Not the End of Tree Section Rise?

By Dave Fratello | June 19th, 2015

This is a story that's only really a "bookend" to the story of one spec project.

750 30th Street Manhattan Beach CAThat would be 750 30th St. (5br/7ba, 5070 sqft.), a new "beach plantation" style home that has just closed for $4.500M.

The sale itself is notable, for sure. 

It's only the fourth-ever sale to close in the Tree Section over $4M that wasn't near American Martyrs church. (Click for more on the Martyrs area and active listings there.)

One of those past $4M+ sales was of a double-lot "compound" (3305 Pine) that sold back in 2012.

The other two more "conventional" home sales over $4M came within just the last year:

  • 769 33rd (6br/5ba, 4900 sqft., 7400 sqft. lot), a big, luxe custom Spanish on an oversized lot, sold for $4.100M off-market in July last year;
  • 3311 Elm (6br/7ba, 5165 sqft, 8800 sqft lot) is a new-construction Cape Cod with a super-sized lot (for the Trees), which sold early this year at $4.569M.

Did you note that every one of those non-Martyrs-area homes had unusually large lots?

At 5400-odd sqft., the lot at 750 30th is not super-sized like those, although it's somewhat bigger than a typical Tree Section plot.

There's one other thing that's notable about the sale here at 750 30th. The lot sold on the public market near the beginning of a recent, notable, enormous spike in land values for the Tree Section. Here's our graph from "Tree Section Lot Values Rocketing" (Oct. 2014):

There had been something like 30+ offers on the property when it came to the public market in November 2013 at $1.150M. (Read that again: $1.150M!)

When the sale closed, MBC expressed "shock" to see a Tree Section land sale at $1.515M. (See "Lot Shocker: 750 30th.")

The number looks positively quaint today.

(Worth noting: The MLS listing for the lot sale displays a price of $1.552M, reflecting $37K in buyer's agent commissions that weren't actually paid. We use $1.515M, from the tax records. The discrepancy comes from a practice that's sometimes called "netting up" the MLS-posted sale price – stating the sale price "as if" the sale had been a full public market sale with full commissions. We go by the tax records here when we see a conflict like this.)

Way-back-when, when the lot for 750 30th went for $1.5M and change, the question was: What can they sell this new house for, when it's done?

705 26th Street Manhattan Beach CAThen-recent precedents in the area north Valley were 705 and 709 26th, developed from a split double-lot:

  • 705 26th (5br/4ba, 4875 sqft.) at $3.600M and 
  • 709 26th (5br/4ba, 5120 sqft.) at $3.700M.

The target, then, with 750 30th, would be to meet or exceed those numbers.

Instead, with the market continuing to rise after the land was acquired, the builder decimated those recent highs with a mid-4's sale.

And here in Summer 2015, you can't say this is the last one that will reach for, or hit, new heights in the area. If there's a hairpin turn ahead, no one seems to be able to see it.

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