Nothing Under $1M?

By Dave Fratello | July 18th, 2013

Back in February, we looked ahead to what kind of market seemed to be unfolding in front of us all here. Manhattan Beach real estate looked to be poised for a takeoff, even compared to 2012.


In our post, "Where We're Going This Year," we offered some seemingly obvious prognostications – like the notion that this year would see more bidding wars and higher prices.

Dave was quoted on the front page of the LA Times around then, saying of MB, "The days of little cottages for under $1 million are mostly behind us."

Five months hence, here we are looking for homes under $1M, and mostly not finding them.

Here's what's available now under $1M, nearly all with challenged locations keeping them a might under 1 with 6 zeroes:

966 Rosecrans (3br/1ba, 1050 sq. ft.) was rejected by the market last year, after running 5 months at $995K down to $875K. It's back now at $995K. The big lot (5950 sq. ft.) is not all usable; there's a big sloping driveway.

And the home doesn't look all that different inside this year than last (though the home is less cluttered and far better photographed this time around). The spot along Rosecrans is very near Sepulveda and will cause concern for many. But hey, it's under $1M.

3616 Pine (3br/1ba, 1075 sq. ft.) is one we mentioned in the most recent Weekend Opens post.

It's "a nicely spiffed up original cottage with a glaring location issue... kind of staring at the traffic [] and at industrial vistas" of the refinery. Like 966, it's got a bigger lot (5300 sq. ft.). They started at $999K.

1200 Wendy (3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.) is having a little trouble because of location – it backs up to Aviation and runs along fairly busy 12th St. Traffic views and noise are just part of the environment.

The home is a 2br original with a recent addition in back that added a living space and smallish 3rd bedroom/office just off that living room. It's bright and quite nicely redone, and the 5800+ sq. ft. lot really seems large.

With a recent cut, this one's at $970K.

Neighboring 1205 Wendy (2br/1ba, 920 sq. ft.) is still just a 2br, but with a completely new remodel cut from that high-style 21st-century beach cottage mold that has been sweeping town.

This one is on the "right" side of Wendy (not abutting Aviation), but you still can't say the location sings. But at least it's under $1M: $959K, to be exact.

1812 Marine (4br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is by far the biggest house we're looking at, and probably also (let's say it) the wackiest. The listing's formal description of the home as "one of a kind" is meant to capture the unusual flavors, shapes and quirks of the home – it's custom to the family who's selling, and probably not exactly what any buyer has set out to find.

But with a bunch of interior space and a nice pool and jacuzzi, it's a lot of bang for the buck at $999K (current list, down almost $200K from start). What's dragging this one down is being on busy Marine just a few doors off of Aviation. Lots of location discount needs to be built in. And they're trying.

And that, folks, is the sum total of all for-sale inventory of single-family homes under $1M today.

This past weekend, in writing about 3616 Pine, we took note of a few comparable sales for that one:

Yikes, did you notice that only one of those little places with location issues came in under $1M?

Seems like, indeed, the days of little cottages – or anything – for under $1 million are mostly behind us.

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