Couldn't Stay Under $1M

By Dave Fratello | November 8th, 2013

On occasion of Dave's new listing in late September, MBC ran a "Sub-$1M Update," basically noting how homes under $1M were scarce, and becoming even more so, in Manhattan Beach.

The listing, 3017 Elm (2br/2ba, 960 sq. ft.) came out at $925K.

But the sale will settle today quite a bit above that list price, and well above $1M, at $1.050M.

It's Dave's 5th listing this year to sell over the starting price – the 4th in MB. (That 5th sale, 1642 Steinhart in the Golden Hills area of North Redondo, was sold for clients who were moving into MB.)

And the $1.050M sale further pushes into the rearview mirror the very idea of MB homes selling for under $1M.

Remember Dave was quoted on the front page of the LA Times early this year, saying of MB, "The days of little cottages for under $1 million are mostly behind us." Yep.

Now, to be straight, the $925K start on 3017 Elm was intended to be a bit low. The seller meant to draw offers right away, and hoped for more than one to help set the market value.

The property was, admittedly, hard to value. There are few 2br sales that aren't teardowns. This one isn't; it's got a lovely vintage-style remodel inside and is very cozy place well-suited to a young family, or perhaps a retired couple. It has been a reliable rental.

And more to the point, the lot is unusual. The total lot square footage is 3732 sq. ft., and it's an odd triangular shape, with nearly 100' of frontage along Elm tapering back to a point in the southwest corner.

Doing the math gave us some ideas of what the value ought to be, but we knew that the true value would have to come from the vagaries of personal reactions to, and interests in, the property.

That's how you get to $1.050M, and some very happy buyers. (Worth noting: The property appraised at the purchase price.)

When 3017 Elm was first listed, there was just one other offering under $1M in the Tree Section: 3616 Pine (3br/1ba, 1075 sq. ft.), asking $949K at the time, and recently closing for $950K.

At this moment in time, all 3 Manhattan Beach SFR listings under $1M are priced at $950K and are east of Sepulveda: 1554 2nd (3br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.), 1201 Wendy Way (3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) and 1641 21st (3br/1ba, 1000 sq. ft.).

And the only 2 listings in the Tree Section that are, in some way, reminiscent of 3017 Elm are priced quite a bit higher, on the same block far north near Rosecrans:

So, yes, with both of those, $1M is far in the rearview mirror. Though, of course, asking prices aren't sale prices, and 3521 Poinsettia in particular seems very unlikely to hit its moonshot target.

Thus does this market continue to raise the bar and redefine what an "entry-level" property is in terms of Manhattan Beach real estate.

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