba "entry level" house with 1900 sq. ft. It's clean, but shows its 1960s vintage – not much style nor many substantial updates. It's on a smallish 3250 sq. ft. lot which somehow has room for a large, very sweet garden with koi pond. Starts at $1.429m.
  • 312 S. Dianthus (pictured) is an early-90s Spanish-inspired home with 5br/5ba, 4475 sq. ft. and ocean views. It's got a roofdeck, which we do like, but a vintage 90s feel, which we don't love. Check out the pics – there are some real head-scratchers (strange mantles abound; the formal dining room appears to be outfitted with two desk chairs). Well, these are things you can fix or update after you move in. Starts at $3.490m.
  • 918 10th offers the same living-space profile as 312 S. Dianthus, 5br/5ba, 4475 sq. ft., but with a lesser location and no ocean views. The lot's larger, however (9000 sq. ft.). This all balances out at an asking price $250k below Dianthus – $3.2m. Not on the MLS at this writing; click here for the website.
  • 864 11th (pictured) is a large (5br/5ba, 3775 sq. ft.) family home on a lot of nearly 8000 sq. ft. Pluses: Nice great room, updated kitchen & master bath, a garage in the back corner of the property, a decent yard.
Start price seems quite high at $3.35m, considering the other, larger new offerings mentioned above, and the fact that a somewhat comparable, yet larger (by 700 sq. ft.), home at 916 9th recently went into escrow priced at $2.895m (and that took several months of trying).
Just 2 price cuts this round: 1100 John took $60k off and is now at $1.199m, while the house up at 923 1st, which once sought to be an $8m house, chopped $220k more and now rests a hair below $7.4m. Has it finally found its price? Nah, we didn't think so, either.

We are keeping another listing on the spreadsheets for one more period – the very quiet 724 11th, which never made much of a splash after its late-February entry and has now been on hold for a while. We'll treat it as canceled shortly if it doesn't come back as active.

No new sales (new escrows) or closed sales in this period. A submarket that MBC dared to declare "En Fuego" (with some knowing exaggeration) in mid-April based on 3 sales in the first half of the month has quieted down again, just building inventory in this 2-week period.

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