Friday, November 28, 2008

The High End

Interesting trend I noticed in Pasadena: more and more million, multi-millon dollar homes are entering the market. No week passes without a couple of them getting listed. I did a search on Redfin, and found 115 homes in Pasadena over a 1 million dollar for sale. Some are condos, town houses, but mostly detached houses. The averaged stats are interesting too:

listing price: $1,690,000
sqft: 4,338
$/sqft: $602
days on market: 106

Longest on market: 515 days
Highest listing price: $19,000,000 (same house)
Highest $/sqft: 2,089

What it says to me that the well-to-do is not immune to the market meltdown, but perhaps even more susceptible to delusions.

Let's look at this listing:

Price: $1,859,000
Beds: 4
Baths: 2.75
Sq. Ft.: 3,005
$/Sq. Ft.: $619
Lot Size: 9,152 Sq. Ft.
Style: Craftsman
Year Built: 1906
Area: Southwest Pasadena
On Redfin: 126 days

It's a beautiful craftsman home, at a prime area of Pasadena, but I don't think that in the current market it will fetch nearly 2 million dollars. According to PropertyShark, at the peak median pride of 2006 it would be worth $804,925, but at the pre-bubble year 2000 price a mere $393,284. Even if we calculate all the extras, it'll have hard time fetching three times the median in this rapidly sinking market.

While the listing price for the above house is probably unrealistic, the next one is just punch-drunk, what-the-the-hell-are-they-thinking insane:

Wonderful, classic garbage can photography.

Price: $1,875,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 1,914
$/Sq. Ft.: $980
Lot Size: 8,415 Sq. Ft.
Style: Craftsman
Year Built: 1906
Stories: 2
Area: Pasadena Southwest
On Redfin: 87 days

At a closer look, the house turns out to be in less then top condition, as the peeling paint on the porch demonstrates. Inside is even worse:

Someone has been at this place since the beginning of time, and it shows. This lonely survivor of a bygone era, surrounded by condos/apartment buildings would have been the perfect property to be sold to a developer for a premium price two years ago. It looks like somehow the owner missed the boat, and would now be kicking himself if he was not busy trying to turn back time by willpower alone.

The listing description is schizophrenic rant, at once touting the benefits the house and the benefits of tearing it down and replacing it with townhouses, plans already approved. Somebody is not reading the news about the sorry state of new home constructions. That's a hefty price tag for "potential."