Oak Is Rolling Again

By Dave Fratello | April 2nd, 2015

Is this shaping up to be Oak Avenue's big year?

2001 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CAThere have already been 5 listings on Oak in the first 3 months of 2015, of which 2 went quickly into escrow, and we might expect the same of the newest listings also. (Those are small, refreshed 2001 Oak (pictured), listed March 31 at $1.249M, and a probate-auction listing at 2701 Oak [with a faux start price of $799K].)

If all these early-2015 listings sell, Oak could be halfway to the street's 2014 sales total (8) before Memorial Day.

We looked back a bit further – as is our habit here at MBC – and found that Oak saw 10 sales in 2012 and 11 sales in both 2003 and 2004. Those are the recent peaks.

Sometimes, these sorts of patterns don't lead you to any one conclusion, but they might be indicators.

We took particular note of the multiple-offer situation over at 1405 Oak, a smaller, 4200 sq. ft. lot that seems destined to be a building site. The $1.249M start price was surely just that. Are spec builders feeling brave about building on small lots in so-so locations? Surely that says something about how the wind is blowing.

Seeing the turnover on Oak reminded us of last year's rush of sales on Wendy Way, a comparable street in furthest-east MB in Liberty Village.

Last year, Wendy Way saw 7 sales. The 2014 number was all the more impressive on Wendy, because it's a relatively short block with about 50 homes on it. With 7 sales, you saw about 1/7th of the inventory on the block turn over. Interestingly, there were also 7 sales on the same block in 2013. (See: "Wendy Not a Turnoff?" from March 2014.)

By contrast, Oak Ave. is home to nearly 200 houses, so to get to 8 sales last year, it took a smaller proportion changing hands.

Both Oak and Wendy are streets that should lag behind neighboring blocks price-wise because they're just one off of busy, major thoroughfares. For that reason, you will tend to see more first-time buyers coming in, and more sellers who are ready to make a move to a more interior location. An appreciating market like this makes an upleg move a bit easier to contemplate.

While this market keeps running strong, streets like Oak benefit as much or more than others. We'll see how the year shakes out.

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UPDATE: The original version of this post neglected to mention the probate-auction house at 2701 Oak. It has been added now.

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