Price Chops of the Year

By Dave Fratello | December 30th, 2007
It is looking like local home sales statistics for 2007 will show that the year was a bit slower than 2006, and definitely the slowest of this booming decade.

With the slowing market you see more and more cases of sellers – and agents, their advisers – getting list prices wrong. Sometimes, those beginning wish prices were quite far off from true market value.

Here are the biggest chops we’ve seen in Manhattan Beach in 2007. Keep in mind, these are cuts by folks who have actually made deals – bigger cuts may be on the horizon as other sellers get out of denial.

Hill Section

Top Chop: 108 S Dianthus (pictured), -$1.25m. This large (4br/6ba, 4550 sq. ft.), modern remodel with big ocean views was first offered in March 2006 at $4.5m. Thirteen months later, it closed for $3.25m, off 28% from initial asking price. (See "386 Days Later, A Sale.")

Runner-up: 512 John, -$950k. This Japanese-inspired modern home – a fully realized architectural vision built a few years ago in a great location – came on the market in Feb. 2007 at $4.449m. The price actually rose to $4.75m at one point, but it sold for $3.8m in October. (See "Cutting Losses on John.")

Sand Section

Top Chop: 1308 Manhattan Ave, -$750k. In what appears to be a lot sale in a cool location downtown, the sellers shot a little high in June 2006, seeking $2.85m for a 3000 sq. ft. patch of dirt. In October, it closed for $2.1m, down 26% from the start price.

Runner-up: 209 42nd (pictured), -$465k. New construction in El Porto (sorry, “North Manhattan Beach”) with 3br/4ba and 1950 sq. ft. that simply asked much too much, starting at $2.3m in a pre-completion listing. It crept down to $1.899m and closed for $1.835m in November. (See "Lucky 209s.")

Tree Section

Top Chop: 2807 Elm, -$799k. This home is lovely new construction (5br/5ba, 3550 sq. ft.) on a larger-than-normal lot that ultimately fetched $2.1m, down 28% from initial list. It’s almost unfair to give Elm top billing because the start price of $2.899m was blatantly excessive, and it came down consistently in $100k chunks to make up for that, with a sale finally closing in December. (See "Winner of the Race to $2.1m.")

Runners-up: 2104 Palm, -$650k; 2615 Valley (pictured), -$324k. Both of these homes were down 18% from their start prices. Palm was a large new home (5br/6ba, 4500 sq. ft.) that began at $3.675m and dropped to a hair over $3m. Valley was a 4br/4ba, 1950 sq. ft. remodel owned for just over 2 years by the sellers, who wished for $1.799m and got $1.475m. (See "Making It Happen (-$325k).")

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