Recent Closings

By Dave Fratello | May 7th, 2009
We're trying to tie up a few loose ends on the end-of-April market update spreadsheets, but meantime here are some noteworthy recent closed sales:
  • 224 7th (5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) is a new Cape Cod down in the South End, originally priced at $5.695m. After almost 5 months, in swept a buyer for a quick sale at $4.9m.
That's serious money for a beautiful new house near downtown, but it will send a little shudder through similarly priced listings that aren't new.

This sale calls to mind 200 19th, also a new Cape Cod that hit the market in early 2008 and sold in March of that year for $5.6m. (See "High/Low Prices for 2008.")

The 7th St. listing was obviously priced with 19th as a reference point, but came down 12% from that year-ago price.
  • 1608 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3625 sq. ft.) is a 1990 build on a corner lot near Pacific School. MBC mentioned it in "Three to See in the Trees" back in January as both the biggest and (relatively) newest of a selection of homes within a small radius that were intriguing.
This one was an as-is short sale, originally asking $1.799m starting last August, making one deal near $1.6m that failed and closing late in April for $1.530m.

Can you beat $422/PSF for a very decent Tree Section home?
  • Someone did – by a nit – at 2909 Elm. They grabbed this comparably sized 1991 build for $420/PSF, a total of $1.450m for 5br/4ba, 3450 sq. ft.
Here at MBC, we're obligated to close a loop we began in February with "2 Years and $1.3m Later..." by pointing out that this closed sale price is down nearly 50% from the $2.8m start price from Dec. 2006.

Yes, there was a fairly obvious problem with that start way-back-when...
  • Mild by comparison is the closed price at 1829 Poinsettia, when compared against its start.
Now (sold): $1.189m.

Then (start, May 2007): $1.785m.

-$596k (-33%).
This listing was apparently shooting for records. The little Craftsman-inspired remodel (3br/2ba, 1450 sq. ft.) was constantly available from May 2007 till March of this year, about 650 DOM.
Lesson I: One way to maximize your DOM is to shockingly overprice your property.
Lesson II: It's also a great way to chase the market down and get less. (Rumors of offers in the $1.5m being rejected early on.)
Incredibly, 1829 Poinsettia was the subject of MBC's very first pricing poll – in January 2008. Even then, the listing was 7 months old.

As our results story shows, the home's price at the time at $1.575m was viewed with contempt by most voters. The most bearish 33% called for a closed price of less than $1.250m.

Uh-oh, they were right.

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