How One Townhome Has Fared

By Dave Fratello | July 24th, 2013

It's remarkable that once they sold lots in Manhattan Beach for $200.

But those were the old-fashioned days, and nothing cost what it does today. Plus, they had to wear those ridiculous head-to-toe swim outfits.

Everything's pricier now, MB's got more going for it than in those $200-a-plot days, and the swim gear's gotten better. (Now we wear head-to-toe swim outfits by choice, to stay warm.)

You don't have to look all the way back to the days of the Model T to see some very impressive value increases over time.

Let's take one townhome for an example, and a roughly 15-year timeframe to watch prices rise.

301 2nd (3br/4ba, 2100 sq. ft.) is a townhome completed in 1991.

The first title transfer we can see now goes back to 1997. Purchase price in '97: $725K.

Four years later, in Aug. 2001, a new owner came in for $906K.

That was a nice bump of $181K, fully 25%, over 4 years.

But townhomes get smaller as families get bigger. After some remodeling work, the owners sold 301 2nd after 9 years for $1.635M, in Aug. 2010. 

At the time, the local real estate market was only beginning its recovery from the post-bubble hangover. But that 9-year hold period had included the great inflationary years, so the sellers still made out great.

The resale value of the townhome had gone up $729K over those 9 years, a full 80%.

The most recent owners hung on for just less than 3 years after their 2010 purchase.

This June, they asked potential buyers to pony up $1.779M, or $144K more than they had paid in 2010.

The market's response: Would you take double that return?

The final purchase price, after multiple offers, was $1.930M, in a deal closing just last week, here in July 2013.

It was an overbid of $150K, more than doubling the bump the sellers had sought.

And now, you had a sale more than $1M higher than the 2001 trade, more than $1.2M higher than the 1997 sale.

The market value of 301 2nd had risen by more than one-and-a-half times (167%) in 16 years.

What never changed is the ocean views. Nice views, mmm hmmm. Also, the South End of town has probably grown in desirability over this span of time.

And despite our reference above to some remodeling done in the space of 2001-2010, there was still work to be done when the home was purchased this year.

Baths other than the master are quite dated. The kitchen really wants a reboot (though the appliances are newer). And the living room, with its dominant fireplace and prominent glass block, could really use some major surgery to de-90s it.

So if an incompletely updated townhome is up by 167% in 16 years, how are other properties doing?

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale