Opposite Extremes: Good Buy, Huge #

By Dave Fratello | February 5th, 2015

Nothing has happened yet this year to slow the momentum of 2014 carrying over into 2015. That means for Manhattan Beach real estate: Look out above.

We've got one big example of the ongoing sky's-no-limit phenomenon to look at, but first, let's look at a place where common sense may reign.

1208 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CAAt 1208 Oak (5br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft.), you'll find a 10-year-old Cape Cod, solidly built, with a familiar floorplan and a couple of twists.

The home feels very solid and shows well. With a modern kitchen and tasteful master bath, it's a pretty straightforward home, easy to like... once inside.

So why is this good-sized, newer Tree Section home priced at "only" $2.000M, when comparable homes seem to be selling for $2.3M-$2.5M?

Location, location...

Not only is this home on the "wrong" side of Oak Ave., it's surrounded on 3 sides by commercial properties – parking lots and a preschool. There's little buffer for traffic noise from Sepulveda. 

As we wrote here on MBC nearly 7 years ago, "This Home Is An Island."

There are clever tweaks to the home design to account for its location: No windows at the back of the house, where the highway and Target would be in view. The master is over the garage in front, instead of at the back of the house – it's in the best possible position here, and with treetop views to the west. Some windows are smoked glass or rain glass, allowing light but no views. All of these make it possible to come in and say "this is a nice house for the money." Everyone knows exactly where the compromises lay.

One of the most recent Tree Section sales of a comparably sized house, without a big location issue, was 2517 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) at $2.400M. Right along Oak, there were 2 recent sales of note: the neighbor across the street, a strikingly refreshed 1209 Oak (5br/5ba, 3135 sq. ft., at $1.950M) and the completely redone, inside & out, home at 1720 Oak (4br/4ba, 3475 sq. ft. at $2.227M) – the second one being a record for Oak.

We'll see what they can get for 1208 Oak, but we know at the outset that they've tried to "price in" the major concerns buyers will have.

316 4th Street Manhattan Beach CAThere seems to be no similar conservatism down at 316 4th St. (pictured here).

No conservatism by anyone.

South End flat walkstreet lot prices already went bananas. That was last year.

For instance, 401 5th St., a lot that wasn't put up on the MLS but was well-marketed among local agents, drew multiple offers against a start price of $2.500M. (Disclosure: Dave had a bidder in the mix.)

401 5th sold for $2.710M in September.

Another flat walkstreet lot sold around the same time, also off-market, also for $2.700M.

So was that it? Had South End flat walkstreet land values plateaued at the impressively high figure of $2.7M?

The sellers of 316 4th have bet that the answer is no. They launched this listing at $3.300M, more than 20% above the two sales from just last Summer.

Has this kept the mob from pouncing? Oh no.

If you're not already in this sweepstakes, you're too late.

Can they get more than that $3.3M for a lot-value sale running along the alley at Crest?

Signs point to yes. Are you capable of being shocked anymore? This one might do it.

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