Late-Year Chops Got Big Sales Done

By Dave Fratello | January 2nd, 2015

Two sales closed just before the ball dropped in Times Square and showed that motivated – or at least realistic – sellers were willing to do what was needed. They wanted their sales done in 2014, and got 'em done.

220 8th Manhattan Beach CAOne was on a pristine, newer (2007) Cape Cod at 220 8th St. (4br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.).

The listing came out at the end of October, a tenuous time to start a big-dollar listing. Buyers are increasingly tuning out the Manhattan Beach real estate market by then to focus on other things.

The start price: $6.490M. (Call it $6.5M.)

To get it done, the sellers let go of $440K that they had wanted.

Sold price: $6.050M.

That's still firmly above $6M, and well above a couple of 2013's comps.

Let's take a quick look at those comps, as a measure of how the market has moved up in a relatively short time.

221 7th Street Manhattan Beach CAConsider 221 7th (5br/6ba, 4225 sq. ft.), a new Cape Cod with an obviously similar location.

That one got $5.400M in Aug. 2013 – call it 16 months earlier.

220 8th has just sold for 12% more.

224 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAEarlier in 2013, another new home, a Plantation in this case, by the same builder as 220 8th – got $5.250M.

That was 224 6th, back in May 2013.

So the jump from the chronological first of these sales (6th) to the last (8th) was only 19 months, but 15% upward.

And that's before we even account for the fact that 2013's sales were new construction at the time, while 8th St. now was a resale of a 7-year-old home.

The other late-2014 sale that drew our attention was on a sleek and modern spec home right near downtown.

128 14th Street Manhattan Beach CAYou know the one: 128 14th St. (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.)

We drew special attention to this one last Summer due to its unique first-floor garage setup. (Imagine a combination Man Cave, outdoor patio and multicar garage for your toys. See "Radical Garage," from July 2014, for more.)

This one first came to market early in 2014 asking $6.399M (call it $6.4M).

128 14th Street Manhattan Beach CAThat was plainly rich, but it seemed that perhaps the spec builder wanted to give it a go and see if they could find any nibbles near that high height.

Time tolled, however, and other beach-close moderns sold while 128 14th lingered. (One sale being Dave's listing at 220 35th St., which sold pre-market, and one being 1208 Fisher, an off-market sale at $5.700M.)

Over time, they saw fit to pull a bogus re-list on 128 14th, dropping the price to $5.995M in the process of instantly rebooting the DOM in late September.

The ultimate sale in late December: $5.500M.

Total drop from start: $900K (-14%), reflecting the outsized ambitions from the start.

Still, that had to be a good take, in the end, for the builder.

The lot for this spec project was purchased a solid 3 years ago, in a different market for sure, for $1.950M. (We can now show sales that date back that far, so, FYI here's that past listing.)

Even if we imagine $2M in total costs to the builder for the hold and build and costs of sale, there's still a tidy profit built in there – even if they did wind up a far cry from the $6M mark.

Now it's done, and the builder can go on to the next project.

Meantime, two buyers have a happy start to 2015.

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