south end

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We were a bit surprised recently to hear someone's surprise.

The surprise was at the recent sale of a large Mediterranean on a flat walkstreet at 401 4th (4br/5ba, 4450 sqft.).

List price: $4.500M. Sold price: $4.775M.

Sky high? Yes and no.

Sure, that's a lot of money for a house without substantial views, and a lot more than one might have paid on the walkstreets even two years ago. Still, it's utterly consistent with the trend in the South End. Maybe "low."

We're in a submarket where lots are selling in the 3's – more on that in a moment – and the two most recent sales of fully built homes occurred off-market and at much higher prices. Specifically:

Almost a year ago now, in December 2014, an off-market sale of 429 8th (4br/5ba, 4120 sq. ft.)

Five years after one of its most recent sales, a South End townhome is now on the market asking $1.100M more than its 2010 price. It's a whopping 68% appreciation over 5 years if they get their number.

We're looking at 301 2nd (3br/4ba, 2100 sqft.), an early-90s contemporary townhome with views down the 2nd St. walkstreet across Highland.

Sold in October 2010 for $1.625M.

Now asking: $2.750M.

Oh, and there was an interim sale on the way up the express elevator:

This TH sold in October 2013 for $1.930M.

A friend of MBC purchased this unit back in 2001 for $906K, which must have seemed like a lot at the time.

It was that owner's upgrades to the baths and kitchen that seem to prevail even today, after the 2010 sale.

So the two most recent owners have…

There's more data coming in on Sand Section lot values.

South of the pier, two neighboring lots were offered for a time together – one big $10 million plot of 5400 sqft. total.

It didn't work, so the lots wound up being sold separately.

The newest closing is at 229 4th St.

Asking $5.000M for a while, it's now a done deal at $4.800M.

It was just back in mid-August that the neighbor sold.

235 4th closed for $3.850M.

Both sales say a lot about dirt values... One at $1,425/PSF for the land alone, and one at $1,777/PSF for dirt.

Way back in May this year, while both lots were on the public market seeking buyers, MBC posed the question:

Is it worth $1M more to be one door west off of Highland?

And the answer turns out to be, basically, yes. Or at…

The received wisdom is: It's good to be the third agent.

The idea is that if there's a problem listing, a seller's resistance will be weakened and they might finally be ready for some cold advice by the time the third agent comes in to list the property.

At 501 Manhattan Ave., the least that can be said is that the third agent has benefited by having the seller make the biggest price cut on the property in 2015.

The property was first listed in November 2014 for a total of 11 days, asking $7.000M.

That wasn't going to happen. The smallish, original duplex is fine but the land value wasn't $7M, and the rental calculations certainly didn't pencil out at that number.

A new agent launched a new listing in 2015, $1M lighter at $5.999M and at a more optimal