Last to Sell Goes Lowest

By Dave Fratello | April 29th, 2020

A set of 4 new modern townhomes in the South End of the Sand Section were completed and brought to market beginning in in late 2018.

Finally, the last unit has sold.

Here's a rundown on how they all fared.

222 1st Place (3br/4ba, 2000 sqft.) is the latest and last of the four to sell.

Launched on the MLS in Feb. 2019 at $3.749M, it fell the furthest and sold the lowest of all.

A late 2019 re-list wiped out the first 6 months of listing time, but there were still over 4 months of DOM on the latest listing when a deal was made in mid-March, just before the stay-at-home orders for COVID-19 took effect.

Last asking $2.999M, the sale has actually closed at $2.760M.

That's almost all of $1M off of the start price.

It's the only one of the 4 units to sell under $3M.

The second-lowest was the next-door neighbor, also on the alley street (1st Place)...

218 1st Place Manhattan Beach CA218 1st Place (3br/4ba, 2015 sqft.) sold in late November last year.

It had launched on the public market far sooner than 222 1st Place, with the first MLS posting on May 1, 2018.

The asking then: $3.999M.

The closed price in Nov. 2019: $3.090M. Call that a $900K discount.

Though boasting the same location, builder, and more or less the same floorplan and finishes, 218 1st Place did have one clear advantage over its neighbor: A corner location on the alley at Bayview, meaning no neighbor along one whole side, and some unblocked views over neighbors to the west.

Alley units always sell for less, right? (Except when they don't.)

So now we'll look at the superior units on 1st Street.

217 1st Street Manhattan Beach CAThe first sale occurred, as it should have, at 217 1st St. (3br/4ba, 2015 sqft.).

This was the front corner unit at Bayview with the most favorable views and the most light.

The show horse came to the MLS before it was completed in May 2018, and even showed that it was in escrow for about a week in mid-2018.

217 1st Street Manhattan Beach CAThe start price: $4.250M.

The deal didn't hold, however, and the home didn't truly debut until October 2018. By early 2019 they had dropped the price just under $4M to $3.999M.

That was a magic number, as the final sale came in May 2019 at $3.912M, highest of this bunch.

A measure of how sweet that number was: The final price amounted to $1,940/PSF, 3rd-highest ever for a new construction townhome at the time of the sale. (Exempting Strand properties.) The number recently slipped to 4th by two bucks after 217 21st Place closed.

221 1st Street Manhattan Beach CASomewhat soon after 217 1st, the other 1st St. home sold.

That was 221 1st St. (3br/4ba, 2000 sqft.).

Yes, it racked up 5+ months on market after starting in Feb. 2019.

Yes, it cut from a $3.999M start price, twice.

Still, it closed at a steady $3.600M in August 2019. That was 8% less than the neighbor with the benefit of the Bayview corner.

To recap:

217 1st St. : $3.912M (May '19)

221 1st St.: $3.600M (Aug. '19)

218 1st Place: $3.090M (Nov. '19)

222 1st Place: $2.760M (Apr. '20)

That's a bit over $13.350M in sales, all in the top 25 by PPSF for first sales of new construction.

It's no coincidence that the last to sell also went the lowest. Being on the alley without a corner, and not finding a buyer until the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to hit, time was not in favor of a high sale. More like "just enough" to close out the project.

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