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Take a half lot in sight of downtown and featuring plenty of traffic... what's that worth?

In the case of 209 15th, the answer is $2.401M.

That's a $102K overbid over the list price of $2.299M.

We went looking for comps. Uh-oh, the market seems to have found a way to carve out a new category-specific high with this sale. 

Half lot, west of Highland: $2.4M.

The smallish, 2-story house here (3br/2ba, 1275) is dated and you have to say the bulk of the value is in the land, all 1345 sqft. of that plot.

We can't find a like sale that's even close. $1.7? $1.9? $2.1? Nothing.

There is one very big number from last year that arguably beats the sale at 209 15th: 2401 Manhattan Ave. has a walkstreet frontage and the feel of a 100-block house, albeit with one

We got a kick out of seeing this line in a recent Manhattan Beach listing: "DON'T LET THE PHOTOS FOOL YOU!"

Hey, isn't that the whole point?

Photos are supposed to put a home in its best light, aren't they? Make rooms look bigger, make dated features look fresh, and generally put a shine to even the darkest corners. Photos may not "fool" anyone, but they had better entice you to come see (and maybe buy) the house. Otherwise, someone's not doing their job.

In that one case (1510 23rd, pictured, just sold for $1.940M), the point of the "don't let the photos fool you" warning had something to do with persuading potential buyers that the home was not just one of many cookie-cutter "Roth built" homes with the same old/same old floorplan and features. No!

An electrical transformer meltdown and fire in the Hill Section on Sunday night triggered "brownouts" and blackouts in many parts of Manhattan Beach that ran into the morning hours Monday. (Here's our pic of the melted asphalt and lawn where a transformer ceased to be, at 11th/Poinsettia.)

If you were affected (as was MBC HQ), then you know what a rude wake-up call the loss of power can be. No one sleeps or awakens at the right time, odd alarms go off, breakfast is a mess, electronics aren't charged, school bells and street signals are in chaos. And don't even get us started about life without internet.

It's a wonder we ever hold it together.

Somehow, the vibe of the local real estate market as the week kicked off was also weird.

Back to Market


As you know, we try not to be shocked anymore. The Manhattan Beach real estate market seems to continue to rise faster than one can predict.

For today's example, we're going to focus on a pair of townhomes sold over the span of about 16 months.

In Spring 2014, the front unit of a newer (2008) complex hit the market. It was 116 Rosecrans (3br/4ba, 1820 sqft.) (pictured).

Very well-designed and sharp, with notably good views over wide, wide lower Rosecrans, the TH came out listed under $2.2M, by a tad, at $2.185M.

The market gave the seller lots more: $2.280M.

It was the first time the unit had sold, having been completed just in time for the market's big dip some years back.

The sale was something of a high-water mark at the time.

A North End…