Strand Beguiling for Some

By Dave Fratello | July 21st, 2011
On occasion of a new deal and one big new price cut, it's time for another look at The Strand.

We really can't set the scene much better than we did in our last update a month ago:

The year 2011 has seen some big-dollar trades on The Strand, and a little too much kool-aid passed around among other would-be Strand sellers. Overpricing is like an epidemic at the beach.
As the air warms Summer takes hold, you still see signs of that "epidemic." An unusually clogged Strand has seen relatively little action, despite growing inventory. But you get the sense that things might be about to start really moving, and we could have a whole different Strand assortment by Labor Day.

First, let's review what actually has sold on The Strand this year:

2920 The Strand
2908 The Strand (now newly in escrow), listed at $8.395m. This is an oversized lot (4550 sq. ft.) where most of the value is, in fact, in the land. The current structure, which bears a 1931 build date but has been added onto extensively and, in fact, is pretty clean and livable (5br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.), is more of an add-on to the deal. If you assume Strand lots (often 3300 sq. ft.) are about $6m (before adjusting for various factors), this one was basically priced right at land value.

1600 The Strand is the year's top sale in MB if you go by the MLS alone, with the 80s architectural modern fetching $10.9m in April. Next: a pricey remodel. (Bonus: Here's a gratuitous link to the "sexy" video that helped sell it.)

1800 The Strand
1800 The Strand is literally the year's top Strand sale, having traded off-market for $12.25m in March.

416 The Strand is a duplex that also traded off-market, netting $6.5m in a deal recorded in February.

1012 The Strand is a spiffy Spanish triplex near the pier that sold (and was publicly reported) for $5.895m in February.

3516 The Strand
3516 The Strand is the grandiose spec Tuscan in the far north that finally sold for $7.3m in May, nearly half off its start price from early 2009.

It's probably the deal of the year for MB despite the big pricetag, just considering the presumed lot value and the extra dollars heaped into the star-crossed spec build. There's still half a year left for someone to beat it, though – but 3516 will belong on any list.

So that's the good news from The Strand this year – more limited than you might expect.

The hard cases so far have been:

3112 The Strand
3112 The Strand, which began at $6.9m in December 2010 and has now cascaded to a $5.499m list price. As the champion of Strand delusions for 2011, the listing is now giving way under pressure (one observer says "they've cracked") and may sell under market value – or at least what some assumed its market value to be.

3308 The Strand (technically 3309 Ocean) launched at $6.590m and remains at $6.2m. The 1950s beach home on the property is interesting, but mainly this has to be a lot-value sale. The gap between this one and 3112 has widened, but the best strategy for 3308 may be to wait and see how that one wraps up, rather than chase it down.

2504 The Strand
2504 The Strand is a dated if "modernistic" home that began at $7.190m in March (delusions were rampant then), and has adjusted a bit to $6.490m. That's still a pretty penny for a 2-unit property that needs help, and you may see lot buyers more interested – when and if the price adjusts.

1712 The Strand isn't much like the others, a newer (2008) home that's very sharp but laid out more as a vacation home, with 2 bedrooms on the lowest level, and 3 more on top above the living spaces. (It was actually listed as a 3br home in its initial offering in 2009.)

1712 has been offered for 3 months at $11.0m, a noteworthy request for a $2m markup over the $9.0m acquisition price not long ago (March 2009).

2920 The Strand is almost always available, it seems, having been offered nearly continuously since June 2009 (with some re-listing along the way). The 4513 sq. ft. corner lot is most comparable to 2908 The Strand, the very first property mentioned in this story, with the difference being that 2908 was priced at land value (and sold!) while 2920 keeps seeking some kind of premium for its corner and the home itself.

The sellers recently acknowledged that the home needs a major reworking – they had an architect reimagine the house and have posted the video – but the price hasn't been adjusted to reflect that revelation. Still at $10.995m.

2016/2020 The Strand is the double lot that had been up at $30m for 5 months and now seeks $27m, the rarity of a double lot being the prime draw and rationale for that stratospheric price.

The question, increasingly, is when the northern Strand may start moving again. 2908 The Strand is the first action in a while. Meantime, how long will the south end remain quiet?

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