hill section

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About 3 years ago, the buyers' market in Manhattan Beach was winding down. A firmer, more optimistic market was taking shape. It would gradually become the current rally, or whatever you want to call today's rapidly rising market.

In June 2011, we were accustomed to seeing homes trade around their 2004 values. And yet, 319 S. Poinsettia in the Hill Section sold then for a notable markup over its 2004 sale price. That got MBC's attention at the time. (See "A Big Markup Over '04.")

The 2004 sale of the home, when new, was at $2.137M. The resale in a (supposed) buyers' market was for $2.495M, the list price, which had seemed ambitious at the time.

A 17% bump over an '04 price back then was an outlier.

Now the home is back up at $3.999M (can we call it

Are we in one of those markets now?

Twice recently we've seen listings raise their prices and make deals shortly thereafter.

First we saw this happen at 438 S. Meadows, a big Mediterranean (well, they say "Spanish") that sold this week for $2.595M.

This one listed in October 2013 for $2.500M and had a deal within about 6 weeks.

But that deal stayed in "backup offer" status for months, meaning the sellers were soliciting new offers just in case the first one didn't pan out.

Come February, the property officially came back on market. This is a solid, newer house, so we inferred that it was probably not a problem with the property, but with the buyers – perhaps a contingency for selling their own property did not pan out. (We've not tried to pry into the…

Spring has begun in Manhattan Beach – don't tell your friends and family back East – and inventory is bursting out, with quick deals the norm.

But coming back into the "active" inventory this week are two listings that already had deals.

711 Larsson (4br/2ba, 1800 sq. ft.) is a 1950s original in the Hill Section with big lot (6875 sq. ft.) and a sunny western-facing yard.

It ran just about 2 weeks on the market at $1.475M before finding a buyer.

That was only last week, and, lo, here it is, back again.

So if you missed your first shot at it, you didn't miss it after all.

We are still very unsure what could happen on this one longer-term. Nearly $1.5M is OK for that much land in the Hills, but if you build new, you're going to be in for nearly $3M for…

Who doesn't love a bargain?

In real estate, getting a real steal of a deal can mean shopping on the stormy seas of short sales and foreclosures. There haven't been many of those in Manhattan Beach recently, but owners who grabbed some in recent years are making out great here in 2013-14 upon resale.

The newest listing looking to profit nicely from buying a foreclosure during the recent down market is 801 11th in the Hill Section (4br/3ba, 3020 sq. ft.), asking $1.970M.

This is a custom build from 2004 that has had a troubled history on the public market. What's that? What ever could be wrong with a sharp, modern, open, newer home near downtown in the prestigious Hill Section? Well, this very strategically shot exterior photo doesn't quite convey that