One of These Townhomes Is Not Like the Other

By Dave Fratello | May 31st, 2016

There has been no doubting the pricing trend on Sand Section townhomes: Up.

They've just pre-sold one new construction townhome on Manhattan Ave. south of the pier for a reported $5M, and now the back unit of that complex-to-be is looking for nearly 6.

Early this year you had 611 Bayview (3br/4ba, 2720 sqft.) setting the tone, coming in with a closed sale price of $4.650M – a case where the prior sale on the same unit was just 2 full years prior at $3.250M, or 43% less.

428 23rd Street Manhattan Beach CAIn context, then, the Feb. 2016 sale price on the brand new, large townhome at 428 23rd (4br/5ba, 2735 sqft.) at $3.745M might not have been too much of a shock.

Even if it was a bit of a shock.

The 400 block of 23rd is a nice location. We've got clients right nearby. This unit was brand new, modern, crowd-pleasing and had some good ocean glimpses from the front, and an ample deck to enjoy them. It's substantially larger than other MB townhomes thanks to the 40-foot wide lot (typical would be 30 feet, and yes, width matters).

But the location, quite a bit east of Highland on a flat part of the street, isn't your prototypical "ocean view townhome" location. It was quite a sale, all things considered – a nice score for the builder, to be sure. The oversized lot (3600 sqft.) on which 428 23rd and another unit were built had been acquired for "only" $2.6M back in 2014. (The lot once hosted a 1930s Spanish that had been dressed to the nines [see here]... for a date with a bulldozer, as it happens.)

With the "front" unit sold, next would come the sale of the back unit.

429 Marine Place Manhattan Beach CAAt 429 Marine Place (4br/5ba, 2710 sqft.), they waited till all was fully ready in April to launch the listing.

With a home similar in size to the attached (front) unit just sold, they went ahead and began at a comparable price: $3.795M. Actually, that was more money (by $50K) for the alley unit.

A month later, in early May, about $300K came off the top.

At the end of May, $300K more came off.

At $3.199M, the unit is now priced 16% under the start price before the 60th day has tolled on the MLS. (That's -$596K, if you prefer whole numbers.)

Surely, the alley unit of a townhome set is usually worth less. We'd have to research to see if that's commonly 15% or more.

One message seems clear. They don't want 429 Marine Place on the books much longer: "Come and get it."

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