'Pink Emoji House' Not Selling, Cuts 10%

By Dave Fratello | November 12th, 2019

One of the most famous/infamous pieces of local real estate, the "Pink Emoji House," has not sold.

216 39th Street Manhattan Beach CARiding a wave of international publicity, the little duplex at 216 39th (2br/2ba, 1525 sqft.) aimed to deliver a big profit for the owner, starting out back in August at $1.749M.

The current owner bought it in March 2018 for $1,350,000.

216 39th Street Manhattan Beach CADespite a marketing push like no other listing could expect to enjoy, the odd little international sensation hasn't caught a buyer's eye quite yet.

As of today, the price is down to $1.575M (-$174K) with 85 DOM.

There's action, too, at the city government, which could eventually prevent future "murals" like those featured on the "Emoji House."

At its Aug. 28 meeting, the Planning Commission resolved to "explore the possibility of prohibiting murals for all properties developed with multi-family uses, meaning any property that is developed with two or more units."

The basic idea behind the potential mural ban would be that non-owner-occupied properties are more commercial in nature, and can be regulated more readily that what might be called "artistic expression" on an individual, personal residence.

We're still a ways off from anything formal from Planning or the City Council, but no one would dispute that the Emoji House triggered the conversation.

There's a possible outcome from the city action whereby any new ordinance might be made retroactive. As noted during the Planning Commission discussion, it's in City Council's discretion if/when they adopt it. In that case, the city could order a whitewash of the hot-pink house and its murals. Maybe not likely, but possible.

216 39th Street Manhattan Beach CATo whatever degree the Emoji House's value is as a tourist attraction or mini-landmark, a city ban could force the property back to being, well, what it is: An awkward little duplex, originally built in 1930, badly degraded just a couple years ago, with light renovations that helped to make it livable.

Heck, the first trade on the property (at $1.250M in Dec. '17) was a sale to a local builder.

El Porto seems to have very few lot trades like that, because even the old duplexes tend to have solid, steady income potential. Investors will scoop up little old buildings just to get the guaranteed $6,000+ per month in rental income.

And here, with that notorious creative coat of paint, the Emoji House has (for now) escaped destruction and gone on to live a bit longer as "just another income property" in El Porto.

How Does the New Price Compare?

We're recapping some of the comps we pointed to back in August when the Emoji House first went up for sale.

The current asking price of $1,575,000 for 216 39th seems now a bit below some recent sales of older El Porto duplexes:

212 Seaview Street Manhattan Beach CA212 Seaview (2br/2ba, 1045 sqft.) sold for $1,610,000 in Sept. 2018. (Pictured.)

200 39th (3br/3ba, 1415 sqft.) sold for $1,715,000 in Aug. 2018.

Tiny 208 Moonstone (2br/2ba, 950 sqft.) sold for $1,300,000 in July 2018.

4310 Ocean Drive (2br/2ba, 1400 sqft.) sold for $1,550,000 in March 2018.

 

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