MB Market Update for 5/31/10, Sand

By Dave Fratello | June 10th, 2010
We've previously noted that the Sand Section was relatively slow – at least with SFR sales. So this time, as we look at the second half of May, it's good news to point out that the 5 sales (new escrows) in the beach areas made the Sand the busiest of the 3 subregions that MBC tracks.

Alas, a week into June (after the spreadsheets closed), one of those escrows – at 440 6th – flopped and the property returned to market. 

So that would tie the Sand with the Trees if we count only escrows that stuck, with 4 each.

We'll look first at new offerings (click for Sand actives <$2m, or actives >$2m):

  • 517 5th and 332 10th (pictured) were both flat walkstreet offerings that sold almost immediately. On 5th, it was a little cottage asking $1.699m (MBC discussed the home in "Flat Walkstreet Action"). On 10th, it was a newer (2000) custom Spanish offered at $3.399m.
332 10th (4br/5ba, 4115 sq. ft.) was last seen on the market in Summer 2008 at $3.999m, but it didn't sell then. Coming back here in 2010 at $3.399m, it was a short sale.
  • 3212 Vista (3br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is a "fixer" (per the listing) and an REO located off an alley on the plateau. Starts at $1.455m.
  • 133 6th (4br/4ba, 3575 sq. ft.) (pictured) is down by the water, nearly downtown, but up as high as you get on the 100 block. That means views, you know.
The early-90s custom home has a classic, almost European design, but it's going to feel dated inside for a lot of 2010 buyers. Starts at $3.750m.
  • 3116 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 3300 sq. ft.) offers big ocean views, yet tends toward the wacky, with a remodel of a 1940s home that's got odd angles, decor and that rarest of MB finds: an indoor tree. 
The virtual tour is a great way to see the home, with its strangely sincere, soulful, smooth soundtrack. Starts at $3.1m.
On the flipside, 2 listings quit the market, one of them notable simply because the seller had never appeared to be serious. 2920 The Strand (7br/7ba, 5675 sq. ft.) began at $12.5m in October last year, a 39% markup over its 2006 acquisition price of $9.0m. That, for a home with some virtues (location! size!) but plenty of issues, as discussed most thoroughly in our "Weekend Opens" review from late October. Hard to believe, but that listing ran nearly a full year, starting June 29 last year.

Among closed sales, there are few highlights (click here for the complete Sand Section SFR solds page):
  • 1200 The Strand surprised a lot of people by closing at $7.5m. Sure it's a fairly big (5br/5ba, 4350 sq. ft.) home on a sunny lot near the pier. But location cut both ways on this one – being near tourist central isn't all wine and roses. Moreover, the home itself desperately needs an update, maybe some layout fixes, and that'll cost ya. Let's see what the new owners do. 
Closed price at 1200 was 30% below the $10.7m start price from February this year, an overly ambitious start which had lasted 30 days.
  • 204 19th, once the home of ex-Dodger Derek Lowe, closed for $3.9m after 600+ DOM, a loss of $1.1m over the Aug. 2006 acquisition price. (See "Way Lowe-r.") Because the listing began back in 2008 with an attempted markup to $5.7m, the drop to its closed price 32%, just a bit steeper than the quicker drop at 1200 The Strand.
  • 3204 Vista (2br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) provided some kind of lesson in post-bubble flipping. Someone acquired the little 1950s box in Sept. 2008 for $835k and set about remaking it radically. 
The finished product is a wide-open contemporary that was offered fully – if sparsely – furnished. The buyer pool was always going to be limited. At $1.225m, last October's start price, there was no action.
Vista finally settled at $1.050m, a total markup of $215k before costs of sale (assume $50k or so), suggesting this was not a very profitable undertaking, even if it did spice up the neighborhood a bit.

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