Easy to Appreciate

By Dave Fratello | October 23rd, 2015

Five years after one of its most recent sales, a South End townhome is now on the market asking $1.100M more than its 2010 price. It's a whopping 68% appreciation over 5 years if they get their number.

301 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CAWe're looking at 301 2nd (3br/4ba, 2100 sqft.), an early-90s contemporary townhome with views down the 2nd St. walkstreet across Highland.

Sold in October 2010 for $1.625M.

Now asking: $2.750M.

Oh, and there was an interim sale on the way up the express elevator:

This TH sold in October 2013 for $1.930M.

A friend of MBC purchased this unit back in 2001 for $906K, which must have seemed like a lot at the time.

It was that owner's upgrades to the baths and kitchen that seem to prevail even today, after the 2010 sale.

So the two most recent owners have been pretty much watching their value rise simply because the market is doing so – not necessarily adding to the equation with their own upgrades.

Just to make the money trail easier to follow, here it is in chronological order:

  • 2001: $906K
  • 2010: $1.625M (+8.8%/yr. over 9 yrs.)
  • 2013: $1.930M (+6%/yr. over 3 yrs.)
  • 2015: $2.750M (+21%/yr. over 2 yrs.)

Maybe you noticed that the past 2 years' appreciation came at a far higher rate than in past years.

While it's true that's just the asking price, the ask is not out of line with some recent sales. This is simply what has happened with Sand Section view townhomes over the span of just a few years.

305 3rd Street Manhattan Beach CAThe easy comp is an extremely similar, nearby corner townhome at 305 3rd (3br/4ba, 2320 sqft.) that tried to sell earlier this year at a reasonable price of $2.500M.

The attempt to sell at that price failed... when multiple offers came rushing in, and it sold nearly $400K higher at $2.881M.

Arguably, 305 3rd was more original (a 1992 build) than 301 2nd has been the last couple of times on the market.

So, second-guessing that $2.7-ish asking price now, despite the wild 21%/yr. price inflation that the price suggests, may not be a bet that pans out.

These were just a couple of great years to rest easy in the property and let it appreciate. 

Cocktail-napkin calculation: If they sell for full price, after deducting typical costs of sale, the seller will have earned $925/day for the time owning the property.

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UPDATE: Just a few days after this post, and with only a few days on market, 301 2nd is in escrow.

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