Lowest-Priced Home Sales of 2020 in Manhattan Beach

By Dave Fratello | December 30th, 2020

The story of real estate in Manhattan Beach in 2020 doesn't include many "low" points, unless you want to count the sudden halt to all real estate activity from March through May. (You may well want to count that. It mattered.)

Here, we'll take a look at some of the lowest-priced home sales in the city across the year.

East Manhattan Beach

1520 Manhattan Beach Blvd. #B (2br/2ba, 1100 sqft.)

This 2br condo didn't just sell for the lowest price in Manhattan Beach. It also resold for the second-lowest price in the city within 2020.

In late February, the unit went for $625K. It was a run-down shell, lacking flooring, with evident damage and dirt aplenty. The listing warned that it was a probate sale and, "Property will NOT qualify for a conventional loan."

A flipper came in and went to work. Within a month, they had completed a total modernization (new flooring, kitchen, baths, etc.), and listed for sale in early April. (Uh-oh, the world was shut down.)

Their goal of a giant markup didn't quite pan out. They listed for $850K but closed in mid-June for $765K, as noted, the second-lowest price in town all year.

These 2 sales were among just 9 sales citywide under $1M for the whole year.

19 Lafayette Ct. (2br/2ba, 1475 sqft.)

This unit was the low sale for Manhattan Village for the year at $1.075M.

This Plan 1 townhouse listed in late 2019, and canceled off the MLS in late January, but tax records show the sale in late February. (No, you're not supposed to cancel off the MLS after making a deal.)

Another Plan 1, 5 Lafayette Ct. (2br/2ba, 1475 sqft.), sold in early February for slightly more, $1.085M. That sale stayed on the MLS, fortunately.

Dave's listing of a Plan 1 at 17 Cordoba Ct. (2br/2ba, 1465 sqft.) is in escrow now, and will close substantially higher than these others in early 2021.

1712 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CA1712 2nd (5br/4ba, 3550 sqft.)

We rated this one as the lowest-priced move-in-ready SFR in East MB having over 3000 sqft. Notably, the lot is a bit over 5000 sqft., not one of the bigger Mira Costa area lots.

Sold price in September: $2.400M.

Our assessment is admittedly a bit subjective, but two others of 3000+ sqft. were due for upgrades, and we're hearing for sure that one of those two is eventually going to be rebuilt.

Sand Section

4216 Highland Ave. #B (2br/3ba, 1425 sqft.)

This upgraded townhouse was one of two 2br units and one of 3 units sold within the building in the year 2020, but the lowest priced at $1.250M.

The listing began March 11 (whoops) and the sale closed in late June, after real estate had opened up.

216 39th (2br/2ba, 1525 sqft.)

This little duplex wasn't just the most notorious sale in El Porto, it was also the lowest price west of Highland.

The "Hot Pink Emoji House" was deemed to be worth $1.550M, almost $200K less than the original asking price, and below the comps dating back more than 2 years.

Was the house's flash-in-the-pan international fame worth more money? Not really. And the new owner made quick work of painting over the loved/hated murals.

1505 Crest Drive Manhattan Beach CA1505 Crest (3br/3ba, 1675 sqft.)

This unusual, upgraded, mid-1960s A-frame near downtown qualifies as the least expensive sale south of Bruce's Beach for 2020.

It's a half lot on an alley across from city hall, perhaps impacted by noise from Highland just the other side. But walkability? Yes.

This one began at $1.990M but closed $186K lower at $1.804M. It's hard to fully gauge that value because extremely limited commissions were apparently paid, so the "actual value" to the seller may have been greater, as if a higher price were paid. Even with that consideration, it still seems likely this was the lowest price.

Curiously this one is a neighbor of one of 2019's lowest sales in the area, 1517 Crest (3br/2ba, 1300 sqft.), which sold for $1.699M in Oct. '19.

520 Francisco Street Manhattan Beach CA520 Francisco (4br/2ba, 1600 sqft.)

This Sand Section cottage across from Robinson school was the least-pricey sale south of the pier. (There are only a few MB Sand Section homes more to the south.)

At $2.087M, this one fell $212K short of its start price.

Worth noting: The lots in this particular area are cut bigger than a typical Sand Section lot. This one's 4000 sqft.

Tree Section

1012 Rosecrans Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1012 Rosecrans (3br/1ba, 1320 sqft.)

Much like the very lowest priced sale in MB, this offering was a flip-in-waiting.

Still, it began too high at $1.600M late in mid-2018, going on and off the market before finally closing for $1.154M in January 2020.

The flippers didn't make the same mistakes, listing for $1.499M in May after the reno and getting very close to that, $1.485M, in August. (The third-least-expensive sale in the Trees this year.)

2516 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2516 Pacific (4br/3ba, 3300 sqft.)

This 1990-built Spanish worked out to be the lowest-priced sale of a move-in-ready SFR over 3000 sqft. in the Tree Section in 2020.

Sale price: $2.499M.

Oddly, that wasn't much above the 2015 acquisition price of $2.421M. The home had modest but important stylistic upgrades between sales, mainly smart application of paint in places where it made a big difference from the prior condition.

1305 Church Street Manhattan Beach CA1305 Church St. (4br/5ba, 3100 sqft.)

This super custom, modestly sized Spanish qualified as the lowest-priced sale in the American Martyrs neighborhood, by a lot, with a sale price of $2.700M.

The next-closest sale in Martyrs was more than $1M higher: 659 18th (4br/3ba, 4040 sqft.) at $3.780M.

After that, you basically just see 6's and 8's in the Martyrs area.

Hill Section

1029 11th Street Manhattan Beach CA1029 11th (3br/1ba, 1015 sqft.)

This one was promoted as a possible remodel or building site. We've generally stayed away from lot sales in this post, but this was genuinely the lowest price paid in the Hill Section ($1.500M), so it's in the mix.

New construction? The location isn't optimal: A large apartment building next door on one side, commercial in back, Sepulveda nearby... but there's a market for everything at a price.

748 MB Blvd. #B (3br/3ba, 1400 sqft.)

This 1970s townhouse on a busy street near downtown featured a classy, upbeat remodel inside.

It hung around a few months before fetching $1.550M, about $100K under asking. But that is still over $1,100/PSF.

One might also include 640 MB Blvd. #6 (2br/2ba, 835 sqft.) in this mix. It's a condo in the Hill Section district, too, and sold for $910K in October (nearly $1,100/PSF also). The agent coded it incorrectly as a Sand Section sale.

606 N Ardmore Avenue Manhattan Beach CA606 N. Ardmore (3br/3ba, 3320 sqft.)

This one meets our criteria for lowest-priced, move-in-ready home in the Hill Section, with a sale at $2.450M.

C'mon, you've seen this house, you know this house. It's an experiment of sorts, glass and concrete spread across an unusually wide, nearly 8800 sqft. trapezoidal lot fronting the greenbelt. It even sports a black-bottom pool.

What's truly unusual: This listing launched at $3.300M in late March (late March!! during the shutdown!), soon went on "hold," cut price to $2.990M and then ultimately closed at that $2.450M number, $850K below start with only 11 official Days on Market.

943 Duncan Avenue Manhattan Beach CA943 Duncan (4br/5ba, 4880 sqft.)

This supersized, unusual home on a 7000 sqft. lot came in with substantially the lowest PPSF for the Hill Section in 2020, at $594/PSF and an overall sale price of $2.900M.

With a bit of a convoluted layout, the home nonetheless sports reasonably recent or newer materials from flooring to kitchen to baths, and has a number of outdoor spaces, including decks and a pool.

The neighboring utility power substation running alongside the home may have been a factor.

Notably, this listing first tried at $4.199M in mid-2019, before they went in and did some work for 2020 marketing.

Also, the neighbor to the west, 939 Duncan (4br/4ba, 3950 sqft.), was Dave's listing this year (Edge took over after other agents did not sell it). We sold that solid, much more conventional property for $3.500M in April.


Stay tuned for more looks back at 2020 sales and trends.

Here's to a happy new year!

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