bidding war

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A simple, reliable rental duplex in El Porto, or a comparable little SFR, has gotten very expensive the last couple years.

It was enough of a surprise to see $1.6's getting hit, when suddenly along came a $1.8M sale. Here are some highlights from recent sales up north.

116 Seaview Street Manhattan Beach CA116 Seaview (duplex, 1320 sqft.) is highly modernized, fully to the max.

And that shows in its forehead-slapping sale price of $1.799M in early December last year.

This sale carved out a new peak for Porto.

Something like that territory was reached in the sale of another duplex at 118 Kelp in January this year (duplex, 1450 sqft.) for $1.695M. That one's actually a 3-story structure built in the 80s, not one of the boxy 50s/60s structures that dominate El Porto.

221 El Porto Street Manhattan Beach CA221 El Porto (duplex,

Neighbor fights can become nasty. The sale of a couple plots of land needs not get too rough, though.

Two next-door neighbors in Manhattan Beach's Hill Section were on the market side-by-side for a time there, with a victor now emerging.

500 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CAOne took the approach of overpricing and trying to make the market come to them.

That was 500 Pacific. It's a big Hill Section corner lot (11,400 sqft.) with views over wide 5th St. and over homes to the southwest.

From the top rear corner of this lot, a new home should have views of greenbelt treetops, Sand Section rooftops, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and a goodly line of blue from the Pacific.

What a commodity! A big parcel of scarce land in a prestige location with views!

In October, they listed at $6.825M. It was

Take a half lot in sight of downtown and featuring plenty of traffic... what's that worth?

In the case of 209 15th Street Manhattan Beach CA209 15th, the answer is $2.401M.

That's a $102K overbid over the list price of $2.299M.

We went looking for comps. Uh-oh, the market seems to have found a way to carve out a new category-specific high with this sale. 

Half lot, west of Highland: $2.4M.

The smallish, 2-story house here (3br/2ba, 1275) is dated and you have to say the bulk of the value is in the land, all 1345 sqft. of that plot.

We can't find a like sale that's even close. $1.7? $1.9? $2.1? Nothing.

There is one very big number from last year that arguably beats the sale at 209 15th: 2401 Manhattan Ave. has a walkstreet frontage and the feel of a 100-block house, albeit with one

Prime lots in the Tree Section have been hitting $2M and a touch above.

It was only a matter of time before the American Martyrs area asserted itself (again) with an even higher high.

608 14th Street Manhattan Beach CANow the sale of 608 14th has done exactly that.

The dated, 4br, 3000-ish sqft. house is fine, but it's the 5800 sqft. plot of land that's got the real value here.

Specifically, the market said: $2.950M. The sale closed this week.

Call it the American Martyrs neighborhood's first $3-million-dollar lot.

As the listing launched 5 weeks ago in June, they weren't necessarily pushing the ceiling too high. The asking price was $2.7M.

But competition and must-have properties means new, ever-higher prices must be paid.

We can't really find anything like 608 14th in very recent…