Surprises Begin the Week

By Dave Fratello | March 8th, 2010
We head into the second week of March, and roughly the sixth week of a little rally in MB, with a couple of surprise sales and a couple listings returning to market after brief escrows.

Surprise in the Sand: 405 9th, a flat walkstreet lot sale (this little cottage will go), has a deal after just 6 weeks at $2.3m.

Let's not understate it: that price was much too high. In our recent "Sunday Opens" post, MBC took note of one comparable 2010 lot sale at $1.5m, and two other active listings with land values near that range and current prices near $1.7m.

So, 2.3?

That number gets curiouser: Look a tad further up 9th, and at 432 9th, a reasonably sized (4br/3ba, 2650 sq. ft.), sparkling remodel is in escrow after listing at $2.699m. (Even that seemed high, but we're now prepared to be shocked when 432 closes.) That's 2.7 for a whole house, ready to move in.

Well, 2.3 isn't going to happen. The buzz is that the deal on 405 9th is for less than $1.8m, which would be slightly high, instead of shoot-the-moon high. If the rumor's close, credit the buyers for punching in with a market-price offer early in the listing, and the sellers for relenting quickly on an overly ambitious start price.

In, Out & Off in the Trees: Buyers looking for a nice Tree Section lot will get another crack at 3104 Poinsettia, which had a deal last week but is back on market. The dirt's at $1.050m.

Not far away, someone has claimed 3001 Valley (3br/2ba, 1975 sq. ft.), an older home MBC described just last week as an offering with "all kinds of issues, from the speedway location to the overgrown yard to the obsession with blue, inside and out."

We noted, though, that "if you take a little vision to Valley, you get more land and more space than other entry-level homes." Priced at $995k, Valley lasted about 2 weeks, which is an eye-opener for a home requiring that much vision and tolerance.

Quitting the market was 3104 Maple, a sparkling, newer (2006) Spanish, which ran just 30 days at $2.349m.

New and already in escrow is 2314 John (John!), which tried to add something to the thin inventory in the sub-$1.5m range, but was immediately claimed. (Listing can be viewed via Redfin.) The 4br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft. home has an unusual design and tiny kitchen, but it was plenty nice for someone at $1.475m.

Comings & Goings in the Hills: The bank-owned, ocean-view Cape Cod home at 1026 Duncan has returned to market after a few days in escrow.

Recall that the home was purchased new in 2005 for $2.5m and hung around $2.4m or so for its first month this year. After a cut to $2.199m in late February, a buyer bit, but now it's back.

Meanwhile, a terrific home at 923 8th (we gushed in a late-January "Sunday Opens" post) has quit the market after 40 days of trying to sell, all spent at $3.599m. That takes a nice option off the table for the time being.

UPDATE: The closed sale discussed below was added a few hours after the initial posting.

Quick Sale, Quick Discount on Laurel: Here's another surprise: remember 3113 Laurel (5br/5ba, 3400 sq. ft.), the sparkling Cape Cod that launched in mid-January and became one of the year's first quick deals?

The fast sale (about 3 weeks on market) is no less impressive today, but now we see that the buyers took $175k off the top. Given the interest swirling around the house as soon as it hit, seeing that kind of chop from start is a modest surprise.

Laurel began at $2.195m, down somewhat from the $2.350m acquisition price of 3 years ago (March 2007).

The final sale has now posted at $2.025m, down -$325k/-14% from the previous sale.

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