Friday, May 17th, 2013
The biggest news in local real estate right now might be this weekend's Sophisticated Snoop tour. It's the 40th year, and your chance to see the triple-lot house on The Strand, as well as 4 other great homes.
True facts we just learned about the triple-lot house (212 The Strand):
- They call it "Beachwood"
- They cite influences including "the Caribbean, the American East Coast and the Far East"
- Materials used include flooring "rumored to be from Napoleon's stables"
- According to the Snoop flyer, there is an "underwater grotto"
This year's selection of homes offer a great reason to part with $35 this weekend. Tickets are available from several downtown stores if you missed the chance at presale. Check it out.
In other news, it's time for one of our twice-monthly Manhattan Beach market updates.
Here's the quick overview on active inventory:
- 51 active listings as of 5/15/13
- 34 SFRs
- 7 THs
Though that's hardly a lot of listings for MB, it's the most we've seen in any update this year. (And as of Friday morning, that total had hit 55 active listings.)
Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach:
- Tree Section: 10 actives
- Sand Section: 18 actives
- Hill Section: 7 actives
- East MB: 16 actives
You can see the complete report on active listings, with live links to every property, in this single post on our data blog: "MB Inventory as of 5/15/13."
We're also providing a report on pending and closed sales by region of MB.
Sales are organized by sub-region of Manhattan Beach.
Here's a link to the post on our data blog: "MB Pending/Sold as of 5/15/13."
For closed sales, we provide the past 6 months' worth of sales by region. This is the typical window of time used by appraisers.
Enjoy the new reports!
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
It was almost 2 months ago that one of the more amazing Spring bidding wars broke out.
That was at 1312 Walnut (3br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.) a remodeled (and added-onto) 1950s cottage in a nice location on a corner near the elementary school.
This one launched at $1.599M, which seemed clearly to be pushing the limit for the property.
After multiple-multiple bidders came in, it went 10% higher.
The newly closed sale price: $1.760M.
We had said shortly after the deal posted: "[T]he sale price here will simply shock you when it closes. Imagine what's the most you'd think it could go for. Then add. Then a little more. Wow."
We can still say that pretty comfortably about $1.760M, but word is they had an even higher bid in place at one time. (All over town we hear and see examples of bidding war winners walking away for whatever reasons, so that part is not a big surprise.)
The same home last traded in May 2010 at $1.250M, and has been remodeled since.
For the subsequent 2+ years, this home, in remodeled condition, was probably a $1.35-$1.4M home. That it moved into the $1.5s this year was not a huge shock.
But $1.7+? $1.75+? We're still shaking that off.
Among the very recent sales of larger homes at around the same price:
- 1705 Pine (4br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft.) at $1.750M in Dec. 2012
- 1209 Oak (5br/5ba, 3125 sq. ft.) at $1.700M in Nov. 2012
- 3412 Pine (5br/4ba, 3160 sq. ft.) at $1.700M in March 2013
All of those had 1000+ more square feet inside. 1705 Pine is the closest thing, location-wise.
Or, reach quite a bit further back and you see:
- 1408 Poinsettia (4br/4ba, 3100 sq. ft.) at $1.675M in May 2010
- 1809 Walnut (5br/5ba, 3120 sq. ft., 2004 build) at $1.775M in Jan. 2011
- 2309 Pine (5br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft., 2001 build) at $1.775M in Sept. 2011
Each of those is fairly nearby, all much newer and larger homes. But those were different times, weren't they?
Here's a little more on 1312 Walnut from our review in March:
[1312 Walnut] hides most of its assets from passersby. The 1950s cottage with an add-on over the garage looks plain as could be from outside, and its yard is enclosed by a high fence. You could pass it 100 times and never take note of this home, though it's on a corner and is fully exposed on 2 sides.
But walk in and you're treated. Enter into the great room and a mid-century modern type feel kicks in at first, with floor-to-ceiling windows along the sunny western side of the home, making an already open room feel that much larger. The garden seems to be part of the room.
The kitchen (and master) is done up in a more French country style, which is attractive, if not everyone's cup of tea café au lait.
You feel the original cottage layout, with a central hall and bedrooms on either side, but what would have been your 3rd bedroom downstairs is a hybrid room – maybe a small study or library, with laundry just off of it and the stairwell up to the master as well. And that's a good-size master with modern-feeling bath.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
It was just 2 weeks ago that there were no listings in the Hill Section. Zero.
The Hills always run the lowest inventory in town, but zero – well, you can't get lower.
Now, a mix of new options has brought inventory to a whopping 7. Hey, it's a start.
And some options "look like" the Hill Section, offering the sorts of grand estates you'd expect to see.
The newest and grandest is clearly 620 8th St. (6br/7ba, 7250 sq. ft.), a Hill Section estate if there is one. (They've even named it, "La Belle Vue Estate.")
Built into a gently downsloping hillside, the home looks relatively modest from the front on 8th, but it goes back and back, and down and down, with 3 levels in total. (We almost missed the media room and 6th bedroom on the lowest level.)
There's a hugely spacious yard big enough for pool & spa, large covered outdoor room and a sunny grassy area as well.
The main (entry) floor is chock full of big and ornate entertaining spaces, ending at a bright, south-west facing balony that gets unobstructed PV and ocean views.
Yes, that's what you're supposed to get for $8M in the Hill Section.
The only competition for 620 8th St. is "Summerhill," a much longer-running listing that had negotiated a deal, but recently fell out.
Summerhill is also known as 250 S. Dianthus, spanning a third of an acre (call it nearly 3 lots) – that's a lot of land here by the beach – and built out in a detail-heavy, timeless, worldly fashion that echoes a great old European estate.
It's not exactly what you expect in MB, but its appeal is undeniable.
That's what they thought when listing at nearly $12M one year ago, watching the publicly listed price drop to the current $7.950M before negotiations got serious. They had a deal for 6 weeks but came back to market last week.
This listing hits the one-year mark this Friday. Maybe the timeless estate at this price point has a very narrow market (you think?). And that's too bad in a way, but they'll find the right folks to love and preserve it, we'd bet. In time.
511 Pacific (5br/9ba, 7960 sq. ft.) is playing with these big boys, asking $6.799M.
We gave quite a bit of attention to this home last week in "Between High & Low a 511 Pacific," calling it "a huge, totally unique megahome," and noting that its new offering price is a potentially very nice payday for the seller who bought it for ("just") $5.250M in July 2010.
Note: Tour, and you'll readily see that a single person lives in this 8000 sq. ft. house.
If you are looking to build a destination estate, 724 10th (8br/8ba, 7000 sq. ft.) might be your next move.
Somewhat like 620 8th, this home benefits from a big lot (10,500 sq. ft.) that drops off toward the south and west.
There should be good ocean views from this location, but right now they are available only to people in (one of) the (two) master bath shower(s). There, the views are outstanding. And the views from there pretty much make the argument for a reverse floorplan ("upside-down layout") to be built out on this site. The current house is not.
This home ran quite a while – call in 9 months – from late 2011 till May 2012. In fact, it quit 51 weeks ago, so the comeback in 2013 is nearly on the one-year anniversary of... well, do they celebrate anniversaries for failed listings?
Then and now, the listing language has been frank, touting the "tremendous potential to upgrade" this Southwestern. In 2011, they sought $5.9M, in 2012 it was down to $4.9M, but it's back now at $5.9M.
Also up near the top end you find new construction with ocean views at 1026 1st (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) at $3.5M (pictured; see our review here) and 200 S. Dianthus (4br/5ba, 3935 sq. ft.) at $3.4M, a decent home with some views that was offered for several months, on and off market, over the past year, at $3.7M with another agent. (We reviewed it in February this year in "Spring Rush Starts Out Pricey.")
The odd man out, as it were, is a new listing at 1023 Dianthus (3br/2ba, 1250 sq. ft.).
This is the only Hill Section listing in a non-view area. Indeed, the location is plainly sub-par, on a fairly busy stretch of Dianthus near MB Blvd. And the 1950s house really needs everything.
It's a probate listing starting (low) at $987K, but there could be a process here, even overbids at the court somewhere down the road. You have to think about 1026 Pacific, another older house several blocks west, with a bigger, view-potential lot – that one drew multiple offers and likely crested well past the $1.500M asking price.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
They've just closed an above-asking deal at 2417 Crest (3br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.), a rear-unit TH with great ocean views.
This is a bigger-than-standard TH at 2300 sq. ft., and they sought a bigger-than-standard $1,090/PSF when they first put a sticker on the home.
But those views, and the distinctive stlying, brought many suitors. And when that happens, prices jump.
In this case, from $2.499M to $2.575M, with an enhanced PPSF of $1,123/PSF.
This home, a 2002 build, got a thorough re-do with panache in 2009, and it's got several signature elements that stick with you.
Two unique features jump out: The long (14' long) built-in, modern dining table stretching from the kitchen – a bold statement that defines the home as an entertaining space.
Plus, a little back patio off the kitchen, which, as we said in our review back in March, "has been given marvelous purpose with disappearing doors and an indoor/outdoor countertop that merges the spaces when windows are folded away. Wide open, the little patio becomes a defining element of the home – fully a part of the living spaces, not some little deck you never use."
And our favorite, unique part of the patio – the "South African Braii-style fireplace." Don't call it a barbeque, please. This has just a little extra style.
When 2417 Crest first listed, it immediately brought to mind 2305 Bayview (4br/4ba, 2600 sq. ft.), a really, really smashing and complex modern remodel of a slightly bigger TH that sold for $2.3M in April 2012. That one hit $884/PSF.
Now trolling for buyers are a couple of other larger townhomes, each with ocean views and their own claims to distinction:
2905 Crest (4br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.), a newer build that has substantial and unblockable views over the front unit in the same building. If you view the listing, you see about 2/3rds of the photos are attempts to capture the ocean views at different times of day. So, yes, they are really trying to make a point.
It's also notably bigger than any typical "larger" townhome. Here we'd define 1600-1800 sq. ft. as typical when a TH shares a standard lot with another unit. Other times you get 2200-2500 sq. ft. with a different size lot or orientation. Well, this one's up to 3000 sq. ft., newer (2007 build) and well built in a serious Mediterranean style.
The listing started at $2.700M and has cut a whole $11K since then while running 6 weeks. So it's now at $2.689M, and $896/PSF.
The same TH sold new in 2007 for $2.625M, so they're looking for a little markup.... and looking... because it's at 44 DOM now.
We're also watching 2904 Highland (3br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.), a newer ocean-view TH with lots of bells and whistles, including a great room with big, big, big ocean views. (The listing boldly declares them to be "[a]bsolutely insane ocean views.")
The townhome itself has familiar qualities for newer construction and is not entirely unlike 2905 Crest in that way: dark hardwood floors, high-quality kitchen, very nice baths, etc.
2904 Highland was purchased new in June 2007 for $2.0M, but they've marked it up to $2.399M here in 2013, a figure which translates to $1,043/PSF, reaching for the heights just hit by 2417 Crest.
But 2904 Highland is 47 DOM into its run on the market, whereas 2417 Crest made a nearly immediate deal with multiple offers after it hit.
Maybe we should look at the factor staring us in the face here. It's not about PPSF or 2007 prices versus 2013. It's all about the Braii. Got it? Sold. Don't got it? Gotta wait.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Moms don't ask much, but they do like to get a little respect. And maybe a rose, or a nice brunch.
So this weekend we do our best to say "thanks," and typically the open-house caravan is shut down for Sunday. (What if mom wants to look at houses for kicks? There are some opens, after all.)
So focus your tours on Saturday, and focus on mom Sunday.
Modest little 1150 Keats (3br/2ba, 1275 sq. ft.) could be the must-see property of the weekend, simply because it presents an affordable entry-level option, is somewhat updated and conventional enough to draw fairly wide interest.
This single-level 1950s cottage last sold in March 2007 in very original condition and has been updated since. You still see the original hardwood flooring, but nicely refinished. The kitchen was probably opened up from a closed-up alley before, and now connects better to the family spaces in back. It's a more modern kitchen, if not 100% high end – just nice.
The one main living/dining room is bright, facing the south and getting lots of light from the sunny backyard. That yard – it's not huge, more like a patio plus grassy patch, but it's what you come to expect in MB.
Bonus: Standing up, we caught a glimpse of blue ocean over the rooftops of commercial bulidings on Sepulveda. It would seem you could get a little bigger ocean glimpse if building a second story. (At least while the neighbor to the south remains one story.)
Bedrooms include two behind a hallway door, which share a hallway bath. (No bedroom, "master" or otherwise, has its own bath.) The third is smallish and out of the way.
The baths were redone within the past few years, but while clean, they won't be to everyone's taste. (Marble tile covering all the walls, with a little colored stripe.)
You might think that a smallish home in sight of Sepulveda, with no true master and updates that could use updating would have less-than-average market appeal. But no. Here come the multiple offers.
1150 Keats starts at $1.075M and is open Sat. 1-3pm.
232 30th Place (3br/3ba, 1375 sq. ft.) feels like a former duplex with its separate-entry bedroom downstairs (with fridge and wet bar) and the exterior stairway up to the "main" entry upstairs.
It's got the notable liability of being along Highland (true story: the former address was 3009 Highland), but a nice perk of ocean views over the smaller house to the west.
The space is compact, as you might expect, and the updates plain and middle-of-the-road. To their credit, they're not selling this as a dream house, but as the "[b]est value in the sand section."
232 30th Place sold in 2005 for $1.225M, tried to sell unsuccessfully in both 2006 and (a lot of) 2007, then traded for $1.271M in early 2008. It's back now asking $1.250M. It is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.
421 32nd (4br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.) is a 10-year-old Cape Cod on the plateau with a reverse floorplan – principal living spaces are on the top level, with 3br on the midlevel and another downstairs.
Dave has a very comparable listing right in the same area coming out next week (see this link), so discretion argues against MBC presenting a formal review right now. So we will stick to the listing description, which calls the home:
[A] refreshing coastal cape cod on one of North Manhattan's best streets, located just 4 blocks to the ocean on a family friendly cul-de-sac... [O]pen floorplan, featuring 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, with volume and natural light bathing the three-story staircase down to the entry. The top floor offers amazing openness perfect for entertaining and family time, with a gourmet cook's kitchen sure to be the hub of the home, boasting a Viking 48 inch open burner range w/ top-of-the-line S.S. appliances. Other highlights include the huge 19x15' ocean view deck in front, a copper mansard roof detail in front, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors throughout , and the relaxing beach room that opens to a private front patio. Each generous bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, highlighted w/a designer perfect Master Bedroom with spa like master bath. The home has a rare amount of storage and closet space, plus a 3-car garage and 3- stop elevator. All of this in a quaint package with modern conveniences, that is walking distance to the beach, North Manhattan restaurants, yoga, sand dune park & award winning Grand View Elementary.
421 32nd starts at $2.995M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.
308 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is an SFR with decent ocean views and a pleasant, remodeled feel – although the 2002 remodel may not match up all the way to current tastes.
You enter on the middle level up a flight of outdoor stairs, and this is really just 2-level living, not your typical TH layout with one bedroom stuck along with the garage downstairs.
There's really just the one common room serving triple duty: Kitchen, formal dining and your living room. It works, but could get cramped.
One bedroom on the level with the living spaces is somewhat small, but hey, it opens to a little patio with a bubbling hot tub.
Upstairs, each bedroom gets its own bath, but the master suite is really where it's at. Not only do you get lying-down views of the ocean over rooftops across the street, there's also a built-in office at the front corner, with views of the Pacific.
308 Manhattan Ave. last sold in June 2006 for $2.200M, and is offered now at $2.299M. It is open Sat. 1-4pm.
We don't normally discuss rentals, but the huge pricetag on El Porto's 224 39th caught our attention.
They're asking $21K/mo. for this remodeled half-lot home near Highland. Maybe that doesn't sound workable, but they've thrown in lots of extras: daily maid service, a personal chef on Tuesdays, and all the beach amenities you could ask for (surfboards, wetsuits, beach chairs, boogie boards, bicycles and skateboards).
It's more like a vacation hotel than a rental. A hotel that charges $700/night.
224 39th is open Sat. 1-4pm.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
To say that 217 9th St. has been offered for sale for a long time might miss the point.
It came to market in February 2012, hoping to strike while last Spring's market was just starting to heat up.
But at $3M, this little 3br/3ba, 1700-odd sq. ft. modern on a half lot did not look like a deal. It began at $1,701/PSF, much higher than you'd find on The Strand.
The listing limped through Summer last year and only made a big, bold cut when a new agent took over in October.
That cut dropped the asking to $2.500M. Still steep.
Another 6 months passed, but now the little modern city house has closed for $2.250M. Officially, 309 DOM tolled for the property from Feb. 2012 through April this year.
Sure, that sale was 24% off the start price, but what does start price mean?
It's 25% off the last sale price. Now that means something.
Yes, as many people have noted with a figurative smack to the forehead, this 1700 sq. ft. house on an alley overlooking a raucous (if fancy) bar sold new for $3.000M way-back-when, in April 2008.
That simply never made sense, and now the market has shown how out of balance the first deal really was.
Lesson: Buy a fabulous new home downtown, and you might lose $750K if you're not careful.
We still find this house puzzling at any price, but to each his/her own.
In a post last year, for instance, we called it "[p]erhaps the most difficult property in the Sand now," calling it "a very sharp, but not very large, bit of modern/green architecture near downtown..."
We also said, "This one has always surprised us – the choice of location, limited bedrooms, tight space and high price. There are bath 'areas' within a couple bedrooms, rather than actual bathrooms." (See "What Lingers, and Doesn't, Near $3M.")
That, plus the layout upstairs being tight and intruded upon by the hanging fireplace.
We'll say this, though: It's distinctive, it's different, it's steps to everything and there are ocean views. It's no boxy 60s shack, maybe it's the wave of the future for downtown. Just not for $3M, this time.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Sometimes it's great to be able to look back at a property's history not just with a couple of data points, but a few blog posts.
Such is the case with 511 Pacific (5br/9ba, and, yes 7960 sq. ft.), newly offered in the Hill Section, but with a track record on MBC.
This is a 2008 build that shot out of the blocks (in its framing stages) in May 2007, asking $8.150M.
It was back for a little stretch of 2008 at $8.0M, and for a long stretch of 2009 in the $6M range.
The listing was on and off for 2010 in the 5's, and the new home finally sold in July 2010 for $5.250M.
Lessons: Launching a huge, totally unique megahome while a financial crisis explodes is... tough. Also, there are lots of challenges, beyond timing, when building new.
Here we are now, 6 years after the first public listing, almost 3 years after the actual sale, and 511 Pacific is coming back to market. (And the stock market just hit eye-opening new highs.)
Asking price: $6.799M.
It's a price that befits a very large, distinctive Hill Section property. What they'll get – time will tell.
We did note that this price straddles the line between the ultra-ambitious start and the eventual sale price. The precise midpoint between those numbers is $6.700M.
So, dare we say, based on asking price, this one is somewhere right between the ambitious go-go days of the market's last peak and the more sobering reality of 2010. Otherwise you can say it's a 30% markup after 3 years.
About the house... we mentioned it had been a frequent flyer on MBC. We were always fascinated by the house. In "Pacific Connection," we took note of the property finally getting an offer (actually more than one, once the first came in). Here's how we summarized the home in that post:
511 Pacific – which actually rises above Ardmore, with the entry on Pacific in back – is absolutely unique, boasting huge (and unexpected) panoramic views from PV to Malibu and a ton of space spread all about a network of hallways and staircases. You could get lost in this maze of a house.
Much of the lower floor on the west side (with views) consists of the master, master bath, separate closet/dressing room (with extra bath) and yet another room that could be called a "sitting room" for the master, or a sizable private gym. That space would be a nice, bright living room or game room in any other home, but here it's really just for the master of the house.
Suffice it to say, the builders squeezed a lot of amazing, custom home onto this peculiar, inclined lot. Features like the media/theater room downstairs and disappearing window/walls (nanawalls) that open up the big views are state of the art.
This is one that truly has to be seen. The home is almost impossible to capture by mere photograph.
Last time around, 511 Pacific ran so long, they had to host several public opens just to try to expose it. This time, here's hoping they hold public opens by choice. It's a distinctive home worth your time to see, and your bucks if you've got 'em.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Blame low inventory.
The one and only measure by which MB is not off to a gangbusters start this year is: The number of closed sales.
Not enough product, not enough sales. Evidence suggests MB is not lacking for demand at all.
To see some context, we looked back 10 years at the number of SFR sales in the first third of each year.
With 96 sales closing between Jan. 1-April 30 this year, we're slightly trailing the pace of 2012, and only barely above 2011. Really, the last 3 years look the same.
This year blows away the two popped-bubble years, 2008 and 2009, and is somewhat better than 2010.
But as bubbly as this year feels, it can't hold a candle to the 4 bubble years captured in our chart here. From 2004-2007, there were well over 100 sales each year in this same period – more than 140 in both 2004 and 2007.
Spring 2007 was a wobbly market, and not everyone was sure the bubble was popping at the time. You can see how the market was sending mixed signals then, with plenty of sales volume despite the weird buzz in the air at the time.
Prices are rising these days, no doubt. But sales are not, yet, while we wait for more supply to meet the eager demand we know is out there.
An interesting, additional point of reference for the imbalance between supply and demand: At this writing, Monday afternoon, we have 47 active listings (SFRs and THs) and 77 properties in escrow.
Last year, in late May, we mentioned the active/pending balance. Then, active inventory was 87 and pending sales totaled 79. (See "Pre-Summer Inventory Check-In.")
It's funny: To have 87 actives now would nearly double current inventory, but pending sales year over year would be flat, just like we see with closed sales now.
As we said, blame low inventory this year.
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Did you notice the little pickup in inventory late in the week?
We had just bemoaned in our April 30 market update that there were just 38 offerings in MB – and then came a little flood. By Saturday, we were up to a whopping 52 offerings citywide.
Many of these came in at the higher end, but more is simply better, isn't it?
There were plenty of new homes to see this week and review.
To plan your open-house tours, try this Redfin map list of open houses – sort by price or sub-region of MB by clicking the title on a column, or click here for the Beach Reporter list of opens. (This week, the BR list is a little buggy.)
1023 9th (4br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft.) is a 1950s original that's been added onto, stretched out and even given a bonus guest house in the backyard. It will be a project for the next owner. (The listing calls it a "wonderful opportunity," which is different from, say, "turnkey.")
Most of the materials in the home are of middling quality (Pergo flooring, old carpet), the baths are basically original and cramped (except the master bath), and the layout isn't precisely conventional. But on the plus side, there is quite a bit of common space spread out in two long areas of the first floor; one family room opens to a large deck.
The big 7500 sq. ft. lot should give you a big yard, but then there's that guest house now tucked away in back. That little unit might perfectly meet someone's needs, but for now it takes up a goodly chunk of yard and splits up the balance of the outdoor space. You might consider ditching it.
The basic layout here gives you 3 smallish-to-medium bedrooms downstairs plus a pretty large master over the garage. As we noted above, the master bath is almost the most updated feature in the house – thought not 21st century-caliber – and is pretty sizable in its own right. If you don't mind the master up/kids down layout, this could work, or the room might make for a big extra family room/playroom. That is, if you choose one of the downstairs bedrooms as a master (and share the hallway bath).
Whoever gets this one is going to be putting some work in to try to revive the place; the question is how much, and do you wind up with something great in the end?
1023 9th starts at $1.500M and is open Sun 1-4pm.
1026 1st (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) is something we have not seen in a very long time in the Hill Section: New construction with ocean views. And it's "only" $3.5M to start, not bad given the views and size.
It's clearly some of the best work by this particular local developer, with a pleasing Santa Barbara-inspired exterior, interesting rustic flooring, and finishes that range from pretty nice to great. (Alas, there is the occasional off-key note, like vinyl windows and sliders in spots.)
The upside-down layout puts the great room up top with a good-size balcony that just drinks in terrific PV and ocean views from the back of the house. You're looking over newer homes, so you know these views are for real and forever.
All bedrooms are on the entry level, and a large bonus room is on a lower level. The lot slopes down toward the back, a fact which is not apparent from the front at all, so the lower-level entertainment room is a nice surprise.
1026 1st starts at $3.5M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
308 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is an SFR with decent ocean views and a pleasant, remodeled feel – although the 2002 remodel may not match up all the way to current tastes. (For instance, we find maple flooring perfectly nice and beachy, but suddenly everyone wants dark walnut, or maybe some kind of wide-plank oak.)
You enter on the middle level up a flight of outdoor stairs, and this is really just 2-level living, not your typical TH layout with one bedroom stuck along with the garage downstairs.
There's really just the one common room serving triple duty: Kitchen, formal dining and your living room. It works, but could get cramped with too many people around too often.
One bedroom on the level with the living spaces is somewhat small, but it has this plus: It opens to a little patio with a bubbling hot tub.
Upstairs each bedroom gets its own bath, but the master suite is really where it's at. Not only do you get lying-down views of the ocean over rooftops across the street, there's also a built-in office at the front corner, which may be a great place to work, or very distracting. We'd give that a shot to find out.
308 Manhattan Ave. last sold in June 2006 for $2.200M, and is offered now at $2.299M. It is open Sun. 2-4pm.
204 16th (4br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.) is a lower walkstreet home on one of the great Ocean-to-Highland teen streets near downtown.
The newer (2007) Mediterranean home has a heavy, serious, luxurious feel to it all around. Great ocean views from the top-floor living room in back, and very decent views down the walkstreet in front as well.
View bonus: The power poles are gone, as of just a couple years ago.
As is common (and most requested) for a walkstreet home like this, you've got an entertaining room on the bottom floor, connecting to a patio on the walkstreet, bedrooms on the midlevel, and living spaces up top, nicely integrated with private, outdoor decks.
This one traded 2 years ago, almost exactly, in May 2011, for $4.700M.
204 16th starts now at $5.295M, a price which comes in well below some recent "teen street" sales as well as other 100-block sales, but nonetheless also represents a markup of +$595K (+13%) over just 2 years. Well, they were 2 eventful years. We're in a different place today.
204 16th is open Sun. 1-4pm.
605 13th (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft.) feels like the Sand Section but fits within our "Tree Section" designation within MB. The lot sizes, the nature of typical homes in the area and the development rules – those all feel beachy.
You'll see ocean from the top-floor living room's huge picture window – along with PV and (surprise) lots of treetops.
The home is a boxy 1960s original, which they call "restored" in the listing, but that's unfair to the work that's been done. It's modernized, without almost any stone unturned in a head-to-toe re-do that has just been completed. (Small demerits for some hallway cabinet doors and closet sliders that were left original.) It's stylish, and move-in ready.
Layout-wise, you have to cope with bedroom separation (1 upstairs with the living spaces, 2 down) and the lack of a true master. (Mr. and Mrs. Master need to share a hallway bath with (a) a kid or guest, if on the first floor, or (b) everyone in the living spaces, if choosing upstairs.
These are things you kind of roll with to live near the beach, get views and walkability to downtown (and school). And here are some bonus points for watching a 60s house get revived rather than razed.
Oh, about that... Based on the development rules in this exact area, you'd calculate that the home could be developed to 3 stories and 3375 square feet some day. But no. There's a newly instated "deed restriction" that limits the height permanently to the building's current roofline. So take it as it is, don't expect to take it up.
605 13th starts at $1.499M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
2904 Pacific (3br/2ba, 1100 sq. ft.) (3br/2ba, 1100 sq. ft.) is quite cute, boasting nice, newer wood flooring and a newer kitchen that's sizable for a 1000-odd-square-foot house. There's a nice little yard in back, in addition to 2 patios.
And the huge 3-car garage in back is a nice bonus – you could easily see using some of that space as an extra game room.
Of some concern, however: None of the 3br is in any way spacious, including the one you would have to call the master in back. Just big enough for a bed and maybe a couple small pieces of furniture, plus a quite small bath with a small, tile, stall shower that would be a bit claustrophobic. And that's the "master."
The driveway accessing the garage in back is shared with the neighbor – an unusual arrangement in MB. On the plus side, the neighbor has outfitted the rear area of the driveway with a full-blown sports court, and you ought to be able to share.
This home sold only last year, not even fully 12 months ago, at $873K. Since then, the owners have performed a series of systemic improvements, including new roof, water heater, siding, insulation, wiring, sewer line and drainage system. They're important things you wouldn't spot readily.
They say this is not a "flip" really, just that the new owners' plans changed suddenly.
If that's going to happen to you, you want it to happen in a rapidly rising market.
They're starting 2904 Pacific at $1.095M, or +$222K/+25% over last year. It's open Sun. 1-4pm.
3305 Laurel (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.) is an extra-big and serious "Tuscan" inspired home that has never actually sold since its completion in 2007.
Call it unfortunate timing: Putting out a new home in sight of the refinery at $3.750M in Summer 2007 was not fated to work out well. They tried, but even cuts closer to $3.3M by Spring 2008 weren't nearly enough. The property rented out instead.
Now it's back on the market $500K lighter than when last seen, at a time when $2.5M-$2.8M for relatively average-sized new and newer construction is becoming the norm. And here you've got 4300 sq. ft., thanks to a huge basement bedroom plus entertainment room. Suddenly the new price of $2.799M looks within range.
There's no dismissing the ambition and quality of the construction here. It feels authentic and old-world.
Layout is a bit unusual, with the dining room, kitchen and family room on one level, opening to a mostly hardscaped courtyard, then formal living up a half flight of stairs. The 4 real bedrooms are on the top level, a couple in odd shapes, nothing particularly large. We liked the master bath somehow for its sheer different-ness.
They dug out a basement here, and man is it huge. It's enough space to carve out into 2-3 separate entertaining spaces – theater, pool room, play room/band practice room. One large room behind a door qualifies as the 5th bedroom, thanks to a (large) closet and the bath on the bottom floor.
3305 Laurel is priced at $2.799M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
927 27th (5br/6ba, 4240 sq. ft.) rhymes a little bit with 3305 Laurel, above, in that it is a newer (2007) build with a pretty committed, heavy, old-world style. It's also one of the rare Tree Section properties to have ever netted more than $3m.
The home's big and luxurious, a cut above most newer builds. The original home was customized further by the current owners with upgrades to kitchen cabinetry, the master suite and the installation of a housewide (and exterior) sound system. An authentic, wood-burning pizza oven outside is another personalized plus, while the wine room downstairs has been properly insulated and has its own cooling system.
With a smaller-than-normal lot (3940 sq. ft.), the large home is laid out somewhat more like a Sand Section house, with 3 levels – 3 full bedroom suites upstairs, one on the middle/entry level (now set up as an office) and a fifth on the lowest level. The best surprise may be the big home theater downstairs, with a separate room for DVD storage and equipment and yet another private room in back.
927 27th was purchased in Aug. 2007 for $3.150m, tried but did not sell in 2011, and is offered now at $2.895M. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.
1200 Wendy (3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.) is a 2br original with a recent addition in back that added a living space and smallish 3rd bedroom/office just off that living room.
It's bright and quite nicely redone, and the 5800+ sq. ft. lot really seems large. But location-wise, this will be a no-go for lots of people – not only is it on the side of Wendy that borders Aviation off the backyard, it's also right along fairly busy 12th St., with views of a corner preschool and traffic, including cars heading to Trader Joe's. (Another way of saying this is: "Steps to Trader Joe's!")
In all, it's a much more pleasant home than you'd expect in the 90266 for "just" $1M (start: $1.050M), and there's really no work to do unless you want to improve the yards, front and back.
1200 Wendy starts at $1.050M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
1400 Magnolia (3br/2ba, 1320 sq. ft.) is a nicely improved cottage just east of Sepulveda with a bonus: It's along the interior, protected sidewalk that directs foot traffic to Meadows Elementary. Call it a kid highway.
It's a very efficient use of space and feels largely up to date. For a 4900 sq. ft. lot, there doesn't seem to be a lot of outside space, and what there is has all been hardscaped, meant to open up outdoor entertaining spaces rather than to be used as a yard.
A plus: A/C.
Ever since this one hit the MLS last week at $1.299M, we've thought it very ambitious. The market may have been there before, may get there in the future – but is it there now?
1400 Magnolia starts at $1.299M and is listed, improbably, as open Sun. 11am-12pm. Here's hoping that's a misprint and they'll open up during more conventional hours, too.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Since our redesign here at MBC, we've been publishing spreadsheets of our market updates. But this time, we wanted to try one of our update posts like from the olden days, with a discussion of market action during this period, broken down by section of MB. It takes a little longer to produce these "Comings & Goings" reports, but here's hoping you enjoy.
First, here's the quick overview on active inventory:
- 38 active listings as of 4/30/13 (+3 from mid-month)
- 34 SFRs (+5 from mid-month)
- 4 THs (-2)
Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach:
- Tree Section: 8 actives
- Sand Section: 16 actives
- Hill Section: 0 actives (nothing, truly nothing)
- East MB: 14 actives
You can see the complete report on active listings, with live links to every property, in this single post on our data blog: "MB Inventory as of 4/30/13."
We also offer a report on pending and closed sales by region of MB. Here's a link to the post: "MB Pending/Sold as of 4/30/13."
For closed sales, we provide the past 6 months' worth of sales by region. This is the typical window of time used by appraisers.
Tree Section - Comings & Goings
Three homes debuted and sold in this 2-week period in the Trees: Two project homes (1404 Elm at $1.279M and 524 13th at $1.550M, pictured), both of which drew multiple offers, and 2316 Elm, a distinctly 80s original that's been nicely updated (list: $1.879M).
Closed sales in this period included Dave's listing at 2507 N. Valley (4br/4ba, 2825 sq. ft.) at $1.885M (quick close above asking), new construction at 585 31st at $2.800M and a notable overbid at the custom Spanish home at 1725 Oak ($2.085M).
Sand Section – Comings & Goings
Sand Section inventory has seemed to be sluggish to emerge these past several weeks, but one listing made a very quick splash in this 2-week period: 3405 Manhattan Ave. (5br/5ba, 4400 sq. ft.), a full-size, recognizably 90s build (with updates), which hit the market at $3.800M and lasted all of one day before signatures hit the bottom line.
Also making a deal during this period: a TH at 221 4th Place (3br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.), a surprisingly large-feeling and fresh 2001 build with more of a "city" feel than ocean views – but, ah, yes, the South End going for it.
There was quite a mix of new offerings in this period, led by 2316 The Strand (pictured) at $11.0M. This is the perfect house for someone who is looking for exactly this house, but may be a tough fit for the typical Strand buyer. (Is there a "typical?") This is a 2-story, functionally 1br house (plus one spare), wide open and ultra modern. Huge "cool" factor.
Also new this period: 440 5th St. (4br/5ba, 3070 sq. ft.), a South End walkstreet home we've reviewed positively, listed at $3.350M, a nice remodel at 308 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) – hey, is it really 100 years old? – at $2.299M and a flat walkstreet new build that will be ready next year at 416 8th (will be 5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) listed at $4.250M.
Closed sales in this period included the TH at 2311 Manhattan Ave., which started much too ambitiously at $2.199M last year and now closed for $1.920M (-13% off that high start), a quick cash sale at 516 21st (4br/4ba, 3540 sq. ft.) at $3.475M – that one raised some eyebrows – and 212 40th (3br/2ba, 1525 sq. ft.), a truly cute, extremely well remodeled "original beach cottage in El Porto" (per the listing) at the amazing price of $1.350M.
Hill Section – Comings & Goings
Inventory in the Hills is just nothin'.
200 S. Dianthus, which never had any traction at $3.7M, quit.
Meantime 3 other Hill Section listings made deals, none more surprising than 220 Larsson (pictured), a difficult house (4br/4ba, 3350 sq. ft.) in a poor location, listed at $1.399M – it just didn't seem a candidate for a quick deal, but there you go.
East MB – Comings & Goings
New listings that made deals within this 2-week period included the refreshed 60s house at 1250 Shelley (pictured), listed at $1.175M, 1713 Faymont (5br/3ba, 3430 sq. ft. at $1.849M) and a huge, upgraded 90s house at 1613 5th (5br/5ba, 4400 sq. ft., at $2.439M).
Did we just say a Liberty Village home listed over $1.8M had an immediate deal?
One of the Tennyson condos also found a buyer: 1208 Tennyson #7, listed at $849K. That one sold in April 2007 for $870K.
Among the new listings this period was 1200 10th, a new construction projected touted as "[r]aising the standard in East Manhattan Beach." They have also raised the price – just last year the same project was offered at $2.899M, now it's up to $3.199M.
As we discussed – in some detail – last July, the original price was scratching toward a record for East MB, including all the bubbly years that came before. (See "$2.9M for New Construx in East MB.") If they hit $3.199M, they really would have the new record. (Follow that link to our old post, you'll see $3.1M as the prior record.)
Back on Earth, the other new listings this period included a very difficult house/lot sale at 418 Chabela ($1.069M), a somewhat updated cottage at 1400 Magnolia (3br/2ba, 1320 sq. ft.) asking $1,000/PSF ($1.299M) and 1748 Voorhees (4br/4ba, 2900 sq. ft.), what looks like a FSBO of a home that sold one year ago for $1.430M, now seeking $1.585M.
The headliner among closed sales was clearly the newly remodeled 2105 N. Meadows (4br/3ba, 2270 sq. ft.), listed at $1.540M and sold for (gulp) $1.700M. For 2000-ish sq. ft. on a busy street. Some of these remodels truly generate "must have" buzz, don't they?