new construction

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It was about 6 years ago. The last real estate upcycle had begun to stall out. New construction sales slowed. A local builder took it upon himself to convince wary buyers that it was an excellent time to buy.

In our January 2008 post here at MBC (see "A Builder's Take"), we copied this extraordinary half-page print ad placed by the builder and discussed the ad's message. (Click to enlarge.)

Memorably titled, "The Crystal Ball Story," the ad said that new home prices could not go lower, and that buying in early 2008, you'd find your investment up 20% in 5 years.

As time has passed, the message of the half-page ad has proved to be about half right and about half wrong.

The wrong parts are easy to spot. The ad noted that many (then) new homes were built…

We see a lot of homes here in Manhattan Beach.

But we've never seen one like 743 29th, Dave's new listing in the Tree Section.

This home is both old and new. It's newly built, 100%, but its art and ambition are much older. The goal was to create a home that feels timeless, that can transport you to another place – almost to another era.

With rigid attention to detail, this home recreates a classic American home with Queen Anne lineage, something you might find atop sprawling farmland on the East Coast, perhaps in the South, definitely in northern California – in Napa or Mendocino.

By the beach here? That's surprising. And wonderful.

The double lot where this property rests adds to that feeling. The owners did not max out on their nearly 8400 sq. ft.…

It was not very long ago that a sale for $3M or more in East MB was unheard of.

And here we mean on a more standard home and lot, with super-sized, super-private homes like 106 Terraza Place (recent sale: $6.5M) being an obvious exception.

Early this year, new construction at 1626 1st (5br/5ba, 4950 sq. ft.) hit the highest high, the crestiest crest, selling for $3.200M.

Now, it appears, they've done it again.


The same builder acquired a double lot in a very quiet, close-to-everything location on 3rd St., split it and went to work.

The result: 1420 3rd (5br/5ba, 4765 sq. ft.) is in escrow with a posted list price of $3.199M.

And if you're bummed about missing that hacienda, they've got something else for you – a really bold, museum-style…

People love to love the flat walkstreets in Manhattan Beach's South End.

Spec builders and folks who want to build for themselves keep paying more for the land.

The latest eye-opening land trade is a lot that went to a spec builder at 504 8th St. for $2.000M. The sale posted recently in the tax records.

The buyer is the development LLC that recently built and sold 340 6th St. (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.), a modern Plantation style home.

The builder paid $1.825M for the dirt there on 6th back in July 2012. The completed home sold for $4.235M in December 2013, hitting a new high on a PPSF basis for the flat family walkstreets.

However, that sale fell slightly short of the off-market sale price on a new home at 337 7th (4br/4200 sq. ft.) at $4.500M. (See "