New Walkstreet Markups

By Dave Fratello | March 29th, 2011
Looks like we could spend a good chunk of the week discussing various walkstreet homes and the extra money they're seeking now.

This week there's one bogus re-list price increase with a clock reset at 224 34th (4br/4ba, 3700 sq. ft.), which has been on public offer since January.

We took note of the listing when it was new because it's a 2006 (peak-year) purchase looking for a 2011 resale for slightly more than was paid 5 years ago. (See "Not Rewinding on 34th.") If they were to pull that off, it'd be some kind of news, with most resales these days closer to 2004 prices.

Here's the recent history:
  • Aug. 2006 sale price (public records): $2.925m
  • Sept. 2006 sale price (MLS): $3.000m (inflated for reporting purposes because buyer's agent did not take a commission)
  • Jan. 2011 start price: $2.999m
  • Mar. 29 re-list price: $3.089m (+$90k/+3%)
They were already bullish up in this particular part of El Norte, and now they're 3% more bullish.

Whatever's going on with the pricing, we did call the home a "treat," noting that it was "completely redone – down to the studs – in 2003, and inside it still feels sharp and unique." We also said:

There's a lot more house tucked behind that modest façade than you may expect. Great ocean views, a terrific master with a little enclosed patio (now a mini-gym), a spacious kitchen/great room combo. It's a delight.
We have no indication, though, that there were any changes made after the 2006 purchase, so this looks like a case of sellers viewing the beach-adjacent walkstreets – even those up north – as having held value better from the peak till now than most anyplace else.

Come just a bit further south to 212 24th, and you have a different situation.

At 24th, the main value is in the land, an unusual 3400 sq. ft. lot whose position and orientation allow for better design options and, very likely, better and less blockable views than similarly located walkstreet lots.

The dated – if somewhat charming – 1930s duplex now on site could be redone creatively. But it's easy to see the structure submitting to the 'dozers and something large and grand replacing it.

The lot's appeal was apparent just last year. Listed on Oct. 6, 2010, the home was posted in escrow by Oct. 12, a nearly immediate deal. Closed price in Nov. 2010: $2.985m (public records).  

Turns out the new owner has had a change in plans, despite having mapped out an ambitious remodel, and the property's back on offer.

New price: $3.399m, a markup of $414k (+14%) after no time at all 5 months.

You know what we'd usually say here. Something like: What's That, Farley?

But sit back with a tall glass of kool-aid, and the argument for scarcity/uniqueness resonates, as does the fact that there were multiple parties interested last time, and the world hasn't changed much since.

On this one, we won't bet against there being quick interest again, whatever that start price says. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were surprised that an overpriced walkstreet lot had made a quick deal? Let's not make that mistake again.

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