recent sales

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The market is as busy as ever, but Spring is the time for new listings. Maybe for a while, supply can keep ever-so-slightly ahead of demand.

As we write, inventory is at 48 total listings in Manhattan Beach, a high for the year. And we know of a few more still coiled up, poised to hit today and Friday.

That could get us to a (recently) uprecedented 50 listings this week.

As our chart here shows, if we're anywhere over 42 active listings by COB next Monday, then 2014 will exceed the total inventory available in 2013 for the first time year-over-year.

As reported in our MB Market Update for 3/31/13, inventory had already begun a downward trend by hitting 42 active listings, and we never saw that many options again until mid-May as the market began to

When the cute front house on a half lot at 124 17th (2br/1ba, 880 sq. ft.) sold last December for $1.540M, it left an open question: What about the back unit? Both had been on the market at about the same time.

The back unit is 125 16th Place (2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft.) a slightly smaller home and not quite as cute as the Spanish 2br in front. But it has something 124 17th didn't have: A garage.

But...

This home, we're told, is subject to a height restriction for at least 10 more years – a voluntary arrangement worked out by a prior owner at some point, no doubt with a neighbor looking to protect views.

And this 1200 sq. ft. lot is further precluded from being merged with the front lot (124 17th actually has 1500 sq. ft. of dirt) thanks to a separate deed…

You have to be careful not to be continuously shocked, or your systems may burn out. You may become numb to news that really is big.

We're conscious of all that, and kinda hate to ring the "shocker" bell too often in this rising market. But we have occasion again today with the sale at 768 26th in the Tree Section at $1.900M.

The most ridiculous way to analyze this one would be by price per square foot. Because on this 3br/2ba, 1443 sq. ft. cottage, the PPSF wound up at $1,317/PSF.

Check that. You'll typically see those kinds skewed figures only when looking at a land sale – a small house contributes almost nothing to the value that someone places on the plot, so the math gets screwy. Recent examples in the Trees are 750 30th ($1.515M, $1,308/PSF), 636

In a rising market, money chases opportunity. Find an underpriced dog of a property, add value with a quick remodel, and you can add value. Flip it and score.

Yes, flippers are back in Manhattan Beach. (We first noted this phenomenon in August last year.) Here are some of the most recent rehab projects to make deals.

3521 Oak (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.) is built in a style you might call "modern Southwestern," with the interior getting a heavy dose of slick 21st-century finishes.

That upgrade was necessary. Last Summer, the same home was on the market but looking frumpy and almost hopeless. Location didn't help – across from the hotel parking lot and steps to Rosecrans. After listing at $1.200M, a tiny price for 1900 sq. ft. these days, the home traded to a…