recent sales

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El Porto has always been a little different. It wasn't even part of Manhattan Beach until we annexed it in 1980.

Though it's in MB (now), homes in El Porto tend to run cheaper. It's all relative, of course, because a million-shack shack on an alley in El Porto is still a pretty pricey piece of real estate. Still, you'll generally get more for the dollar up north.

And yet, wouldn't you believe it? In 2014, we see new sales in El Porto that raise the bar considerably.

First, it was 113 El Porto (4br/4ba, 2700 sq. ft.), a Strand-adjacent TH that gets great views and has an outstanding open floorplan on the top level.

We felt truly lucky to even see 113 El Porto. Though it's 14 years old (2000 build), it sizzles with modern design and a sense of luxury…

If you think back to early 2012, it wasn't so long ago, really.

But that was probably the beginning of the current rally in Manhattan Beach real estate, with prices now riding a "rocket to the moon," as we said in a recent post. (See "MB Median Prices Tilt Way Up.") Today, the world looks quite a bit different.

One of the first homes to sell in our real estate "Spring" that year (our Spring market begins around Feb. 1) was 1305 8th (6br/4ba, 4100 sq. ft.).

It listed for $1.725M, and we recall thinking something like "nice place, cosmetic fixer, but is that kind of rich?" It sold almost immediately for only a little less: $1.710M.

That sale seems now to have been one of the first signs of the market to come: Solidifying, more confident, with prices…

You could be forgiven for not noticing the old Spanish at 10th/Highland downtown.

921 Highland is a 1930s original on a double lot (5400 sq. ft.).

If you were to rewind time a bit (which is hard), we'd hazard that the big house was once all but alone on the stretch of Highland near Center Street and the pier. There are stories, to be sure.

Now, though, the question turns to what to do on the site. Someone has just paid $5.400M for the home, and we're not really thinking it's because they're preservationists.

A double lot with ocean views on a walkstreet right in the thick of MB's now-bustling core should probably have a lot of new stuff on it that reflects what MB is today.

You could built one heckuva single-family home, something you could even call…

The lowest-priced house in MB has just sold, and it might lead to a pause-and-reflect type of moment.

The home in question is 1658 11th, a little 2br on a half lot on a corner that we can fairly call busy.

So what was that rock-bottom price for the little darling? $872,340. That's the lowest number for a single-family this year.

In 2013, there were 6 sales lower than that, headlined by one that almost looks like a misprint: a half-lot fixer nearby at 919 Herrin at $605K. A 6 in front!

But what can you get for that kind of money outside of MB?

Golly, just head across Artesia from Mira Costa in the Golden Hills neighborhood of Redondo, and you can have your pick of full-size homes (tall-and-skinny, sure, but full-size). As just one example, Dave sold