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To judge by the most recent closed sales come in, you'd think no one knows how to price a house anymore.

We've seen markets where nearly every listing price seemed to be an overreach. Today, start prices seem to be literally just the starting points. Consider these very recent closings:

510 23rd (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is a 2009-built Spanish in the gaslamp district.

Start Price: $2.699M

Sold Price: $2.826M

Amount Over Asking: +$127K / +4%

Note: That result was different from when the same home debuted back in 2008-09. It ran 7 months on market and sold for 16% under the asking price way-back-when, the year your kindergartner was born.

1901 Lynngrove (3br/1ba, 1100 sq. ft.) is a mostly original corner-lot cottage in Liberty Village. The home has

Late last year, we took note of one sale just east of Highland in the teen walkstreets that radically raised the bar.

The value of a standard-size lot on the small stretch between 16th-20th St. had never, historically, hit the 3's... until the sale at 309 18th at $3.250M just before Thanksgiving. Really, values had never been close.

Now, raising the bar higher: 313 17th St., posting a sale at $3.500M.

Like 309 18th, the sale was arranged off-market late last year. Unlike 309 18th, the sale was not posted to the MLS. So, to date, this sale has been known mostly just to neighbors and the real estate community.

(Disclosure: Dave counseled the seller, but did not participate in the sale of 313 17th. Also, the legal address is 312 17th Place.)

There's a…

Here's how you make markets: You ignore all that came before, just put a sticker price on what you've got, and make people come to you.

That's the kind of boldness that's behind the new-construction listing at 1304 Lynngrove.

This upcoming 5br/6ba, 3750 sq. ft. "gorgeous custom contemporary" home will be offered at $3.199M to begin.

That's quite a bit above $3 million, a number never before dreamt of east of Redondo Ave. in this little pocket of Mayberry in Manhattan known as Liberty Village.

Formerly one of the most reliably affordable neighborhoods of MB (it's all relative), the LV is now getting a ceiling-pushing listing that could reshuffle all thinking about the area.

You know right away upon seeing this listing pop up that they're shooting for a…

We'll remember the first half of February 2015 as the time when we said, "Oh, really!?!" a few more times.

The kinds of deals buyers are making early in the year continue to set the tone for another roaring year in Manhattan Beach real estate. Consider:

  • 316 4th St., a corner lot at Crest and the flat 4th St. walkstreet, listed for $3.300M, about $600K above 2 recent nearby lot-sale comps, and is in escrow for more than 10% more than asking price; this says "watch out, South End." Ocean views helped on this one.
  • Two East MB lots deep into the 1700 block, specifically 1721 Gates and 1727 Gates, listed for $1.400M and $1.500M, respectively, and made immediate deals. Previously, you might have penciled them in at $1.300M-minus each, but no. (FYI 1727