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2007 Heritage Homes Sales for Monrovia

October 20, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

We all heard reports on a regular basis that the real estate market put the brakes on nationwide in 2007. The California Association of Realtors tells us that statewide home sales declined again last year by a whopping 26% compared with 2006. This is the second year of declines. Interestingly, though, the median price for existing homes in California increased by 0.3% from the previous year. So while the number of homes sold went down significantly, prices still hold steady, especially here in Monrovia.

This overall decline in the number of sales is evident locally, as well. In 2007, only 38 vintage and historic properties sold in Monrovia compared to 54 in 2006 – a 30% decrease. However, the average sales price of vintage homes in Monrovia actually increased, but only by a mere 4%.

When I do the Annual research on this information, I find it very enlightening to see the differences year over year. Since I began sending out this yearly update in 2004, old homes in Monrovia have continued to increase in price. It’s hard to even remember that back in 2003 the average price for one of these old gems was $418,580.

As the Director of Heritage Homes for Dickson Podley and a long-time preservationist, I have a true appreciation for character homes, be they Craftsman landmarks, Victorian mansions, or one of the other vintage styles that abound in Monrovia. This niche has served me well since I got into real estate in 2001, and I truly enjoy sharing this valuable information with the people in the community who have an appreciation for heritage architecture.

In 2007, the oldest home that sold in Monrovia was “The Monroe Cottage,” one of the homes that was originally built for William Monroe in 1884 and served as his temporary residence until his more palatial home, “The Oaks,” was completed. This City landmark measures 2,599 square feet and is situated on a 19,500 square foot lot. This was also the most expensive home sold in 2007 at $1,420,000. This is the first year since I started researching old home values that the highest price paid has gone down. Last year’s top selling vintage home closed escrow at $1,499,000, which is $79,000 more than our top seller this year.
Consistently, homes from the early 20’s continue to be the most popular era for those sold over the last few years, with 2007 showing the most popular years as 1922 and 1924.

Square footage of these old homes varies from tiny little bungalows to much larger houses. The size of homes sold in 2007 range from a 672 square foot bungalow on Norumbega; which was also the least expensive house sold at $385,000, to a 3,052 square foot remodeled two-story Craftsman on Ivy that sold for $1,337.500

Lot sizes vary from year to year. In 2006, the smallest lot sold measured 4,996 square feet, while this year we see a decrease in the smallest lot size to 3,280 square feet. Unlike last year, however, the smallest house sold was also situated on the smallest lot. In contrast, in 2007, the largest lot size was 72,306 square feet, which is almost two acres of land. However the house situated on that lot is a 1,238 square foot house built in 1922 that sold for $775,000. That proves that land sometimes has more value than the house itself. The average lot size of all 38 vintage properties equals 12,616 square feet, which is actually much larger than most lots in Monrovia.

Pricing continues to be difficult for all real estate due to the current market conditions. Only 16% of historic homes sold at list price and 18% went for over asking, but a huge 66% sold below their original price. These percentages are very different from what happened in 2006, where we saw 41% of old homes selling at or above asking. Average list price for 2007 was $684,967, which is actually about $20,000 or 3% higher than last year’s average. Year over year, these numbers continue to rise, which is interesting to note when we hear all the doom and gloom of the media saying prices are falling. Not so with our historic home inventory in Monrovia.

In summary, a total of 38 homes built between 1884 and 1930 were sold in 2007, totaling over $25 million in real estate. The old houses in Monrovia continue to be a valuable asset to their owners. If selling a vintage property is in your future, you should still feel confident that there is a demand for these wonderful homes.

If you’d like more information on the value of your character property or know someone interested in buying an old house, I hope you’ll consider giving me a call. I have a long-standing connection to the local preservation community and these architecturally significant properties and have several years of experience in representing both the sellers and buyers of these homes. In fact, I was the very first agent in Monrovia to make character homes my specialty. Remember, significant homes deserve significant representation!