Wiping Out $800k West of Highland

By Dave Fratello | December 6th, 2011
Look around the post-bubble world of real estate, and you should not be shocked to find huge drops in value.

A fifth. A quarter. A third. Tens upon tens, or hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Las Vegas? Sacramento? Moreno Valley? Oh yeah.

West of Highland, MB? Not so much.

But there's this one case.

It's 233 30th (3br/4ba, 2325 sq. ft.), a snazzy, nicely appointed, newer home with big ocean views. It's utterly walkable to MB's "second downtown," El Norte south of Rosecrans – a nice tradeoff against the fact that it does border Highland.

Brand new in Aug. 2007, this one fetched $2.250m. It was used subsequently as a rental/investment property.

But when it came back to the public market in May, the seller was willing to concede a loss of $400k – offering it at $1.849m.

And yet, that would not be all. It got twice as bad.

At some point, we got to talking to clients who were circling around 233 30th and we said, essentially: This one's probably headed for the 1.5s, where it becomes a compelling deal.

Long after, the list price came down a lot – as low as $1.529m – and the listing became a short sale. (See "Ocean View, One-Third Off.")

Our clients did not jump in – they found their own very compelling deal – but 233 30th did find a buyer, whose purchase posted Monday: $1.450m.

That's a full $800k off the brand-new price for this SFR on a half lot, with its great attributes, extra square footage, good/bad location – the whole combination.

It was $2.2ish, and now it's $1.4ish. In between, $800k got lost somewhere.

In MB, west of Highland, with an ocean view.

It was not long ago that a comparably sized TH across the street got substantially more. That was 300 30th (4br/4ba, 2525 sq. ft.), selling for $1.615m about 6 weeks ago.

The views at 300 30th are somewhat bigger, on account of the position up the hill a bit more, and its upstairs living space feels notably larger. The unit is a bit older (2003). Obviously both have a comparable Highland liability.

Is it 10% "better" than 233 30th, an SFR west of Highland, as the sale price $165k higher would suggest?

Probably not. But that's just one way to measure what a deal the short sale across the street turned out to be.

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