A Home to Write Home About

By Dave Fratello | November 15th, 2016

There are luxury homes and then there are... knockouts.

629 6th Street Manhattan Beach CA exteriorThey're not bashful about the achievement that is 629 6th St. (6br/8ba, 5600 sqft.) a new Hill Section home that has just come to market.

It's a "modern masterpiece" and "the finest home to ever hit the market in the Hill Section," per the official description.

Now, there are fine homes all over the Hill Section. Probably the finest have never been on the market at all. There's no need for any argument, though. What's been crafted at 629 6th is special in its own right.

629 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAWhile it's easy to see the sizzle and pop of this ultra-high-end home, the first thing we noted was the relative quiet and low profile of the lot and the neighborhood. There are great homes all around, but this one simply takes one slot on a favorable part of the hill and maximizes it. Contrast that with some Hill Section properties that occupy larger lots and announce themselves boldly to the world: "Passersby, take note of me!" 

The reality is that here, you can live in ultimate luxury and style while hiding just a bit.

629 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAThe first floor features an entryway that runs a third or more of the length of the home, which has the effect of building expectations as one approaches. This level hosts most bedrooms – including the luxe master suite in front, with views – but also a spacious living room opening to the backyard with hot tub, seating area with fire pit and trendy faux grass. It's a good entertaining or family space.

629 6th Street Manhattan Beach CABut the really smashing entertaining space is up top, where you'd expect it.

The kitchen and informal dining spaces are in back, with an ample balcony overlooking the yard. There's seating at the kitchen island as well as a corner carved out with built-in seating. The white marble and warm wood make for a pleasant combination, natural touches within a modern style.

Central to the top floor's living areas is both a wet bar and a spectacular, refrigerated wine display wall that holds the bottles by the neck so you (and your guests) can review the labels.

And then there are the views. You get used to hearing words like "panoramic" and "unobstructable," and you know that a good south/west view in MB can be gold. Well, there's gold right here. From the spacious front deck, there will be gorgeous panoramas forever. Rooftops cannot intrude.

While he hate to cut anything short, let's just mention quickly: There's a large basement with space built out as a home gym, plus sauna and steam shower.

Now, at $10.900M, this one is priced quite near $2,000/PSF. Looking at recent sales in the Hill Section, you seem only to see those kind of PPSF numbers on tiny homes and/or lot sales. You do see those kinds of numbers by the beach – you know, a few blocks west. At any rate, PPSF isn't the surest way to value a property, just a suggestion. How do you value a home that's been built recently (like, new) with the highest quality, most expensive materials... a higher PPSF for the build than most anything else you could put on your list?

225 John Street Manhattan Beach CAIn terms of some local sales, a fully built home at 225 John (5br/5ba, 4480 sqft., 5450 sqft. lot) sold in May for $6.150M.

That was a 2013 custom build, with 20% less square footage, but an overall similar style and views toward the west and south that compare favorably with 629 6th. In a head-to-head battle, you'd give the match to the new 6th St. house easily, but they're roughly similar.

225 John emerged first at $7.395M ($1,650/PSF) and wound up selling for 17% less, but still a hearty $1,372/PSF.

There have been only 4 public-market sales in the Hill Section at comparable prices: $7.900M-$9.450M are the highs, all in the last 2 1/2 years. This one on 6th aims to claim the top spot on the list.

The top sale we've found in the Hill Section was 853 3rd, an anomolous, off-market, dare we say artificially boosted $16M sale of an 8100 sqft. custom modern on an 11,400 sqft. corner lot higher up the hill. (See "2011: A Year of Highs, Part II.")

These days, a corner-lot modern at 712 John is asking $11.995M ($1,768/PSF) in its second listing of the year.

Also, one prestige house on a monster Hill Section lot nearby is being floated at more than $20 million in flyers and off-market whispers. Lot values seem to be growing by the day, with 3 sales this year over $5M for dirt.

Certain trophy properties simply make their mark as "must have" opportunities. In comes the buyer. Deal done.

This is one to watch. And enjoy.

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