MB Market Update for 5/15/09, Sales and Inventory

By Dave Fratello | May 21st, 2009
The new MB Market Update Spreadsheets are available for download now by clicking here or, at any time, by using the link in the upper-right corner of the front page. Information in this update closed May 15.

We've got to begin this update by saying huzzah and "well done" to the Tree Section, which saw 9 sales (new escrows) in the first half of the month. These included the removal of 5 speckies from the market, with varying lengths of stay on the MLS – from under 100 DOM to more than a year.

Of the 11 total sales in this period among SFRs west of Sepulveda, 3 of them – including one of the Tree Section speckies – were bank-owned properties. That's the first time we've written a sentence like that in 2-plus years of public market tracking.

For all that activity, though, new listings still outpaced those coming off the market. MBC recorded 18 new listings hitting the market in this 2-week period, plus another briefly vanished listing (617 6th) that returned.

Inventory overall wound up at 155 at mid-month, back to the highest level we've recorded, equal to the number at the end of March. (See "Inventory Recedes a Bit," from mid-April, for a graphic.)

Inventory broke down this way by sub-region as of May 15:
Hill: 39
Sand: 63
Trees: 53
Since the sales activity was so interesting, let's focus there today.

"Two New REOs" were the subject of one early-May story, while another bank-owned property snuck onto the market in late April. All sold quickly:
  • 958 Rosecrans (2br/1ba, 975 sq. ft., 6000 sq. ft. lot) (pictured) had sold for as much as $977k in Summer 2006 before going back to the bank. Offered this month for $649,900.
  • 543 24th (3br/2ba, 1225 sq. ft.) is a little cottage in the gaslight area, needful of repair, but priced nicely at $891k and drawing multiple, multiple offers.
  • 2504 Poinsettia (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) was a different kind of Tree Section speckie, with a sort of Asian contemporary flair and dormlike basement bedrooms. It began last May at $2.499m, failed, went to the bank and returned at $1.659m, which worked.
Meanwhile, look at the other Tree Section new construction that cleared out:
  • 2103 Elm (5br/4ba, 3100 sq. ft.) (pictured) wasn't crazily overpriced to begin in January, at $2.199m; after 100+ DOM and just $100k off the list, it found a buyer;
  • 3404 Pine (5br/5ba, 3250 sq. ft.) was more of a counterexample, beginning a year ago (4/21/08) at $2.45m, chopping to $1.975m before making a deal; [UPDATE: 3404 Pine closed for $1.895m shortly after this story was posted]
  • 3109 Oak (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.), a beauty with a location challenge, was optimistic last October at $2.329m, and had cut to $1.899m by the time there was a knock at the door; and
  • The Fisher Queen, 1208 Fisher (4br/4ba, 4750 sq. ft.), perhaps the nicer of two bold new moderns with ocean views just up a hill from Metlox (see "The Fisher King (& Queen)"), had chopped $1m from its start at $4.995m but made a match.
The remaining sales (new escrows) were:
  • 2600 Poinsettia (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) (pictured), a newer (2000) home with lush, custom details and a sweet back yard; the listing had cut from $1.899m to $1.569m;
  • 1817 Pacific (5br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.), a ravable, newer (2005) home that was priced below acquisition – $1.925m in April 2005, this year: $1.799;
  • 2300 Laurel, a lot sale on a corner, last at $1.279m; and
  • 333 3rd (4br/3ba, 2750 sq. ft.) in the South End, which actually made a deal last month but just made the spreadsheets; tried last year at $1.999m and came back this year at $1.7m.
Taking a look at closed sales in this period, a few are worth special mention:
  • 620 9th (pictured), a big, if rehab-worthy, ocean-view home near downtown featured in "Low on the Hill" wound up closing close to its $2.199m start, at $2.123m; interestingly, after one failed escrow, the home's square footage dropped to 3681 from 4500, putting the final PPSF of $577/PSF well above a similar remodel-to-be nearby at 755 11th ($481/PSF);
  • 3404 The Strand, a custom, but dated, Spanish-style home on a 3500 sq. ft. lot got $5.35m, down 31% from its first asking price (see "Strand Adjustments");
  • 2616 Highland (4br/4ba, 2400 sq. ft.) closed a nick below its May 2005 acquisition price; then: $2.0m, now: $1.975m; and
  • 3413 Pacific (5br/6ba, 3400 sq. ft.) sold short for $1.687m, the second Tree Section newbie to go for less than $500/PSF this year (the other being 2829 Valley); that was a cool -$408k/-19% from start (see "Can't Fight the Future No More").

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