Banner Year for the Village?

By Dave Fratello | May 27th, 2014

We've seemed to notice an uptick in sales activity in Manhattan Village, the gated tract developed in the 1980s which is almost an island within Manhattan Beach.

Is the Village poised for a record-setting year?

Sales and active listings to date total 16, and we're still in May.

If all the current offerings sell, the Village would be on pace to blast past 2012's recent high of 27 sales behind the gates.

It's not just raw numbers, however, that makes the Village seem like it is – in its way – hoppin'.

Some of the numbers being hit in recent sales are without precedent.

Three of the priciest sales of townhomes within the Village have occurred within about the last 6 months:

  • 24 Fairway Drive (3br/3ba, 2040 sq. ft.) at $1.650M, just 3 weeks ago here in May;

Before those, not once had a single Village townhome ever sold for more than $1.411M.

And 8 other historic top sales neared, but never hit, $1.400M.

One of those recent top sales, 16 Dover Place, we said in March "might be our favorite remodel of a Manhattan Village townhome," thanks to a modern, beachy style that had been applied consistently across the sprawl of the 80s original. Location-wise, it did not have the pluses of the other two top sales, which opened to the golf course. No matter.

Well, there may be a challenger to our "favorite" claim. Last week, we saw 28 Malaga Place (4br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.), which also has gotten a head-to-toe modernization, making it bright and comfortable.

They also did something there we hadn't seen before – construction. What's that? A Village townhome that's been... changed?!? Yes, they swept in some balcony space into the home and created a perfectly sized, perfectly positioned, open office.

Location-wise, this one also lacks the golf course bonus but does have a sunny, grassy backyard and a favorable position at the end of a cul-de-sac, meaning no traffic and a secluded place to ride bikes, play catch, etc.

They've priced it like something special, exactly at the same number as the (current) leading top sale, $1.650M, the number fetched at 24 Fairway Drive. In a year like this, on an expanded, remodeled home, who knows.

Meantime, the SFR at 22 Chatham (4br/3ba, 2950 sq. ft.) is looking to carve out a new high, asking $2.365M for a type of home that's only hit $2.0M+ twice before, both in 2007. (See "New High for MB Village?")

While the Village might well produce a recent record for number of sales, there's quite a bit of room to go before the absolute peak in sales is hit again.

We looked back further than the 7-year span in our first graph, and, whoa, there's a lot that would have to happen for the Village to approach the totals from prior top years.

We found the peak year just about as far back as we could go in our research, back in the year 2000, with 49 sales.

The 40s were hit again in 2002 and 2003.

The total of 27 Village sales that was hit in 2012 is just tied for 6th over the past 15 years.

Of course, this is just another way of seeing how the launch of the prior upcycle in the early 2000s featured both high inventory and a high sales pace. Lots of turnover everywhere.

Today, we have eager, active buyers looking just about everywhere, historically cheap money fueling the market, but not enough inventory for the sales totals to approach the prior cycle.

We're sure the sellers in the Village will be happy to hear about record-breaking high prices and demand being among the strongest of recent years, whether or not statistical history is to be made.

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