Land Values Rising - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 1/31/22

By Dave Fratello | February 2nd, 2022

January is typically a quiet month in real estate, and closings can be even slower.

Only 6 sales closed in all of Manhattan Beach in the second half of the month, but for a good reason. These deals largely entered escrow in late December, while most people were doing something else.

The number of new pending deals for the second half of the month was 9 citywide, and 19 for the month of January.

Both were a little slower than normal, if you want the truth, with 16 being average for Jan. 16-31 over the past 10 years, and 24 average for the month. But then again, there's been no inventory to put into escrow, with January inventory substantially below half what's typical for the time of year.

We never race to conclusions. The proverbial phone has really been ringing this week, as if some unwritten rule states that the first week of February is when Thou Shalt Begin to Think About Real Estate Again.

Let's look at a few of the sales for this period and what they might say.

1716 Pine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1716 Pine (2br/1ba, 803 sqft., 4487 sqft. lot) came out as a "typical" Tree Section lot sale in early January.

No, there is not anyone who would want the 800 sqft. cottage, not at these prices.

The list price seemed exactly right: $1.799M.

For a period of time, Tree Section lots like this were hanging around $1.6M, trending towards $1.8M recently, and that was both a sensible number and one likely to drive a frenzy.

The frenzy happened, and the market has been reset.

The lot sold for $2.100M in just 2 weeks.

That may be a new baseline, at least for a lot in a good, walkable location near to the local elementary, not too far from anything.

Do we think land values have risen 15% overnight? Not really. We just haven't seen the trades in this kind of product to know exactly where the market was at.

(Bad news for developers, better news for owner/user buyers.)

341 4th Street Manhattan Beach CAThen to 341 4th (2br/1ba, 879 sqft.), also a pure land-value proposition on one of the treasured South End walkstreets. It came out at $3.899M in January and soon had a deal.

What might the comps be?

Land values for the area have lingered in the middle-3's for several years, it seems, not quite reflecting the rise in higher-end new/newer home values in the same area.

There was 341 6th just last Summer, same position, just two blocks over.

There, the seller asked $3.699M but didn't get it. Sale price was $3.575M (still stuck in the middle 3's).

But there was this other one at 416 9th (aka 417 8th Place) that listed for $3.400 but wound up way, way higher at $3.851M, in October.

The rise in demand and values was behind the start price at 341 4th, and here we go. It could wind up as the highest-price lot sale on the walkstreets.

There's similar activity over in East Manhattan.

Nicely placed 7500 sqft. lots have started hitting $2.3M. There's a developing frenzy already over one listing that isn't even active on the MLS yet.

And don't even get us started on the Hill Section.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 1/31/22:

> 30 active listings as of 1/31/22 (+9 from 1/15/22) 

> 26 SFRs (+10)

>THs (-1)

See the Inventory list as of 1/31/22 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: actives (+2)

> Sand Section: 14 actives (+4)

> Hill Section: actives (+1)

> East MB: (+2)

We're also providing a report on closed sales by region of MB

Sales data, including PPSF for all properties, are organized by sub-region of Manhattan Beach.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet: "MB Pending/Sold as of 1/31/22".

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