Thursday, September 20, 2012

Revisiting a Revived Listing: 292 1st Street

About a year and a half ago we covered the uninspiring $1.895M listing that Century 21 had for 292 1st Street.  Back then, the blast off of prices post-crash recovery was just starting, and a 3-story in that condition made sense closer to $1.4M still.  However, as we've seen over and over, a rising market tide often catches up to prices that were previously (if only momentarily) absurd.  In the year 1616, Galileo used the behavior of the tides in Venice as part of the evidence for his theory that the Earth revolved around the sun.  We take it for granted in retrospect, but this was ground-breaking stuff at the time, people.

As Damien Marley aptly points out:

"The Earth was flat, if you went too far you would fall off
Now the Earth is round, if the shape change again, everybody woulda' start laugh
The average man can't prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of"
But you don't have to track the tides of Venice or the phases of Venus like Galileo to know what's going on in this Park Slope market.  Last Fall in the Slope featured some banner sales for fixer-uppers around $2M.  If that wasn't indication enough, the writing was definitely on the wall by the time even dinkier fixer-uppers were pounced on by 30+ appointments in no time.  And that was in the dead of winter; not the beloved "Fall buying season" that old-school real estate agents set their sundials to.  That house going in contract to one buyer left at least 29 other people with deep pockets running around looking for the same batch of properties.  Which is why it was no surprise to see this place, or this place, or this place, or this place, or this place, or this place go for above asking price in the following months.  The market was so hot, even the precious New York Times was off by $1.5M to the downside on a sales price in Park Slope - in a story about "Brooklyn's Gold Rush" no less!

We scribbled this simple chart to show the progression of the list price of 292 1st Place versus its relative market value (MV):

In our opinion, the lines have finally converged.  This latest listing with Corcoran at $1.6M should do the trick.  The house won't wow you, but you're paying for the location.  And what's the next-best $1.6M in Park Slope at this very moment?  This same agent is bringing you another dinky house in a great location at 372 6th Street, but wasn't able to move it as quickly as we'd imagined.  Heck, even a working clock like BK to the Fullest is wrong a handful of times a year.

Pro's:  curb appeal, location, and perhaps even price this time around?

Con's:  still lots left wanting on the inside, get your renovation budget ready, can't low-ball a Corcoran bidder

Ideally:  understanding the market isn't just a matter of "what", it's also a matter of "why"

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