The Season Calls for Cuts

By Dave Fratello | September 16th, 2011
The post-Labor-Day period is the last burst, the last hurrah, whatever you want to call it, an abbreviated final selling season of the year before we reach holiday-season bargain-hunting.

Some sellers are just now jumping in, offering fresh stuff, but what if you've got a lingering listing?

Time to cut and send a message.

Here are a few doing just that:

337 16th
Hoping not to hit a full 1 year on the market, 337 16th (4br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.) made a new cut to $2.750m that represents the first time we've really looked at it and said, "hey, they're trying to sell, and it just might work."

As we noted last month in "Ocean Views for Less," 16th is on its third "not-yet-successful listing in 4 years," having begun back in March 2008 at $3.850m. (The current listing launched in Oct. 2010.)

It's taken this long – and quite a few intervening events in the world – for this one to come down more than a million from '08, but here we are, at last.

It's a plenty appealing home, very big, with a proper walkstreet layout downstairs – a chill room opening to the patio/walkstreet – a private location near everything, ocean views and a fairly modern feel. It's been plagued by price and the fact that homes that don't sell have a tendency not to sell. (Tautology alert!)

You like million-dollar chops? There's another one at 230 Anderson (5br/4ba, 6125 sq. ft.).

This one's a Hill Section beaut at one of the highest points you'll find in the Hills, with good views – of course.

But the custom home is so profoundly formal, with an elaborate "French Mediterranean" style (per the listing), that it seeks a buyer with exceedingly similar taste. They're out there, in the world. The challenge is drawing them to this particular little castle in Manhattan Beach.

Around Thanksgiving last year, this looked like a $5.5m home. Now it's a $4.5m home. So they were off by a mil. It happens.

Now let's scale things down a bit.

What would you say if we offered you a home that has now made a cut so shocking, it's 1,000 times the price cut that the seller previously made?

1,000 times greater?!? That's a big cut.

Wait, is this a trick?

462 36th Place
The new $50k cut at 462 36th Place (2br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) literally qualifies as 1,000 times the last cut, which was a paltry 50 bucks.

We had nearly endless fun with that $50.00 cut in "Inside a Tiny Cut." Though we were tempted now to reprise that post with a "script" explaining the misunderstanding – "I didn't say 50 bucks, I said 50K!" – we're also leery of jumping the shark on this particular, strange property.

So we'll stop short by noting that it's up now at $849k, not so far above the $825k acquisition price from Aug. 2008, before a stated $150k in renovations were undertaken. (We believe it; they made a mess into a livable house – see our review from late May.)

This is already a clear case of the seller "donating the renovations." If we get much further in 2011 on this one, you could see a rewind well below the '08 acquisition. Wow.

Looking to (yet) another long-running listing, is 2610 Pacific (5br/5ba, 3225 sq. ft.) going to sell this year?

The newer (2003) home on a busy street was purchased for $2.1m in Sept. 2005 and has been a rental for 6 years. It's now newly at $1.625m, basically -$500k (-24%) from then.

This has worked out as an abominable investment, but the important question is where it becomes a workable deal now for buyers.

Previously, the seller seems to have expressed frustration with failed listings by renting the property out again. Is this time different?

We'll close with the city's highest-priced and most-overpriced listing.

Raze Me: 2020 & 2016 The Strand
It's 2020/2016 The Strand, a unique double-lot offering on a great part of The Strand.

This one launched at $30m in January, to which the logical reaction was: Huh?

Scarcity is the factor here, folks. Two lots in a prime Strand location? Where else are you going to find those?

The package is now down $5m+ to $24.9m. It's the biggest cut, by far, we have to discuss here.

But looming over this double-lot offering are the 2009 sales at 204 & 208 The Strand, which were offered separately, but purchased together.

Total sale prices of the 2 lots: $12.8m ($6.1m for 204 and $6.7m for 208).

As you pass by this southernmost part of The Strand these days, you see a well-developed, double-lot construction project at 204/208 (206?). It'll be a huge beauty competing with the neighboring triple-lot beauty, 212 The Strand. (See "Big, Beautiful, Too Much?")

The pretty recent double-lot purchase down south at 204/208 The Strand was for just 51% of the current asking price at 2020/2016.

So despite the cuts of $5m to date, don't you think there's more to come?

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