We Test Zillow: Hermosa Beach

Have you ever tracked your own home's value on Zillow?

The website's "Zestimates" are a popular feature for homeowners and home buyers. But how accurate are they?

We're going to put Zillow to the test by watching how accurate "Zestimates" are in a few South Bay real estate markets.

First up: Hermosa Beach.

We'll start today (July 21) with a snapshot of several recent listings, along with their current "Zestimates." We'll track them over the next few months and see where the sale prices end up, as opposed to Zillow's estimated home values.

Hermosa Beach Homes for Sale

123 34th Street 5/3 2380 2554 $2,900,000     $2,611,969 07/20/15
215 Valley Drive 2/3 1494 1008 $879,000     $1,045,246 07/16/15
1600 Ardmore Avenue 321 2/2 912 59585 $559,000     $602,132 07/08/15
935 1st Street A 3/3 1814 6748 $995,000     $1,091,072 07/06/15
1285 14th Street 3/2 1287 3316 $1,079,000     $1,126,484 07/02/15
1600 Ardmore Avenue 424 2/2 1048 59585 $615,000     $595,205 07/02/15
320 Hermosa Avenue 206 2/2 1115 8009 $769,000     $805,192 06/26/15
3323 The Strand 3/4 2747 2153 $11,250,000     $4,666,547 06/26/15
824 17th Street 3/3 2683 4121 $1,699,000     $1,543,864 06/24/15
246 30th Street 1/1 1174 2415 $2,899,000     $2,377,248 06/23/15

(Click on the address for any property to see the full details here on South Bay Confidential.)

These are the most recent 10 listings to come to the market in Hermosa. The current list price ("start") price is given, along with Zillow's estimate for each home's value. What do we notice right away?

There's one stinker of an estimate, that being for 3323 The Strand. Even if the public list price on this 1990 "contemporary" style home is a little ambitious at $11.2M, it's probably not overpriced by $6.5M, as Zillow would suggest with a $4.666M estimate. The land value is much higher than Zillow's estimate.

We'll mark this one wrong before the test even begins!

We noticed that 5 of the 10 Zestimates were slightly-to-somewhat higher than the list prices. Gaps of $35K-$95K exist, where Zillow seems more optimistic than even the sellers of these publicly listed properties.

In 4 more cases, Zillow's computers think a property is worth somewhat less than the asking price.

The discrepancy is just $20K at 1600 Ardmore Ave. #424, with Zillow thinking $595K and the sellers asking $615K. Well, the listing is already down from $14K higher (the start price was $629K), so who knows?

The biggest disagreement is over 246 30th St., a lot sale on a very nice North Hermosa walkstreet.

The sellers began at $2.899M and are down to $2.799M now. But Zillow thinks that's not far enough, viewing the lot sale as having a value of $2.377M, more than $420K lower (-15%).

We'll watch each of these listings for a while and see how Zillow's "Zestimates" perform when matched up against these real-world examples of homes on the market in Hermosa Beach.

Watch for updates!

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