MB Market Update for 8/31/07

By Dave Fratello | September 4th, 2007
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets are available for download by clicking here, or by using the link at the upper-right corner of the main MBC page. This and older updates are archived at our sister-site/data-dump, here.

The second half of August was quiet. Just 6 SFRs west of Sepulveda went into escrow (and stayed). Hard to believe: That’s better than the first half of August, by one.

For perspective, in each previous 2-week period since Spring, we’ve seen an average of 10 sales (new escrows), meaning about 20 per month. With 11 total in August, we’re running at half the pace of previous months this year.

Clearly a big headline: Despite voluminous inventory in the Tree Section above $2m, not a single home in that segment sold in August. There were 24-28 homes on public offer (MLS), depending on the day, and not one was taken. Consider the fact that there was recently a 25-day sales drought before the current one, and that a few new-construction homes are now up for rent. It’s hard to say anything but that this is a market segment in trouble.

Hill Section

There were 10 active SFRs as of Aug. 31.

Going: There were 2 sales (new escrows) since the last report, including one barely-completed bit of new construction at 1008 11th ($2.9m) that went immediately after posting to the MLS. The other sale was 637 6th, a gorgeous, newer, ocean-view corner-lot home – quintessential Hill Section ($3.899m).

Off of the MLS, there was one more big sale – 863 6th, a newer (2002) 4br, 6ba home with over 5,400 sq. ft., is said to have gone for $8.325m. Sellers paid $4.5m in April 2005, $3.8m less, so that’s 85% appreciation in 28 months. Wow.

Coming: New to the publicly listed crop is what seems likely to be a lot sale: 1012 Pacific is an unusually huge 12,000 sq. ft. lot; it can be yours for $3.8m. Also, returning since last report is 911 Duncan, which had gone on hold at while. Finally, we note that 811 Boundary is advertised this week in the Beach Reporter as a “new listing” with a big headline, but don’t believe it – this one was at 72 DOM as of Aug. 31.

Cutting: There was just one price reduction in the Hill Section in the latter half of August, but it was a big one. 512 John started in February at $4.45m, dropped a bit and shot up to $4.75m, but now it’s down $750k from there, at $100.00 short of $4m, priced $75k below what the sellers paid in February 2007.

Dropping out: The biggest news is the end (?) of 844 11th as an active listing. This was an ultra-modern remodel that logged very nearly 500 days on market, cut its list price by almost $500k, and still couldn’t find a taker at $2.7m. Don’t know if it’s been rented or the seller is just taking a break.

Also, we’re dropping 869 3rd from the update. It’s still for sale, but it was here and gone quickly from the MLS. We’ve noted before that 2 realtors bought it 3 years ago for $2.44m and were asking $4m. Does anyone else find it strange that realtors don’t want to use the MLS to sell their own house?

Sand Section

There are 22 active SFRs.

Adios: Two homes sold since the last report: 225 Moonstone, a smaller El Porto remodel at $1.295m went into escrow, and brand-new construction (almost complete) at 217 9th St. actually closed quite suddenly on the 31st after a rocky, on-and-off escrow that had us guessing it was back on the market to stay a while.

The listing language for 9th insisted that the “seller will not take less than asking price.” Lo, the seller did not take less. They got $3.35m, and that includes the $100k extra they tacked on in mid-July as completion neared. OK, great.

Bienvenidos: There are 6 new listings in the Sand Section, one at $1.5m (217 Sea View) and 5 over $2.5m. One of those, way over $2.5m, is 1212 The Strand, listed at $10.9m and rumored to be in escrow already at $10.7m.

Of the rest, the owners of 420 30th are looking to double their money – they paid $1.3m in April ’03, and now seek $2.58m for their 4br charmer on the plateau above Sand Dune Park. And the owners of 220 16th would go one better – they’re like to triple their money, seeking $2.99m now for their 25-year-old “contemporary” style walkstreeter, after paying a hair less than $1m about 100 years ago – no, no, it was 1996.

There’s also new construction at 228 29th Pl. ($3.049m) and a 2-yr.-old home on a lower walkstreet (great location), seeking $5m (224 31st); we don’t have purchase price info on that yet to draw a two-year comparison.

Corte, corte: We saw 6 price cuts (shown in bold on the spreadsheets), including another $100k off of the new one at 209 42nd (new, but 330 DOM), now down $401k since its pre-completion listing.

Saliendo: 209 19th, a nice remodel that had been around a little while (70+ DOM), last asking $3.85m, canceled.

Danos precios!: Our spreadsheets show 5 new closed sale prices from this period, including 209 41st (what’s with all the 209s?) closing at $1.69m (-$109k/-6%), and 225 1st at $1.900m (-$95k/-5%). The other three got more than their start prices513 21st, a teardown at $1.375m; 316 Highland, a beauty at $2.175m; and the aforementioned 217 9th.

Tree Section

There are 42 active SFRs, 14 under $2m and 28 above $2m.

Going: Two homes went into escrow in these 2 weeks: one of the newest listings, and least expensive (3504 Maple at $1.299m), and one of the least costly of the newer-vintage resale homes available (3200 Elm at $1.949m, built 2004).

We’re also aware of one under-the-radar (off MLS) sale of lovely new construction at 2603 Laurel, $3.75m. Oh, the joys of skipping the open market.

Quiet, too quiet: Notwithstanding 2603 Laurel, here we track active MLS listings, and none of those in the $2m+ market segment in the Trees has sold since July 31. (Last escrow was 2104 Palm at $3.3m.) That’s right, as we said above, the entire month of August came and went, with 24-28 homes listed in this segment, and not a single one sold.

Chops: There were 8 price cuts in the Trees, including $201k off the priciest of the group, 1718 Pacific (now $4.3m), and several cuts on new construction:
  • a second $100k cut at 2807 Elm (now $2.699m, still pushing it),
  • the second cut this month on 648 35th (now $2.345m, down $105k), and
  • $100k off 2105 Oak (now $2.199m), which is also for rent ($8,500/mo.).
Also, 2812 Elm, seemingly a charming, almost-large (2500 sq. ft.) remodel in a nice location, was forced to cut again to $1.649m. In two weeks, it will have been on the market a year (until 6 weeks ago, they hadn't made any cuts). Sellers paid not much more ($1.584m) in June ’05.

Final sales: Our spreadsheets have info on 7 closed sales in this period, many of which were discussed on MBC earlier.

To wit, 2804 Pacific helped redefine prices nearby by taking $1.42m for a 3br/3ba, 2050 sq.-footer; 1140 Laurel became the first of the 3 listings in the Arbolado Court area to sell ($1.535m, -$104k/-6%); and 2305 Pine got $75k more than they opened up at in February, closing at $1.57m after raising their price to $1.595m and lingering a bit.

In the upper bracket, 579 29th finally figured out a price that works ($2.25m, -$325k/-13%), while new construction at the dead-end of Walnut, er, at 927 27th, took $3.15m (-$135k/-4%).

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