ocean views

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A little pocket of the MB Tree Section near downtown does not feel like the suburbs at all – it feels like the beach.

Smaller lots and dense development rules put the homes close together. Some get an ocean view, and downtown is close by for all. This area, basically 12th and 13th Streets from Ardmore east to Laurel, is informally the South Martyrs Hill, given that it's south of the American Martyrs Church.

There have been 4 sales in the area this year already on the public market – each seemingly pricier than the last. (An off-market lot sale is pending.)

Blowing away all records for the area is the most recent sale: 632 12th St. (3br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.), an 80s build with mostly cosmetic updates, up near the top of the hill with some views.

They came…

Until last year, there was never such a thing as a $2.8M townhome east of Highland.

Now, it's happened 4 times.

The newest sale is on new construction at 408 32nd (4br/4ba, 2650 sq. ft.) an ultra-modern TH on the back half of the lot, where you might expect a Vista address.

List price: $2.800M. Sale price: $2.810M.

The home is very nicely executed, with a spa-like feel to the baths and a warm sophistication across the board. We thought it helped a lot that a simple, modern home like this was so tastefully decorated for presentation to would-be buyer – it's a very good argument for proper staging.

Views are nice, if not permanent, complemented by the classy old-Manhattan Spanish duplex across the street. (Click thru the listing pics to see the second…

There are few homes west of Highland that are bigger than 201 18th (5br/7ba, 7900 sq. ft.).

There are even fewer sale prices that are bigger than – or even near – the $12.000M just paid for the property. The sale closed Wednesday.

That's a Strand-worthy price for a home that's several doors up from The Strand.

It just happens to be on one of the coolest sloping walkstreets in all of Manhattan Beach, winding 18th St.. The home sprawls across one and a half lots on this prime terrain.

(For our quick video walk along 18th, see this post or use this link to the brief video.)

A tax records search seems to show only two higher prices west of Highland – including one right at the bottom of the same block, at 1800 The Strand (5br/7ba, 5330 sq. ft.), which

The fuddy-duddies in the halls of the city government decided, at some point, that roof decks are not to be allowed in Manhattan Beach anymore.

We're sure they had their reasons, as did the lawyers and insurance companies warning everyone against permitting epic views and roof-deck parties.

The net effect of a new regulation like that is always to do what? To make properties built prior to the regulation more valuable, of course. (Good job, class, you've been paying attention.)

The first home we've seen on the market in a while to have a roof deck was 648 12th St. (4br/3ba, 3065 sq. ft.) in the Martyrs hill area near downtown. It has now sold for what looks like a premium at $2.160M.

And why might that be? We're betting on the roof deck.

We had…