Trees Lose 2 Over 3

By Dave Fratello | April 8th, 2010
There are never many Tree Section homes priced over $3m, and suddenly there are 2 fewer.

Two new(er) homes by the same builder have made deals almost simultaneously, leaving only one Tree Section listing above $3m – 645 12th ($3.395m), and that one purports to be a Sand Section home. (Not to beat a dead horse, but see "When Maps Collide" for more.)

The new deals:
  • 529 18th (5br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft.) was the DOM champ – meaning the "Long[est] in the Tooth" for all of MB WOS – as of late February, at 531 DOM. Upon finding a buyer, it was up to 574 DOM.
The home's got huge square footage (5600+), some great details, and a location on one of the great Martyrs area streets. That combination helps explain why the listing began at $4.279m.
It was down nearly $1m to $3.399m recently.
You can call the home new construction, but September 2008 – when the listing began – was a long time ago, plus... someone's been living in the home for a while. That has worn down the otherwise valuable caché of "new."
The 6250 sq. ft. lot was purchased for the robust price of $2.1m October 2006 (can you say "peak"?), with construction loans totaling $2.9m by Aug. 2007. The loans went into default in January this year, adding some urgency, one presumes, to the sale.
  • 768 31st (5br/4ba, 5200 sq. ft.) isn't quite as large, but boasts a location on one of the signature, great streets of the MB Trees. 
It may be the last big, special spec home from this past cycle to get built or sold in any kind of prime location in the Trees. 
The big Cape Cod was first offered last August at $3.775m, and MBC got wind of the sellers rejecting a near-immediate offer around $3.5m.
Now 7 months later, the public price was at $3.499m, so we'll see soon how close that rumored early offer turned out to be to market value.
Even after these sales (new escrows), most Tree Section inventory remains priced above $1.5m, meaning there's plenty to be worked off at the higher end for the area. But this is a start, and good evidence that even some of the older inventory has a chance this Spring.

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