It Sure Looks Easy to Sell in Manhattan Beach

By Dave Fratello | February 15th, 2022

It's that time of year, in that kind of market.

Busy busy Spring, now post-Super-Bowl. Time to buy.

Products are flying off the shelves... the products being houses, and the shelves being Manhattan Beach streets.

Now, you know, we do still believe in all the proper steps for marketing a property and getting top dollar. It's a mix of prep, pricing and timing.

But ooooooooohhhhhh how easy it has looked to sell recently, as just about everything put out into the market is getting absorbed.

Get used to it. This is permanent. (Well, maybe.)

1300 8th Street Manhattan Beach CA1300 8th (4br/4ba, 2778 sqft.) is a corner-lot remodel in East MB.

There's no disguising the fact that the location can be noisy, at the junction of two busy streets (8th/Meadows).

But there's also no hiding the inherent charm of the house, quirky as it may be, with nice designer finishes in spots.

They listed it, well, when it was ready. In mid-December. (Who chooses to list in mid-December?)

Location concerns? Quirks? Time of year?

None of it proved to be a deterrent. Multiple offers ensued.

The $2.989M list price was blown away this month with a sale at $3.312M.

747 33rd Street Manhattan Beach CA747 33rd (5br/5ba, 3800 sqft.) is a late-90s Tree Section Spanish that had a lot of recent updates inside.

In our "new listings" post, we said this of the actual listing:

"It would appear that both the listing agent's thesaurus and iPhone got a big workout in preparing the listing."

Here's what we meant: It sure looked like all the photos were taken with the agent's phone. Many were vertical. Lighting was spotty. The overall presentation... wasn't exactly how we'd have done it.

Instead of pro photos, the listing leaned heavily on words. Lots of superlatives. The number seemed, well, ambitious, but possible.

The price: $4.850M. Days on Market: 9.

Maybe you can simply judge by results.

420 31st Street Manhattan Beach CA420 31st (5br/6ba, 4502 sqft.) is a newer, beachy house with some ocean peeks.

It had entered the elite club with a Dec. 2020 sale at $4.800M, among the highest ever on the 400 blocks north of Grand View. Brand new construction just a few doors down, by the same builder with largely comparable floorplan and finishes, at 453 31st sold soon after for $4.375M.

The 2020 buyer for 420 poured money into upgrades, then had a change of heart and just put it up for sale at $5.999M.

Quick deal with just 4 DOM.

1807 6th Street Manhattan Beach CA1807 6th (5br/5ba, 3483 sqft.) is an early 2000s Mediterranean.

It was listed while tenant-occupied and was generally difficult to show.

At $2.995M, they priced a bit above a recent sale nearby of a larger home on a quieter street. (1806 5th at $2.950M.)

No worries.

A deal was signed within 2 weeks.

532 4th Street Manhattan Beach CA532 4th (2br/2ba, 1816 sqft.) is an original cottage with an added master suite in back.

Cute and well-maintained as the 2br might be, the offering here was land value for a walkstreet-adjacent South End street.

Was land value $2.995M, the start price?

Look across the street. A fully built Craftsman-style house at 539 4th (4br/3200 sqft.) just sold last Spring for $3.366M. Look next door. 536 4th (4br/3ba, 3048 sqft.) sold in Oct. 2020 for $3.250M. (Dave's clients bought it. Hi again, guys!)

Two later 2021 sales on the block featured 4br/3600 sqft. homes: 541 4th at $3.850M and 524 4th at $4.249M.

That's an upward trend, for sure, but still, land value at $3.0M?

No time for this nattering and nitpicking. Multiple offers, 6 DOM.

1250 3rd Street Manhattan Beach CA1250 3rd (5br/5ba, 4230 sqft.) is a 1990 original with "lots of potential" (per the listing), only one (exterior) photo, and an ultra-low price ($2.100M).

The listing hung around as "coming soon" for quite a while, from November last year till early this month, as they worked to clear out the house and make it a bit more presentable.

Whatever they could address, the home was very lived in and had some challenges. It's a major fixer.

That low, low price was enough to get all the interest necessary and find a buyer (multiple offers).

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The rub: What we're seeing is aggressive demand, still fueled by low rates, and impatient after a few months with few new listings and almost no lingering inventory.

We might just keep carving out new highs, seeing every new listing sell at once, at least until buyers feel like they have choices, or time.

Right now, what buyers are displaying is aggressive competition.

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