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There has been an odd rush of landlocked half-lot homes this year, as we noted just a few weeks ago. (See "Year of the Landlocked Half Lot.")

The second of these to come to market recently was 333 8th (1br/1ba, 765 sq. ft.), a quirky little place, fully built of brick, but in a great mid-block location on the treasured flat family walkstreets of the South End.

They listed it for $1.200M because, hey, what's something like this worth? No garage, no street access, tiny place, can't be built up... How do you do the math?

The answer: $1.447M, with the sale closing Friday.

That's within range of a somewhat larger, nicer home with slightly more land that was the first landlocked half-lot home to sell, 124 17th (2br/1ba, 880 sq. ft.).

When that one sold…

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.


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…

It takes luck and money to wind up on Manhattan Beach's famed South End flat family walkstreets.

Increasingly, more and more money.

The newest sale in the area is 340 6th St. (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.) at $4.235M.

That's a healthily 4+ type number without precedent among MLS-reported sales. (More on that in a moment.)

This was a less-than-maxed-out home that hit $1,176/PSF. (Max would have been around 4200 sq. ft. but with a third car spot required in the garage; at 3600, you can have 2-car garage and, therefore, a larger first-floor living area.)

The home style is called "Beach Plantation," with details inside that have to be called modern in flavor. There's ample family space all around the first floor, including the kitchen, all opening to the walkstreet.…

The Manhattan Beach real estate market is beginning to get its share of spec construction projects here and there. Two ocean-view beach homes that are emblematic of this new wave have now sold above $5 million.

This new run of construction is nothing like the wave of bank-funded speculative projects built in the early late-90s or early 2000s. Generally you see just one at a time, or a couple/few at a time, by each investor (or group), boasting quality names for the architecture and building. Investors are working on a small scale but building for top-dollar return.

And, like the twin projects we'll discuss here, the style of the new builds speaks to what today's high-end buyers want.

Here's a hint: It ain't Caliterranean.

224 6th (5br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.)