Real Estate News

A real fixer-upper: How an empty lot in Palo Alto could sell for nearly $5.5 million

An empty lot in Palo Alto, Calif., carries a $5,398,000 asking price, as listed on real estate website Redfin.
An empty lot in Palo Alto, Calif., carries a $5,398,000 asking price, as listed on real estate website Redfin.

A residential property in Palo Alto is about 12,000 square feet, is lined with beautiful trees, sits in a cul-de-sac close to a park and carries a price tag that has eclipsed $5 million.

And, oh yeah: It’s also a vacant lot.

The quarter-acre property at 660 Coleridge Ave. has seen its asking price skyrocket as the area’s housing prices continues to grow shockingly expensive. Real estate blog Curbed on Friday noted that the lot – listed this week for $5,398,000 – was sold for $3.1 million in May 2016. That’s a $2.3 million increase in less than two years.

Additionally, the house sold for $3.9 million in September 2016, meaning an $800,000 profit was made in four months by “flipping” a lot that holds nothing but grass, bushes and trees.

Listings for 660 Coleridge on real estate websites Redfin and Zillow confirm these transactions. The description on both sites explains, “Seller designed their owner custom home to live. Plan submitted and in design review process,” and add that the property is “not on flood zone.”

It’s being listed by Carol Li of Alain Pinel Realtors, and the Redfin entry was last updated Wednesday.

And there seems to be an expectation that the lot will sell, despite Redfin’s payment calculator estimating that you’d need to spend $1 million on a down payment and more than $27,000 a month to afford it.

“Things that would not sell a long long time ago do,” longtime real estate agent Ann Buchin told ABC 7. “Everything sells now.”

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone told ABC7 the $5.4 million price was fair, given high demand in the region by owners who wish to build their own house.

The housing market is now such that even software engineers earning close to $190,000 a year are paying uncomfortable percentages of their salaries to live within close commute of their jobs at Apple, Google or elsewhere, a recent study claimed.