High Points of 2013: Tree Section, Part II

By Dave Fratello | February 5th, 2014

We're getting close to wrapping up our look at the year that was in Manhattan Beach real estate. Here's one more update on the most eye-opening sales of 2013 in the Tree Section. We'll look once more at the Tree and East MB and call it a wrap.

Smaller Homes, Bigger Prices

We can recall the shock from the quick, high sale at 1312 Walnut (3br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.) almost like it was yesterday. But it was last May.

This remodeled (and added-onto) 1950s cottage boasts a nice location on a corner near the elementary school. But the launch at $1.599M seemed ambitious, even "pushing the limit for the property," MBC said at one point. Wrong!

The sale price: $1.760M. (And we hear there was even a higher offer, but the buyer went away.) 

By September, the notion of a 3br remodel for $1.7M was starting to look like the new normal. 

So 592 33rd (3br/3ba, 1825 sq. ft.) went $115K over asking and sold for $1.705M. At the time, the sale seemed barely to make a ripple. (That home did boast a larger lot than Walnut, 5025 sq. ft. vs. 4800.)

Now, today, with those precedents, you see a big reach at the new listing at 768 26th (3br/2ba, 1445 sq. ft.), asking $1.699M – and with still a bigger lot (6085 sq. ft.) adding to the argument.

That's how 2013's sales filter up and affect us this year.

1601 Pacific (4br/4ba, 2435 sq. ft.) got $2,001,601 in September for a remodeled 1970s house on busy Pacific.

Did you notice the square footage? $2M?

This one was apparently a key precedent for the early-2014 shocker-in-escrow, 1417 Pine (4br/3ba, 2340 sq. ft.), a darling little re-do with no real garage in a better location. They sought $1.849M there, drew offers instantly, and watch out.

1905 John (4br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) does not cause a complete forehead-slap like some other shockers from 2013. It's easy to see the appeal of a somewhat remodeled home with a huge backyard on a super-prime street.

But when this one was first floated and then hit the MLS, we heard surprised chatter among agents upon seeing a near-$2M price for a 2300 sq. ft. house that needs a kitchen re-do. (Disclosure: Dave toured the property with clients.)

People love John. They do. So in August, the sellers got $10K over asking: $1.959M.

New Construction Near and Under $2M

Wait, there was new construction sold west of Sepulveda under $2M? Yes, the Speedy Speckies.

1605 Pine (5br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft.) closed at $1.980M in May, the highest price yet for one of the homes in a smallish crop that were all built fairly quickly in 2011. This one had rented out, biding time till the market rose.

Sure enough, the neighboring home at 1601 Pine followed soon thereafter at an even higher price, $2.055M.

2600 Oak (5br/5ba, 3200 sq. ft.) dragged down a bit by its very notable location issue, came in a bit lower, at $1.899M, in August.

These kinds of sale prices did not appear likely out of the gates as these homes were first being built. Some lingered, went on and off the market, then suddenly caught fire. (Metaphorically speaking.)

This phenomenon led to MBC's getting a bit philosophical, maybe eating some crow, in "Reconsidering the Speedy Speckies." (Includes a Karl Rove quote.)

We'll take one more look at the Trees soon.

Here are links to our prior "High Points" stories and 2013 wrapups:

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