MB Market Update for 9/15/07

By Dave Fratello | September 20th, 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. Information in this update closed Sept. 15. This and older updates are archived at our sister-site/data-dump here.

Quick note on a new feature: As readers may have already noticed in recent days, MBC is providing links to active listings via Redfin, which has recently expanded into Southern California. Previously we could not reliably, directly link to individual properties, so this is a nice development. Just about any day on the blog where we write about a home, a live link will appear with info via Redfin.

The first half of September in our west-of-Sepulveda region was distinguished by big-dollar sales. Out of 7 SFRs west of Sepulvda to go into escrow (and stay), 5 were priced above $3m. The full tally:
  • Hill: 512 John ($3.99m), 1012 Pacific ($3.8m)
  • Sand: 217 Sea View ($1.520m), 216 2nd (under construction, 1 DOM, $4.699m), 1212 The Strand ($10.9m)
  • Trees: 717 31st ($3.379m), 737 36th ($1.645m)
Because of the way median prices are calculated, the median price for the month thus far is $3.8m.

Meanwhile, inventory remains level at 75 SFRs west of Sepulveda. Looking at these by section:

Hill Section

There are 9 active SFRs, a recent low even for this low-inventory region.

There were two sales (new escrows) in this period: the oft-discussed 512 John (see here for the most recent piece and links); current estimate is that the seller could lose $300k. Meanwhile, 1012 Pacific appears to be a big-dollar lot sale at $3.8m for a 12,000 sq. ft. lot.

We saw one closed sale price come through, on 637 6th, at $3.625m, down $274k (-7%) from asking at just 47 DOM. As we said previously, these folks meant to sell. They walked with $500k.

There was one price reduction, at 811 Boundary (click for details via Redfin), now at $2.399m (-$200k/-8%) and 87 true DOM (they pulled a bogus re-list with the new price).

Other re-lists without new prices:

844 11th (click for details), which we had just taken off our list, had MBC fooled (but only temporarily!), now at 505 true DOM. Also, 869 3rd (click for details), for sale since July 30, but off the MLS a few weeks, came back at zero DOM, and with no figure in the record for “combined days on market” (CDOM), the field realtors look at to get the "truth" about a listing's history. Tsk, tsk!

Sand Section

There are 22 active SFRs.

We have two new listings, similarly sized and similarly priced:
  • 2008 Highland (4br/3ba, 2350 sq. ft., $2.295m), a newer, clean, modern.
We also saw three sales (new escrows), including the biggest we’ve seen, 1212 The Strand, listed at $10.9m (seller paid $4.9m in May 2002). Also going was 217 Sea View at $1.520m, notable because the home was prominently pitched as an opportunity for a lease-option purchase. And 216 2nd, under construction next to an alley (er, it's called "Bayview") above Manhattan Ave., popped up in escrow at $4.699m.

505 3rd, which MBC has called "a head-scratcher", among other things, which has been seeking $1.949m for an uninspiring, tired home with no yard, went into and out of escrow for at least the second time since June. (And once again responded to the bad news with a bogus re-list.) Sellers paid $1.6m two years ago (Sept. 2005) and would appreciate a profit, if that can be worked out.

We also added 1312 Manhattan Ave. to the escrows, though it happened some weeks ago and we just hadn’t recorded it – possibly a lot sale (the listing pitched it as such), last at $2.5m, over 400 DOM.

We got two closed sale prices:
  • 224 25th, a listing that began in February 2006 at $2.995m, and was on and off the MLS, closed for $2.685m, down $310k (-10%). Not bad, considering.
  • 440 6th, a walkstreet corner lot, went super-quick and above asking (but of course it did!), taking $2.050m despite seeking $1.899m.
There were three price reductions: -$5k at 4104 Highland ($1.610m) [sorry, we just can't bear the location], -$34k at 117 Highland ($1.365m), and an intriguing -$100k on new construction at 228 29th Pl ($2.949m), on market less than 30 days.

Tree Section

There are 44 active SFRs, with 16 below $2m and 28 above $2m.

We have three newbies:
  • 3013 Oak, on the small side at 3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft., but completely updated, seeks $1.349m. We must admit, this is a decent location on Oak, in that there’s little through traffic with Ardmore at the northern end of the block. This one was in escrow briefly within a week, but it came back.
  • 725 12th is a clean remodel, quite small at 3br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft., and currently a rental, seeking $1.4m. MBC feels certain this was on the market and sold last year, but we see no record of it.
  • 605 36th is vacant and pretty tired, just one house off of Blanche, but with some updates and some charms, 4br/3ba, 2450 sq. ft., seeking $1.559m.
We saw two sales (new escrows): new construction at 717 31st ($3.379m), pictured and discussed here, and Peter Brady's old house at 737 36th ($1.645m). That one had been on the market for more than a year – don't you love how it sold within 10 days of a mention on MBC?

Reduction time again: Nine of our 44 listings took cuts this time, none bigger than the new construction at 570 27th, which dropped from $3.75m to $3.3m, making the total reduction since it came on the market (at $3.899m) a whopping $600k.

We also had one cancellation, 2622 Pacific, a listing that always struck MBC as not all that serious.

Closed sales tell an interesting story. Three out of 7 got more than their listing prices (2559 Valley, 3108 Poinsettia and 858 14th), the last a teardown.

The big news is 2104 Palm, new construction (5br/6ba, 4500 sq. ft.) that took $650k less (-18%) than the initial asking price of $3.675m. It closed at $3.025m.

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