Not Rewinding on 34th

By Dave Fratello | January 28th, 2011
In a trilogy, sometimes you get a different ending than you expected.

Over at 224 34th, we have yet another 2006 purchase that's hoping for a 2011 sale.

It's the third 2006 purchase we've covered this week, with 2 others being recent closed sales that came in 24% and 43% (yikes!) below their 2006 acquisition prices.

But at 224 34th, the sellers are thinking they've got a different story to tell.

Let's stipulate that this El Norte walkstreet home is big (4br/4ba, 3700 sq. ft.) and beautiful, thanks to a fairly recent remodel ("built by a perfectionist and impeccably maintained," per the listing). The ocean views are significant. (The listing pics are good, too – you notice the difference when someone puts in the effort.)

The main question we'll confront here – before a more detailed review for "Weekend Opens" tomorrow – is simply this: Can they get their 2006 price in a resale this year?

224 34th last traded off-market, back in Sept. 2006, for a price of... well, have you got a minute?

The buyers paid $2.925m, of that we're sure. Public records say so.

The MLS will tell you now that the home sold for $3.0m. That's because there were no buyer's agent commissions paid in '06. What would have been $75k in costs of sale/purchase were magically eliminated, but the MLS-reported value of the transaction still reflected the hypothetical doling-out of those commissions.

So, you see, the real price was $3.0m, less the altruistic contribution of whoever repped the buyer. (You want that person on speed-dial? Sorry, we don't see a name anywhere. We might guess it was the buyer or a family member, but you never know.)

We've been maddened by this price-inflation tactic before (see "The Mystery of 2310 Palm"), but let's put that aside for now.

OK, $2.925m, $3.0m, regardless – today's price is about the same: $2.999m to start.

Have El Norte walkstreets been immune from the hammer of the local RE decline in 2007-09?

Look basically across the street for one answer.

221 34th (5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) (pictured) was new construction in 2008 that wound up as MBC's deal of the year after a buyer grabbed the home, which launched at $5.4m, for $3.315m. (The deal closed in Jan. 2009.)

And then there's the neighbor to the subject property here, the Porsche party house.
228 34th (4br/4ba, 3450 sq. ft.), a pretty big remodel which launched in Sept. 2008 with a fanciful request for $3.999m, dropped to $3.6m with a "free" Porsche 911 convertible to be thrown in (value up to $145k), and quit this past Halloween at $2.999m. (More than 2 years on market.)

We're not saying either home is better or worse than 224 34th – just that there have been issues on the block.

Ocean views and a cool walkstreet in the heart of El Norte – did you know they're moving Sharkeez right up near the top of the block? – certainly will distinguish 224 34th from the location-challenged sales we focused on earlier this week.

But 2006 in 2011? That'd be quite a feat.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale