Recently we got a somewhat desperate message from a buyer: Is there any chance we can get into Manhattan Beach west of Sepulveda under $1.5M?

This came near the culmination of a long and fruitless search for properties in that price range.

The reluctant reply: No, not really. You'll have to compromise on location or price.

As is so often the case in this market, those buyers wound up compromising on both.

But (the good news) they did make a deal west of the highway.

As we write today, there are only 2 SFRs west of Sepulveda active under $1.5M:

3601 N. Poinsettia (3br/1ba, 1070 sqft.), a small and largely original cottage with a few obvious liabilities, not least the shared driveway.

The location is way over by Rosecrans in the Tree Section.

Asking price: $1.375M.

2701 Oak (2br/1ba, 900 sqft.) is a 4480 sqft. corner lot that's up for overbidding now after an initial auction had set the lot value at $1.340M.

The first overbid in a court hearing this Summer must be at least $1.407M. There are already new Oak Ave. comps to support that price.

Those are your options today under $1.5M.

All year here in 2015, there have been just 11 sales of SFRs west of Sepulveda below $1.5M. Here they are:

  • 1 was a small, updated house on a half-lot on on alley in the Sand Section (532 5th Place at $1.349M) (pictured).
  • 1 was a small, original house on a tiny lot on Valley in the Tree Section (2801 Valley at $985K); and
  • 1 was a duplex on a half lot in El Porto, near Highland (217 Kelp at $1.430M).

In each case, you could say the buyers compromised, at the very least, on location – but at least they did get in west of the highway.

In 2014, a total of 36 SFRs west of Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach traded for $1.5M or less.

Near mid-year, here, it looks like 2015 won't come near that total.

When all is said and done at 217 27th, and we mean way down the road, you can expect to see a new landmark for midtown Manhattan Beach.

Looming over Bruce's Beach park, the current, obsolete structure gets pretty terrific views.

The next structure is sure to be designed to rock it.

We realize that this little 400-pixel image of the views (or a smaller image, on your phone) isn't able to convey much. But trust us.

If you know Manhattan Beach, if you know ocean views, if you know Bruce's Beach Park and its expansive, wide-open ocean views, and if you know the value of all these things combined, it's rather easy to see why elite money – big dollars – would chase this particular plot.

The potential for a new home with unobstructable views is unlimited.

This weekend is not just a great time to pick from among the growing range of options for open houses... which is free... but also to check out the annual Sophisticated Snoop tour, giving you the chance to see some of the most artful homes in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa in full-dress glory.

That includes this Hermosa Strand modern, plus an MB Strand home and others in the Sand & Tree sections of Manhattan Beach.

See this DigMB post for more, including links to each property, and pick up tickets at the door of any property – or see here for more on the Snoop.

To plan your (free) open-house tours for this week, try this Redfin map list of open houses, or click here for the Beach Reporter list of opens

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB…

Even just the last week has seemed busy in the Manhattan Beach real estate market. You want options? They've been coming: 15 new listings in 7 days.

The problem (stop us if this sounds familiar)... There were 14 new deals made in the same span. So the 7-day net increase in inventory was +1.

We're going to focus on just a few new construction projects that have found buyers most recently:

2412 John (3br/3ba, 1890 sqft.) is unconventional for new construction and has been polarizing, in a way, among market watchers. Why build under-sized on a prime street? Why go mid-century? Are buyers really looking for green & modern?

For an uncomfortably long time – OK, just 90 days – the doubters were winning the day. 2412 John was too ambitiously priced at $2.799M…