Some 'Places' Are Tougher Than Others

By Dave Fratello | June 14th, 2017

The city fathers of Manhattan Beach were genteel with their language.

If there was to be an alley in our town, it would have a name. And it would be called a "place."

If "places" are alleys in MB, then they're typically going to have homes that sell for less. When and if they sell, that is.

Over in the Hill Section, you see 3 listings that have had something of a rough go, all on "places."

931 Duncan Place Manhattan Beach CANew construction at 931 Duncan Place (5br/5ba, 4920 sqft.) launched in October last year at $5.800M.

In our review of the home when it first came to market, we observed about the location:

"The Hill Section alley location may be a point of concern at first, but this is not Boundary Place, where the Hermosa side is lined with garages, making for an unfriendly feeling. Many homes along Duncan Place are newer or improved and look great. That's a plus for 931 Duncan Place, which captures many neighbors in frame from its multiple view locations on the top floor."

If the thought there was to worry less about the location and focus more on the house, well, let's just say the market took a different perspective.  (Location matters a lot!)

The listing is down $1.001M to $4.799M. That makes it one of only 3 Hill Section listings under $1,000/PSF.

The Place matters to buyers. It's exceeded 8 months on market now even with that $1M cut.

How about a lot?

The market for Hill Section land has been bananas for 18+ months. (Is it OK to say "bananas?" [Yes - ed])

Two lots purchased within the past year-plus have resold for more. (407 N. Poinsettia and 512 Pacific.)

831 Duncan Place Manhattan Beach CABut where's the love for 831 Duncan Place?

Sure, they began high at $3M (ok, $2.950M) last year, and stayed high at $2.8M (ok, $2.790m) and last month cut to $2.6M (ok, $2.590M).

Wait... at $2.6M, a 5300 sqft. view lot should be trading, shouldn't it? Or awfully close?

Must be the Place that's holding people back. It's over 5 months on market now.

1025 Duncan Place Manhattan Beach CAAnd we'll make one last stop in the Hill Section at 1025 Duncan Place (4br/6ba, 4150 sqft.).

Here's a spacious, custom modern house built around a courtyard with pool. It's got a nice L.A. vibe. You can kind of picture the party(ies) on site. 

It may be a large ocean-view house in a quiet part of the Hill Section, but it's... in a Place. (Well, on a Place.)

In two listings dating back to August 2016, this one has compiled almost 300 combined DOM, and cut the price $1M (there's that number again), from $5.500M down to the current $4.499M.

Maybe something will happen as we get to Summer.

Certainly on one of them, don't you think?

To paraphrase someone, there's a Place for every buyer, and a buyer for every Place.


Note: Dave's most recent MB sale was at 308 20th Place, although in that case the legal address happened to be on the alley, while the full lot stretched from the walkstreet frontage back to the alley. It wasn't so much of a "Place" type listing, and the buyer is processing a legal change of address already.

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