Saturday, August 23, 2008

SM indicators

Updating my inventory list (I track individual listings in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades <$2M, and Palms-Mar Vista), I was struck by a number of current indicators that prices are softening.

Sunset Park

Low end prices for reasonable lots in Sunset Park have fallen to around $1 million, and are still not getting snapped up:

1645 Ashland, 2 bed/1 bath, LP=$995K, LD=7/28/08
2610 24th, 2/2, $1,029K (-9%), 7/14/08
1736 Oak, 3/2, $1,060K, 7/31/08

Two recent comps did sell above very-attractive prices:

2010 Hill, 2/2, $949K, 6/9/08, sold 7/18/08 $998K (+5%)
1519 Hill, 2/2, $1,099K, 6/18/08, sold 8/21/08 $1,140K (+4%)

Back on the market after 7 months and 14% reduction from $1,975K to $1,725K in 2007, 2222 Marine, 4/4, is now asking $1,690K. Seller even had claimed to be "serious". That may still be too high at the foot of SM Airport.

Speaking of next to the airport, 2314 Pier, 3/2, finally sold 8/15/08 for $1,025K. Originally listed over a year ago (7/9/07) for $1,250, this flopper paid $920K on 3/23/07.

North of Wilshire

North of Wilshire seems to be slipping, too. After three weeks (LD=7/31/08) 1030 Chelsea, 3/1.75, asking $1,399K, is still unsold.

And 1018 Yale, 2/1.5, $1,529K (-6%), sold 8/14/08 at a deep 13% discount of $1,338K (see link to SM Distress Monitor for more).

A comp from last year is 1020 Chelsea (photo), 2/1, $1,399K, sold 6/19/07 for $1,478K.

North of Montana

Back on the market after two months this spring at $2,395K is 460 Lincoln, 3/3, now asking $2,195K. It's a large one-story, not a tear-down. And 517 14th, 3/2.75, 5/1/08, expired unsold despite reduction from $2,388K to $2,250K.

There is such despiration to buy in 90402 that these listings are expiring unsold not much over $2M?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is my experience as a westside buyer. I had planned to just rent another year or two, but my landlord was selling the condo we are renting, so I looked at buying. I put in an offer on a cute fixer in Westchester. Although it is a trust sale, they wanted more than I would pay. We looked high and low, made comparisons, and I just found a dramatically nicer rental for what I am paying now, $3,400/month. The unit I am living in is in escrow and if they follow through, they will find it is a fixer to an extreme. It is no bargain at $639,000 no matter the square footage. The wiring is bad, the plumbing is bad, the floors were installed wrong, the bathroom tile was installed wrong, the roof needs to be replaced, the condo association has no reserves and is behind on paying its bills. I predict that it will fall out of escrow since the seller and his agent are disclosing none of this. Did I mention the garage floods occasionally?

By my calculations the prices here need to drop at least another 30% to make any kind of sense.

The rental we found is about 1800 square feet in a 3 year old building. It has top of the line everything, Viking stove, fridge and dishwasher. Front loading washing machines, all the work done nicely. 3 balconies. Why would I buy and throw my money away? Here is my favorite buy vs rent calculator http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT_GRAPHIC.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

In downturns I have seen elsewhere, as soon as people become really negative about Real Estate they overcorrect on the downside. That is just normal group psychology and I don't expect LA to be different. As soon as prices becoem rational we will buy. I seriously wonder how many people like us are out there who qualify, but refuse to pay so much.

Anonymous said...

I should have checked my spelling, oops

Anonymous said...

I hear you -rentals are a much much better deal right now - would you mind telling us where you got the 3,400 rental - that sounds like a sweet deal depending on the location.

They are still trying to rent out Alex Merman's apartment - don't know if they have to notify the new tennants as to the reason it is available

LOS ANGELES -- Police today investigated the apparent beating death of a man whose body was found inside his Santa Monica apartment, the second homicide in the normally tranquil city since the weekend.

Video | Images

The body of Alexander Merman, 35, was found at 520 Montana Ave. at about 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, Santa Monica police Sgt. Mario Toti said.

"It appears the victim died as a result of blunt force trauma," Lt. Alex Padilla said in a statement. The coroner's office will determine the cause of death, Padilla said.

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