Speedy Speckie May Hit $2M

By Dave Fratello | April 11th, 2013

There is a lot of construction going on around MB. It's hard to miss.

Most of it is custom work for owner-users. There are some spec builds here and there, typically higher-end, but they're spread out. There's not one big source of financing out there driving a full wave of new construction, as we have seen in past years.

But there is one unabashed set of speculative builds out there, a group of homes that – back in 2011 – actually brought back the idea of spec construction to MB, after about 4 years without new projects breaking ground.

One of those has now posted a deal at a list price that is the highest for the whole crop of spec homes by the same builder. That's 1605 Pine, a 5br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft. home on a smallish, 4250 sq. ft. lot. (Pictured here.)

We've seen this one on the market before, from Sept. 2011-March 2012, at $1.799M. The listing quit and the property rented out.

1605 Pine came back last week at $1.899M, and now has a deal, which was posted at the same time as a price increase to $1.999M.

We have to go way back to April 2011 for MBC's first post about this string of homes, which we dubbed the "Speedy Speckies" due to the breathtaking speed of the startup on the first 5 or 6 homes. (See "Speedy Speckies Sprout.") It was like an assembly line as that first set got built, with demo, foundations and framing accomplished almost overnight at several sites.

As it happened, "speedy" was also how they completed the homes, just a few months from bulldozer to certificate of occupancy.

In May 2011, the first speckie, 2516 Pine, listed at $2.2M, to giggles. There hadn't been a $2M+ sale of a typical spec home in the Tree Section in more than 2 years at that point. The price quickly changed to $2M and the listing was soon joined by 5 others by the same builder.

Quick Tree Section spec history note: We count 1901 Walnut as the last $2M+ "typical" spec home of the last cycle, selling for $2.150M in Feb. 2009; 2103 Elm shot for $2.2M afterward but went down to $1.9M in June 2009. A prime spec on a prime street, with a large lot, at 2401 John, sold for $2.275M in Dec. 2009.

So here's what has gone down with each of the Speedy Speckies that we have tracked so far:

  • 2516 Pine (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) (pictured here) was the first one to launch. It had a Caliterranean style typical of most of these. It sold for $1.775M in Feb. 2012, several months after first hitting the MLS.
  • 2600 Pine (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.), in a "colonial" rather than Caliterranean style, sold in March 2012 for $1.799M.
  • 2610 Maple (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) sold in Sept. 2012 for $1.899M, the highest price to date for any of these homes.
  • 3613 Maple (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) sold for $1.599m in March 2012, the lowest price among these similar 5/5/3200 homes.
  • 1605 Pine (5br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft.), as noted above, ran part of 2011-12 at $1.799M, quit and rented out, and now is newly in escrow, listed at $1.999M.
  • 1601 Pine (5br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft.), also a "colonial," listed for part of 2011-12 at $1.799M down to $1.749M, quit and rented out.
  • 2600 Oak (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) listed 6 months in 2012 at $1.799M down to $1.699M, returned for a bit in 2013 at $1.699M, quit and rented out. (2600 Oak pictured here.)
  • 807 Boundary Place (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) listed from July-October 2012 from $2.199M down to $1.999M, quit and rented out.
  • 1021 33rd (5br/3ba, 3600 sq. ft., on an unusual, 7000+ sq. ft. triangular lot) listed in mid-December 2011 at $1.699m, raised the price to $2.1m, and ultimately sold off-market for $1.500M in May 2012. (See our post on the sale.)

One of the unifying factors among all these speedy speckies was the very low lot values that prevailed at the time most of the land was acquired for the projects. Lots were purchased for about $800K in many cases, $700K in one case. We'll all look back at the time when Tree Section lots were that far under $1M with a nostalgic feeling.

The same crew is also bringing out 1768 1st St. (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft. on a 6225 sq. ft. lot), almost the last lot on the block of 1st St. in East MB before Aviation. Its asking price, pre-completion, recently jumped from $1.799M to $1.999M. (Bullish!)

And we have a feeling that's not the last of the bunch we'll see. Why would it be? They're defying the naysayers, and starting to rake.

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