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We'll start our April 15 update with today's news. It's about the "battle" that never was.

You would probably agree: There's enough conflict in the world already. Now, what was shaping up to be a battle between oversized Manhattan Beach Strand lots trolling for high-dollar buyers has ended – without a shot being fired.

2722 The Strand was listed for 6 months, always at $28.500M.

When it came to market, it was under-selling the prime lot at 1000 The Strand, a 5000 sqft. corner lot right near the pier, which was listed for $28.900M at the time. 2722 is a true double-plus lot at 6925 sqft., so its land PPSF was even lower.

We announced the "Battle of the Big Strand Lots" in late October 2015, and settled in to see which of these "Titans" would find a

A simple, reliable rental duplex in El Porto, or a comparable little SFR, has gotten very expensive the last couple years.

It was enough of a surprise to see $1.6's getting hit, when suddenly along came a $1.8M sale. Here are some highlights from recent sales up north.

116 Seaview Street Manhattan Beach CA116 Seaview (duplex, 1320 sqft.) is highly modernized, fully to the max.

And that shows in its forehead-slapping sale price of $1.799M in early December last year.

This sale carved out a new peak for Porto.

Something like that territory was reached in the sale of another duplex at 118 Kelp in January this year (duplex, 1450 sqft.) for $1.695M. That one's actually a 3-story structure built in the 80s, not one of the boxy 50s/60s structures that dominate El Porto.

221 El Porto Street Manhattan Beach CA221 El Porto (duplex,

Not to be dramatic, but there was a time when $2M could take you pretty far when shopping for homes in Manhattan Beach.

Now, a budget like that is going to involve some compromises. Take a smaller home. Plan a new build or major remodel. Or some combination thereof.

Here's a not-necessarily-complete list of recent sales somewhere near $2M, which illustrate the options at that price point.

As with every property referenced on the blog here, you can click any address for full listing details & photos.

2701 Pine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2701 Pine (4br/3ba, 2300 sqft.) is a dapper Cape Cod on a corner in a mostly quiet part of the Tree Section. It has just closed for $2.200M.

Both the home and the lot are significantly smaller than is typical for the Tree Section. A 4br house would often…

Whatever the state of the market, there's one thing you can't deny about Manhattan Beach real estate: We've got some freaking awesome homes here.

Today we'll offer a glance at some of the top-tier Manhattan Beach listings for your viewing pleasure.

As always here at MBC, just click on the address for more info about the listings, and all photos.

712 John Street Manhattan Beach CA712 John St. (7br/7ba, 6800 sqft.) is a custom "Beach Modern Masterpiece" (per the listing) on a large 12,000 sqft. corner lot.  (That 12K includes the city setbacks; legally it's 9940 sqft.)

The home is built in somewhat of an L-shape around a large and sparkling pool, with plenty of covered areas including a luxe cabana that gives new meaning to "outdoor living." That spot is living.

All of the first-floor…