High Points of 2013: Sand Section, Top Tier

By Dave Fratello | January 7th, 2014

We've taken a look already at the most notable 2013 sales in the Hill Section. With just 34 total sales up in the hills, the rundown still gave us plenty to cover. (See "High Points of 2013: Hill Section.")

The whole of the Sand Section saw nearly 4 times the sales: 127, including SFRs and townhomes. As always, the top sales are on The Strand and beach-close walkstreets. We'll look at those top-tier sales first in this update.

Strand Sales of the Year

The priciest move-in-ready home in the Sand last year (and MB overall) was 3300 The Strand (5br/5ba, 4750 sq. ft.), a corner-lot home up at the north end of town.

This one was a 2006 build with a forward-looking soft-modern look (called "Zen" in the listing description). The sale price: $10.995M in an off-market deal early in the year.

Worth noting: The land here was acquired 100 years ago in 1996 for $2.250M, perhaps 1/3rd of its value now.

Speaking of land, the next 2 Strand trades were for exactly that.

2020 The Strand sold for $9.450M in January 2013.

This was once part of a joint offer, never to be separated, absolutely only to be sold as a double-lot offering with 2016 The Strand. Well, that double-lot deal – which launched at $30M (!) in January 2011 – did not work out, and the lots did sell separately, with 2016 going for $1M less than the corner-lot property at 2020, closing for $8.400M, also in January 2013. The corner-lot property is now flat and a new build getting started.

If $8.4M sounds like a lot for an interior lot, how about the $8.700M paid for the interior-lot property and ultramodern house at 2316 The Strand?

As we noted in "Strand Modern Endangered?" the buzz is that this luxe, modern beach playhouse, underbuilt for the lot and impractical as a functional 1br/2br house, is going to be razed and rebooted.

Such is the demand for beachfront lots that someone would rather pay for a newer structure and start over.

By these standards, the El Porto 2-for-one sale at 4112 & 4114 The Strand at just $7.125M combined looks like a theft that the MBPD should maybe investigate.

This is a classy and newer (2008) set of combined units. A distinguishing factor was that the back unit (4114) is of a good size and gets very good views over the roof of the front unit.

Here, one buyer bought both, took possession of one and has been renting (or trying to rent) the back unit.

Walkstreet Sales

Ocean views, 100-block addresses – those things will always command top dollar off the Strand in MB.

Just ask the coach: 116 25th (5br/5ba, 5000 sq. ft.) sold in April for the highest non-Strand price of 2013 in the Sand: $6.900M.

The home's a 2003 build with clear evidence of modernizations inside after that. It's got ample views over the Strand houses to the west.

Not only is the lot well-positioned along Ocean Drive, the plot shape is different – the standard 2700 sq. ft. comes from a 45' wide frontage and 60' stretch across the sloping walkstreet. That's a noteworthy difference from the 30x90 you would normally see – and it translates well in the layout, with a big, wide-open top floor that says "hello" to the Pacific for forever views each day.

And speaking of views, what 120 5th St. (4br/6ba, 5000 sq. ft.) had going for it was not just views – it did have those – or its 100-block location, but also a "deed restriction" applied to the neighbor to the west.

Call it view insurance: The neighboring property cannot be built up to block the views from 120 5th. Is that worth something? Why, yes.

The total sale here on this extra-large house (a basement media room puts it over the 4200-or-so sq. ft. you'd normally see as the max) was for $6.600M in April last year. (Another early 2013 sale!) How much of that was a protected-view premium? We'd hazard close to $1M.  And that's clearly much less money that it would generally take to acquire the neighbor and control it to keep it small.

Our last top-dollar sale for now is 117 30th (5br/5ba, 4050 sq. ft.), a new, modern "smart" house that nearly cracked $6M, coming in at $5.895M. That's for 1000 fewer interior square feet than the 5th St. house and a more north end location.

"Smart" in this case means a home you can control via mobile device – air, heat or lighting, etc. If only you could control the occupants so easily as well...

This home was listed for a time pre-completion and sold before we even got a chance to walk through. 

Now, were there homes in the Sand Section that sold under $5.9M last year? Yes, 121 of them. We'll move through those highlights in a future update.

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