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Year-Over-Year Market Snapshot

Posted by John Hathorn on April 4, 2018
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The Numbers; Down and Dirty Year-Over-Year Comparison

Friends, clients and colleagues keep asking me how the market is right now. Depending on who is asking, I might say, “great” or “choppy” or “It depends, are you asking as a buyer, a seller or a voyeur”?

The point is that the answer really depends on why you are asking. Buyers and brokers are still complaining that the supply of inventory (properties for sale) is scarce. Sellers read and hear this and think that because there is so little inventory, they can expect a higher price than the market comps suggest. The voyeurs get off on just watching the market; some either counting their equity money or watching and hoping that prices fall, claiming that when it does they will buy some trophy properties at a discount.

My trade associations NAR and CAR talk in the macro market realm – Los Angeles, or Southern California or even Santa Monica but the micro market, specific pockets of an area, are more important to most folks. As the dominant sales force for 90402 for the past 30 years, North of Montana is the market I watch most closely and it remains a Seller’s market. I know, I know… you are not surprised.

90402 Buyers are being more cautious lately, asking lots of questions about the downsizing of new homes in the area and how that will effect value. Developers are, for the most part, on the sidelines, not wanting to pursue a development until they know what the permanent ordinance will be (my guess is that it will be the same as the IZO is currently).

Sellers of larger homes think that because homes the size of theirs can no longer be built that theirs will command a premium to which I say “let’s put it on the market and see!”.

We sold 242 24th Street after only 1 week on the market, while a very similar home offered by a competitor took a few months to sell. Somebody told me that our listing was more “emotional” than the competing properties and that is why ours was scooped up so fast. How do you put a price on “emotionality”? And how do you tell a Seller that their home either is, or is not, emotional enough?

Actually, I have those answers and they will be in a future article.

Anyway, here are the numbers comparing last year’s first quarter to 2018’s first quarter:

In current real estate news….

Two new listings-

327 22nd Street– Listed for $5,699,000. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths; approximately 4500 sqft. Originally built in, and still partying like it is, 1999. Most will say it needs some cosmetic updating but the floorplan is solid. Last sold in March 2016 for $4,625,000. Will be interesting if it can sell for a million dollars more in just 2 years!

508 Marguerita Avenue Listed for $6,395,000. Excellent location West of 7th on a large 11,512 sqft lot.  A little dated, and the floor plan is a little strange but 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths (in the main house), pool, cabana, 3-car garage with both a guest room and a nicely appointed guest apartment above the garage. Last sold in 2008 for $4,000,000. Before that sale, Pence Hathorn Silver had this listed and I think I remember it being around $3M.

Four properties went into escrow!

328 21st Place- Listed for 3,495,000. Current house is 3 bedrooms + 2 baths with a guest house. Large 9,029 sqft lot. This will be an interesting sale as it is one of the 1st land value offerings of its kind since the new, more restrictive building size ordinance. Also affecting matters is the fact that this property is designated potentially historic and it is next to a construction site.

734 19th Street- This was being shown off-market for the past few months at a higher price but is now under contract for close to full price ($4,295,000). 5 bedrooms + 3.5 baths. Single story, open and bright contemporary inside.  Last sold in 2015 for $2,350,000.

328 18th Street– Listed for $3,850,000. 4 bedrooms + 2.75 baths, approximately 2,374 sqft on a 60 ft wide lot. Single story, clean and liveable. Last sold in 2014 for $3,250,000. No 5d3 restrictions on this one so future development should not be an issue.

624 22nd Street Re-listed for $4,395,000. Originally listed at the beginning of the year for $4,579,000. Updated Mediterranean, 4300+ sqft with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths in the classic 1989 layout- large public rooms and an ideal 4 bedrooms upstairs, 1 downstairs. Last sold in 2014 for $3,438,030. Back in the 90’s this was a PHS sale.

Two homes closed escrow-

2320 Alta Avenue- Sold over asking for $4,095,000. Listed at $3,995,000.

533 14th Street- Sold for $5,075,000. Listed at $5,100,000. The developer that built this has been revising what he will pay for tear-downs in Santa Monica by about 20%. Much as the large home critics hate to admit it, (and most will tell you they don’t care since they never plan to sell) in at least the short term, prices for tear-downs will be coming down.



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