A South End SFR in the 2's?

By Dave Fratello | May 16th, 2016

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 were over $2.5M
  • Only 2 of the remaining 20 sales under $2.5M occurred after Jan. 1, 2015 (now that's rare)
  • 5 more were lot sales or oddball "landlocked" walkstreet properties like 333 8th St.

So that left us just 15 sales over 41 months that could be called roughly similar, in some way, to 329 1st at $2.3M – as lower-priced SFRs in the South End.

You do see an interesting pattern in these "compellingly low(er)" priced South End sales: Some of the most recent were on busy 1st St., too. (Click on any property address in this story for full photos & details.)

325 1st Street Manhattan Beach CAOne was the next-door neighbor at 325 1st (3br/4ba, 2075 sqft.), a splendidly redone home of the same size (minus 1br), selling for $1.825M in June 2014.

If you're mathematically inclined, you've already figured this one out: That's about 25% less for the neighbor just 24 months ago. (You do see 329 1st right in frame there.)

Somewhere in between there was another 1st St. sale, west of Highland, which still startles a bit when you look at the number.

225 1st (3br/4ba, 2100 sqft.) sported a nice remodel and some good ocean views, also from a half-lot SFR. It came out in the first week of February 2014 (pretty much perfect, market-leading timing) asking $2.399M, and you figured: Multiple offers, here they come!

But no. That one sat, took cuts, and sold for $2.025M in May 2014.

448 1st Street Manhattan Beach CAOr, take the substantially larger 448 1st (4br/4ba, 2825 sqft., 3070 sqft. lot) right next to the walkway into Robinson school's playing fields. 

That spacious SFR penciled out higher, and listed for $2.549M, but lingered, pulled a bogus re-list and ultimately sold $250K lighter at $2.305M in late 2013.

Off 1st Street, but on Valley, was the flipper-remodeled 1970s house at 605 Valley (3br/4ba, 1900 sqft.), which, at $1.900M in late 2014, is among the cheapest and most compelling South End deals of this (achem) lower tier in recent times.

421 3rd Street Manhattan Beach CAAmong the other compelling sales in this mix was 421 3rd (3br/3ba, 2500 sqft., $2.250M in Oct. 2013), a cute if somewhat unusually laid-out remodel – on a great street.

And we'd also look to 715 Bayview (3br/3ba, 1850 sqft., $2.025M in May 2014), an undersized 60s house with some updates and the benefit of a front neighbor that didn't max out when rebuilding. (That may turn out to be closer to a lot-value purchase than it seemed at first.)

Now that we've unspooled all the data and left it out on the table, let's tie it back up again.

How rare is an offering like 329 1st, as an SFR in the South End?

There were only 2 SFR sales under $2.5M in the South End last year and this year combined.

If this one sells just a tad over asking price, it will end up the priciest comp on 1st St. in the past few years. It definitely beats the next-door neighbor by a ton.

And if you didn't notice this one in time, and missed it – we can't honestly say "just hang on, there'll be another." But we never say never.

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