If you're a writer or a reader (hi there!), you might know the old saw about headlines that are written in the form of a question.

According to what's known as Betteridge's Law of Headlines, if a header ends with a question mark, the answer is "no." (Example: A blog post titled, "Do Most People Know Betteridge's Law of Headlines?")

But here at MBC, we like toying with tradition. Defying expectations. Mixing it up.

Manhattan Pointe Townhomes Aviation Place Manhattan Beach CAAnd so it was with our headline on a December post about the "Manhattan Pointe" condo complex east of Aviation Blvd.: "Big Bump Coming at Aviation Place?"

Then, most definitively, our predicted answer to the question was, "Yes." A "big bump" was coming.

There had been no sales at all in the 28-unit complex of row-house-inspired townhomes since 2012. A sudden rush of sales in that year had brought up typical prices for the close-knit community by 15% from 2009-2011 levels. There were 6 sales in 6 months of 2012, the last and highest at $740K. (We wrote up several sales in "Hoppin' at Aviation Place" in Oct. 2012.)

Absolutely nothing happened in the community after that for 3 1/2 years. (Well, of course, people lived their lives, did homework, shot hoops, laid out trays of finger foods for parties – but there were no real estate sales, which is our concern here.)

213 Aviation Place Manhattan Beach CAIn December 2015, one listing tried to blow way past the highest-ever sale in the Manhattan Pointe complex, which had been $840K. (The high was at 241 Aviation Place in Sept. 2007.)

Going for the gold was 213 Aviation Place (3br/3ba, 1750 sqft.), with an asking price of $1.149M to begin.

Alas, that sale was not to be. Even with a cut to $1.049M and 70 slow days on market. The listing quit in early February.

But someone else saw where the wind might be blowing.

301 Aviation Place Manhattan Beach CAJust 48 hours after 213 Aviation Place had flopped and packed it in, along came 301 Aviation Place (3br/3ba, 1700 sqft.), which shall take center stage now for the balance of our story.

301 Aviation Place boasts a remodeled, modern-style master bath, upgraded wood-style flooring, and a location right at the play area in one corner of the complex – potentially great for a family with kids.

301 came out asking $1.075M, more than the last asking price at the just-concluded listing at 213 Aviation Place.

A month came and went, and you might have begun to wonder – just as roughly 27 other Manhattan Pointe owners surely began to wonder – would anyone get more than $1M, after all, for one of these units?

Then it happened. In mid-March, hands were shaken, ink went on the bottom line, and there was a deal.

Lo, these months later, we see the end result. A sale price slightly higher: $1.077M for 301 Aviation Place.

This kills the prior high sale by nearly $240K and 28%.

It's more than 45% higher than the last sale back in 2012.

We'll go ahead and call that a "big bump" by either measure.

Inventory is still running a bit high, but a number of homes at all price points are making deals here. You can't call this a stalled market right now, even if a lot more sellers want "in."

With 52 listings holding open houses this weekend, there's plenty for buyers to see. Our video this week captures a gorgeous newer build at 3220 Alma, Hill Section new construction just west of Sepulveda at 1033 8th, a downtown half-lot home at 229 9th and more:

 

Some mobile users and email subscribers will need to use this link to view the video.

To plan your open-house tours for this week, use MB Confidential's new online list of Manhattan Beach open houses (it's mobile-friendly!). Our open house link always appears in our weekly wrapups and on the main front

It was only the beginning of April this year when 100+ real estate listings in Manhattan Beach became "the new normal."

We can prove that, because we posted about it – actually on March 31. (See the aptly titled, "MB Real Estate Inventory Hits 100+.") Probably better that it wasn't an April Fool's post.

Manhattan Beach Real Estate Inventory Chart May 15, 2016100+ is just part of the environment now. And, yes, here, with our long, busy days here on the front lines, it feels like forever already.

By the time of our May 15th data capture, inventory was still over 100 at 111. As we go to post here on May 19th, inventory is reaching for 120, having just hit 116.

As you see in our chart, this does not look anything like 2013-2015. We had 57 listings citywide on May 15 last year – meaning this year, we're nearly…

329 1st Street Manhattan Beach CAMore than once this past month, we've been in conversation with clients about 329 1st (4br/3ba, 2075 sqft.), for the simple reason that it seemed unusually low-priced at $2.299M. (It's in escrow now.)

Think about that: A single-family home – on a half lot – in the sleepy South End of the Sand Section, offered in the low 2's. (With a glimpse of ocean, to boot!)

How rare, exactly, is that?

Y'know, we love to answer questions with data. We consulted our Advanced Computer Systems.

We found 28 sales of SFRs south of the pier under $3.000M from Jan. 1, 2013-the present. That's about one sale in the area in this price range per 1 1/2 months.

Wouldn't you know it, though – that really overstates how common a property like 329 1st has been:

  • 8 of those sales…