Double-Takes at 'Low' Sales - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 11/30/22

By Dave Fratello | December 1st, 2022

It's still not a time when we can point to large price trends turning negative in Manhattan Beach.

The median price today ($3.100M) is the same as it was in June, and that was the highest-ever median home price in Manhattan Beach at the time.

But as we look at individual sales, you keep seeing cases where you say "hmmm."

Just from the second half of November, consider:

1315 17th Street Manhattan Beach CA1315 17th (4br/2ba, 2102 sqft.)

This is a fixer house on a sizable 7000 sqft. lot. just down from the Meadows elementary playing fields.

(Listed by Michael Millea of Keller Williams Beach Cities.)

As a bonus, the zoning is called "RM" and is said to allow for 2 units. That would be a bump of extra density in an area that is otherwise mostly SFRs.

The listing emerged in early October at $2.149M and made 5 relatively quick price cuts.

That start price was already well below where some 7500 sqft. East Manhattan lots had traded this year. Where would it end up?

Last seen at $1.799M, the sale has closed at an incredible $1.550M. It was 28% below the start price.

It's OK to say, "What's that $1.5 doing in front there?"

That could well be a developer-type number.

This closing reminded us of one on the same block that came in remarkably low earlier this year. They had actually built 2 sizable units on a similar lot in the early 90s, and it was 1323 17th #2 that came to market. That large townhome (4br/4ba, 3653 sqft.) came out asking $2.499M but closed in August for $2.000M. Really. Less than $550/PSF!

It's not a "bad block" or anything, but that's two low sales in a short period.

1400 19th St Manhattan Beach CA1400 19th (5br/5ba, 4301 sqft.)

(Listed by Edward Kaminsky of eXp Realty of California, Inc)

This was the recent "auction house" where, after about a month of lead-up, a 5-day online auction was held to find a buyer.

There weren't too many bids, and you have to say the end result looks like a fairly low number for a lot of house.

The final auction price was $2.700M, but all buyers knew they had to pay 12% more for auction fees etc.

The total price: $3.024M.

At only $703/PSF, that's the second-lowest PPSF for a large (3000+ sqft.) East Manhattan house all year. (The lowest was $638/PSF at 1250 3rd, a very run-down house that needs everything, or a scrape.)

This is a big house at 19th. But it's also got 3 kitchens, as the home was subdivided (informally, we'd guess) and therefore will need some work if the buyer wants a big East Manhattan SFR. Based on size, earlier this year it was listed at $4.500M and down to $4.000M before the auction.

1467 19th Street Manhattan Beach CA1467 19th (4br/2ba, 1480 sqft.)

Here's a nicely refreshed and partly remodeled corner-lot cottage. Attractive, and needed only about a month to sell.

(Listed by Jane Sager of Re/Max Estate Properties.)

There's a full ~7450 sqft. lot to work with. Not too long ago, prime large lots like this were hitting $2.3-$2.4M.

They listed conservatively here at $2.199M, but didn't even hit $2.1M in the end.

The sale price: $2.075M.

That's decent for this size house, but feels low for the land.

Maybe those higher East MB land-price peaks are over?

2607 Maple Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2607 Maple (5br/4ba, 2969 sqft.)

(Listed by Abigail Waddell of Compass. Disclosure: Dave had clients interested in the property.)

This Tree Section home got a late-1990s remodel and featured an open/great room type flow and a decent hard-scaped yard. All 5 bedrooms were upstairs, with only the master being a bit smaller than might be typical.

When this came out at $3.150M, it looked to be very conservatively priced, or perhaps intended to generate a bunch of overbids.

A very recent sale (Sept. 1) at 2213 Valley (4br/3ba, 2880 sqft.) had one less bedroom, a bit less square footage, substantially less outdoor space and a location with plenty of traffic noise, all compared to Maple, a very quiet block.

Yet 2213 Valley sold for $3.275M (overbid by about $125K) and now 2607 Maple has closed for "only" $3.200M. That's 6% less on a pure PPSF basis, before you even consider location adjustments.

509 23rd Street Manhattan Beach CA509 23rd (3br/2ba, 1437 sqft.)

(Listed by Chad Fahlbusch of Strand Hill Christies International Real Estate.)

This inspired, corner-lot classic is on one of the great blocks of the Sand Section's gaslamp district.

Does it need some modernization? Sure. But the sand alone in this spot is worth a ton.

We imagined a vigorous bidding war and the $2.499M start price getting pushed up a bit.

Don't bet all your instincts, though.

This one closed for $2.450M (-$49K).

So, to recap, this is not a glum tale of woe in the market.

A couple East Manhattan land-value sales underperformed? OK. (Wait, $1.550M?!?)

A Tree Section home sold quickly for a little less than one might have thought? It happens.

And a Sand Section house in a great spot needing all kinds of work did not generate sensational overbids? Believable.

You can look at all the recent closings to tell a slightly different tale if you want... Two lower Hill Section homes that sold in the mid-3s and high 4s, one an overbid, one at asking. Or a $5.9M new construction sale in the Trees. And so on.

And you can spin the median price a little differently if you prefer, too.

The median price is down $66K (-2%) from its September peak. We're back to June levels with a downtrend in place. We'll see where that goes.

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Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 11/30/22:

> 61 active listings as of 11/30/22 (+5 from 11/15/22) 

> 48 SFRs (+2)

> 13 THs (+3)

See the Inventory list as of 11/30/22 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 (+1)

> Sand Section: 30 actives (+3)

> Hill Section: 11 actives (+2)

> East MB: 12 (-1)

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 11/30/22".

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