Marine House Was Hard to Unload

By Dave Fratello | October 5th, 2017

516 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CAFor large chunks of the last 2 years, you've had the chance to buy 516 Marine.

Everyone's had the chance. But it kept getting passed over. Or it would go into escrow and fall out again. (That happened 3 times.)

Listings for 516 Marine totaled 11 (that's right, 11 separate MLS entries) with 3 different agents going back to 2015. 

Finally, it has now sold for $2.080M.

This gas lamp district A-frame house, built in 1960 and upgraded along the way, actually first sold off-market 30 months ago.

It was March 2015, and a buyer with an eye toward building new made a deal privately.

Purchase price in March 2015: $2.150M.

But plans changed. 

By June 2015, the new owner went looking for a buyer.

Perhaps convinced that the off-market deal had been a steal, the seller sought a healthy markup of $450K to $2.600M.

Then, more.

Changing gears, the seller shared renderings of the plans for a new house on the site, and proposed to take $3.699M for the new house that would eventually be built there. 

It would be a "[s]tunningly warm California contemporary."

They tried at a much lower price, $3.299M, touting the idea that the buyer would creating "$500,000 in instant equity" by paying that price. There were no takers. 

(To make that $3.3M build project work without going negative on the project, they would have had to build for less than $350/PSF, quite a feat in Manhattan Beach these days.)

Needless to say, the spec build idea failed, and the owner resumed trying to resell the home/lot.

There were listings throughout 2016 at $2.299M, $2.249M, $2.199M and down to $2.150M (the acquisition price), a sale that would have cost the owner more than $100,000 with typical costs of sale.

In April 2017, the property fell out of escrow with a list price of $2.150M, and they raised the asking to $2.228M

In July 2017, a new agent took over and listed it lower again at $2.149M.

The sale price of $2.080M is lower still, 3% below the 2015 acquisition price. (Worth noting: The listing agent represented the buyer, too.)

The sale prompts a question: Did the market go backwards during these 2 years that 516 Marine was offered for sale?

You don't want to extrapolate from one data point.

But, yes, there is something in the air in the Sand Section to suggest a calming, perhaps a reversal in prices taking hold.

2211 Bayview Drive Manhattan Beach CALook at two nearly adjoining Spanish-style townhomes built in 2006: 2215 Bayview (4br/4ba, 2660 sqft.) and 2211 Bayview (4br/4ba, 2660 sqft.).

2215 sold in Sept. 2016 for $3.425M, and it was due for upgrades and refurbishing. 

2211 is now in its 6th month on the market in MB, having cut to $3.199M and still unsold.

It's the same unit, built at the same time, in the same location, arguably in better condition than 2215, so why isn't it selling for the same, or more? Why isn't it selling at all? It's listed $225K lower a year after the neighbor sold.

These aren't the only anecdotes from the increasingly challenging Sand Section market as inventory stays high. But they're unique, in that we've got a same-house sale and a same-townhome sale (not-yet-sale?) to evaluate.

Here's hoping for the best for the new buyer at 516 Marine. The gas lamp district is a great area, and there's potential there.

Just don't look to flip that one too soon.

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