Manhattan Beach Market Update for 1/31/21

By Dave Fratello | February 3rd, 2021

We'll take a look at recent market data here, starting with some recent sales that wound up with surprising finishes.

825 Duncan Place Manhattan Beach CAFirst, 825 Duncan Drive.

This 5300 sqft. Hill Section lot is low down near Ardmore, on a low-traffic alley street.

And yes, it's being sold for lot value. The listing says frankly that the site is "just waiting for a custom home."

The ask: $2.699M.

The close: $3.050M (+$351K).

It's a remarkable number reflecting remarkable interest in Hill Section land. That dirt values up on our local hill have gone sky high is not news. But still, by comparison...

Look right next door. 831 Duncan Place has the same size lot, and was on the market first 4 years ago.

It now looks like the listing agents had the right idea. In Jan. 2017, they started it at $2.950M.

But that was not to be. It took 10 months to close it at $2.250M. And it turned out not to be just lot value; the house had its charms and remains.

This means the newer sale one spot lower down at 825 Duncan Place didn't just sell 13% higher than list price; it sold 35% higher than the neighbor did 3 years ago.

401 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAIf the Hill Section is hot like that, what about the famed South End walkstreets?

401 6th (4br/2ba, 1885 sqft.) suggests that things are flat, even on the walkstreets with a bit of slope to them.

The outgoing seller acquired the property back in Oct. 2018 for $3.500M.

Guessing there had been some rise in value since, it was first put up asking $3.650M on resale ($150K).

But the closed price was lower, although you may need to check the number twice. No, that's not a fit of dyslexia, it's $3.560M, $90K under asking and just $60K over acquisition.

The phenomenal family walkstreets are home to very high land values, but perhaps they've stopped rising. Mid-3's has been the story for quite a while.

329 4th Street Manhattan Beach CAJust last year, Dave's clients got quite a deal on an outrageously well remodeled, expanded walkstreet cottage at 329 4th (3br/2ba, 1700 sqft.).

Our clients' acquisition at $3.787M was more than $200K below each of the two prior trades of the same property... in the previous two years. And that was after very substantial remodeling between sales.

Also in the South End, also on a walkstreet, also on 4th, to boot, one other property has sold twice recently, for less the second time.

235 4th Street Manhattan Beach CACall it an anomaly, but the new construction home at 235 4th (at Highland) (4br/6ba, 4150 sqft.) first needed to chop nearly $1M from its asking to get a buyer, then lost that buyer.

The home went under contract in October 2019 and sat. And sat. People moved in. It never closed. It was a looooooong escrow.

They weren't squatters, they just had some sort of lease/option arrangement to buy it. The last asking price was $7.399M.

By September 2020, those folks were gone. Turned out, it was basically just a lease, with the purchase option never exercised.

A real, actual bona fide sale has now just closed at $6.990M, $260K below asking and more than $400K below the asking at the time of the first deal. (OK, technically this was just one sale, whereas the first case was more of a deal, but the de-escalation remains notable.)

Now let's look ahead to a potential back-to-back sale we'll be tracking.

668 36th Street Manhattan Beach CA668 36th (3br/3ba, 2150 sqft.) has just come to market in the Tree Section. It's a remodeled, midsized home with nice outdoor space and really no work left to do inside.

Even with the location far north, it's a delight, which is probably why it sold so quickly... last Summer.

The sale closed in mid-July 2020 for asking price: $2.199M.

As we all know, in this COVID world, things change, and people need to make moves.

Here, the buyers-now-sellers are hoping for more: $2.399M.

Something like that quick markup would not be without precedent in this market.

To name just two on the same block in East Manhattan, consider:

2101 Chestnut Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2101 Chestnut (3br/2ba, 1750 sqft.), an expanded and remodeled cottage with an upstairs master, came out in Feb. 2020 at $1.799M and got multiple offers right away.

The sale closed in March 2020 for $1.860M.

But plans change, and it was back on the market in October, asking $1.985M, a markup of $125K or 7%.

And it happened!

Multiple offers again... and a sale at $2.010M, fully $150K over acquisition, in a time measured in mere months.

Down the block, something similar happened.

2113 Chestnut Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2113 Chestnut (5br/6ba, 3550 sqft.) is a special, newer home that first traded in Nov. 2019 for $2.790M.

We know this one well, as Dave represented the buyer at the time.

One can argue that the purchase price was "low" in part because the listing agent was the seller and presumably did not pay a listing side commission. Also, we just felt like that was a great deal.

Fast forward. Life changes. By mid-2020, the buyer, loving everything about the house and neighborhood, nonetheless found opportunity out of state.

We prepped and listed the home and sold it for $2.975M with multiple offers, an apparent rise in market value of $185K or 7% across just about a year.

These sorts of life changes/quick resales may continue this year, even more likely as a rising market helps sellers mitigate losses, or even enjoy profit, from putting desirable homes back onto the market.

We'll watch.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 1/31/21:

> 75 active listings as of 1/31/21 (-5 from 1/15/21) 

> 51 SFRs (-5)

> 24 THs (flat)

See the Inventory list as of 1/31/21 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 14 actives (+1)

> Sand Section: 39 actives (flat)

> Hill Section: 4 actives (-1)

> East MB: 18 (-5)

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 1/31/21".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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