Big Lots & Prices on the East Side

By Dave Fratello | October 31st, 2017

Within 3 months, almost $14M worth of land east of Sepulveda has sold in only 3 transactions.

Sure, values west of the Highway are generally bigger, whether for homes or dirt.

But these 3 recent sales are unprecedented in their sale prices, lot sizes and the odd clustering of the sales in such a short period of time.

You might think: There's some demand for big lots like these. But did you know there was so much demand that they'd all sell, and quickly?

The most recent was the highest price and highest value by the square foot of dirt:

300 Kuhn Drive Manhattan Beach CA300 Kuhn Drive offers almost 21,000 sqft. on a trapezoidal lot not far from Sepulveda. Its frontage is actually along rarely-noted Duncan Drive, which curves up off of Kuhn. Thanks to its elevation and unique location, there are views to the north, east and south. (Some of the hyper-telephoto shots in the listing are a bit much.)

For years, this plot would have been in earshot of a busy car wash on Kuhn, but cars have had to find other places to wash since that plot was acquired for the big shoe office next door.

300 Kuhn Drive Manhattan Beach CA300 Kuhn emerged on the market in mid-September at a price so totally out of whack, it seems that saying they were "shooting the moon" understates it.

"Shooting to Mars" is more like it: $8.200M, with recent comps just over 50% of that price.

After a couple of weeks, they dropped to $6.500M. 

A buyer came almost at once - no sitting on the market forever here - and paid $4.800M. The sale closed late last week.

The sale is notable mainly for that big pricetag, but it's hard not to notice that the sale was 41% under the start price.

Trying now to think of listings that began 40% or more overpriced and still sold in less than a month... um, no, nothing's coming to mind.

They got away with drastically overpricing a valuable asset, and still managed to have an adult conversation with a credible buyer right away.

So that dirt sale was at $230/PSF for land.

Here are 2 others:

1187 Longfellow Drive Manhattan Beach CA1187 Longfellow (22,100 sqft.), priced at $4.500M and immediately snapped up in September, closed for the asking price in mid-October.

That's a true half-acre lot that we saw from the start as "a huge opportunity in one of the most private, prestigious neighborhoods of East Manhattan." (Per our weekend open house post at the time.)

That's an elite location on a block that's far off the beaten path, private and enjoys good treetop/rooftop views to the east as the hill drops down beneath.

This lot sale was at $204/PSF for the land.

1158 Longfellow Drive Manhattan Beach CANearby, 1158 Longfellow (26,650 sqft.) sold for $4.650M in Aug. 2017.

This is the most unusually shaped of these 3 very large lots, with almost a pie-shaped narrowing of the lot from almost 100' at its Longfellow frontage down to the 55' eastern edge. There is also a significant downward slope going toward the rear.

This significant slice of East Manhattan rose in value over the past 2+ years while a prior buyer considered what to do with it.

How do we know? It last sold in June 2015.

Then: $4.000M.

Aug. 2017: $4.650M (+16%).

This lot sale came in at $174/PSF for the land.

1155 Ronda Drive Manhattan Beach CAAlso down in the same general area, although not within the last 3 months, there was a big sale you could call a double-lot deal at 1155 and 1165 Ronda. 

There's the late-80s custom "castle-like" house on one plot, and an adjoining, small guest house with big garage on the other, along with a huge amount of grass.

Those two plots closed, together, in one sale for $10.885M back in June. (See "Double Huge East MB Lots Close.")

With some newer structures on site, it's hard to say how to value the land for either property, exactly. It was simply the newest huge sale down in the area to underscore that values can be very, very high for oversized lots... even well east of Sepulveda.



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