Inventory in the Tree Section is 50% higher than last year now, 30 listings versus 19 in mid-August 2015, and sales have been a bit sluggish.

But we wanted to call attention to a couple that have made deals recently.

747 18th Street Manhattan Beach CA747 18th (5br/4ba, 3625 sqft.) is one that was surely compelling, and was surely going to be selling. It would be only a matter of time and price.

This Spanish-inspired mid-80s house is at least adjacent to a great location, within sight of American Martyrs school and just one block off of leafy Laurel Ave. (The garage and 2br are on Pacific at stretch that can get busy around school and commuter times.)

The sellers moved out and commenced a quick refresher/remodel, meant to somewhat update the house – new master bath, new carpet and other flooring, paint and some work in the kitchen, etc. The light re-do made it possible to see the home as move-in ready and not hopelessly stuck in a bygone era. (This is a strategy that can have pluses and minuses, might work and might not work.) There was no doubt that they'd do what it takes to find a buyer.

The list price for this large Martyrs-adjacent home was $2.875M. That turned out to sound too much like $3M to draw bids for a home that still has a to-do list of updates/changes, in reality.

Soon it was down 9% to $2.629M, and they've now accepted an offer. 

$2.6M or so felt like the sweet spot. You could almost feel it when they made that most recent reduction 10 days ago: "There it goes!"

Curiously, the listing description changed with that last price cut to reference the popular (?), well-known local mattress-selling slogan, "You're killing me, Larry!" They really did that; you can look it up. Bravo for fearless marketing.

And then there was 794 27th794 27th Street Manhattan Beach CA (5br/4ba, 3075 sqft.), which recently sold. (Also on a corner with Pacific Ave.)

The custom Asian-modern, completed in 2003, had hit the market in June 2015, asking $3.290M, a price much higher in dollar value and PPSF than any resale of a home in the Tree Section for 18 months prior.

How much higher? It was 10% higher than the highest resale – a darling home in a prime location at 1812 Palm – and almost 20% higher than the highest PPSF for homes that weren't new construction, hovering around $900/PSF at the time.

If the goal was to not sell, this was great strategy: Overprice it, use an out-of-area agent and make it difficult to show.

They succeeded brilliantly. They accumulated days on market, made a bunch of price cuts, quit the market and came back, with almost nothing happening for long stretches.

Even the second out-of-area agent needed more than 5 months this year to draw a winning offer – and that came from an out-of-area, discounter online brokerage that rhymes with "bedspin."

In the end, though, the sale got done at $2.600M last week, 21% lower than the start price.

There's that $2.6 number again.

In a different market, this home had the distinction of selling for a big loss. (You can see our 2008 post from when the home went into escrow, "You Can Lose in MB.")

It was purchased for $2.500M in an off-market deal (or no deal) in 2006, but ultimately resold in January 2009 for $1.950M (-22%).

So they didn't get $3.3M this time, but at least they didn't suffer like the last seller. And at least they can say the value here was a tad higher than in 2006.

Now, about those 30 other listings...

Here's hoping you're having a great Summer. You won't hear us telling you that it's about to end. Them's fightin' words in some parts.

Our video this week features the open houses listed below in our post, and a few others that aren't publicly open, including large, modernized 2213 Agnes:

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 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 page, under "Open Houses."

Below, click any address link to view all photos and property details. And don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can…

At all price points, you notice that buyers aren't necessarily paying what sellers are asking these days.

Indeed, some sellers shot so high, it took a long time and deep cuts to get their homes sold. Here's a selection of closed sales where the final toll was much lower than the start price:

1201 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1201 Oak (2br/4ba, 2170 sqft.) is something of a duplex in a challenged location near MB Blvd. and across from commercial properties.

That's not to say that the inspired Craftsman-style home lacked charm, but it's hardly a "down the middle" mainstream house. It was owned by singer-songwriter Graham Nash (as famously noted in this LA Times story, among other media).

The listing began in March at $2.350M, and you could reasonably say: Why?

There were 2 sizable price…

The surprising story of the last month or so, the would-be "dog days" of Summer, has been all the real estate activity in Manhattan Beach.

For instance, all that sand castle building on the beach. (See DigMB's story on the recent competition. By the way, nice job there, Mr. Mayor!)

Seriously, a rush of sales has been a big factor in the actual real estate market, too, dropping inventory from near-panic-inducing highs to merely high.

On occasion of this market update, we decided to ask: Where are all these new deals happening?

We will look at the last 4 weeks' worth of data. (See our nerdy note on methodology at the * way down below.)

After all, inventory was high as of July 15th (133) and only got higher over the next few days (to 141 on July 20th).