The Market May Be in Meltdown, But When You Want That House Badly Enough Price Is Barely an Issue

francisco-st.jpgA total of 23 homes were recorded has having sold over the past three weeks in Berkeley. The tables below are for the weeks beginning the 9th, 16th and 23rd of March.

Of note is 2008 Francisco Street (pictured right) which sold for $706,000, 9% above its asking price of $650,000. This had the effect of leaving one of my readers literally gobsmacked. When this 2/1 “award-winning jewel box” of a house went on the market this is what Toady had to say:

It last sold for $240K in 2002, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t someone out there willing to pay $650K now. Still, I think the owners are being a little optimistic. This has certainly been the latest hot neighborhood in Berkeley…and while the house is beautiful, it’s a little small and not really laid out well for a family with children; the lot is tiny and irregular. Six months ago, this might have brought $650K, but I really don’t see that happening now. Maybe mid-500s.

Because he’s a learned and honorable gentleman — and I in no way want to imply that any of us are any better than him at making predictions in this roller-coaster market — I want to report on what he had this to say on the news of the sale price:

Well, shut my mouth, 2008 San Francisco sold for $706K. That seems insane to me, but as we’ve observed, a home’s value can be set by one person for whom price (and market conditions) are no object.

Sound words, and there’s further proof of this truism this week. Two homes on Berkeley’s Alvarado Road have just sold for much more than their asking price: my sources tells me both 291 and 111 went for closing prices nudging $2m on respective asking prices of $1,595,000 and $1,700,000.

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And there are two more fresh illustrations of buyers bucking the general trend in Oakland (see latest table below). Rockridge’s contemporary home at 6205 Mathieu Avenue (above left) bust its $1,275,000 asking by 5% closing at $1,337,500, while the secluded mid-century modern home at 7515 Claremont Avenue sold for $1,103,000, 23% over its $895,000 asking price.

Recession, what recession?

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