Sometimes, It's Worth What It's Worth

By Dave Fratello | May 31st, 2019

You gotta love walkstreets.

Ocean views. No cars. Nothing like 'em.

Walkstreet homes west of Highland are among the most valuable in the city of Manhattan Beach.

And yet, if it ain't perfect, it may not be worth a dreamy, sky-high price.

212 18th Street Manhattan Beach CAReality came to 212 18th (5br/6ba, 4270 sqft.) after a few months on the market this year.

The launch in January was at $6.980M.

Call that $7M for a full-sized home on one of the most fun walkstreets west of Highland.

But that is not where it settled.

It sold this week for $5.350M, after 111 DOM.

The listing had last cut to $6.390M, so somehow the sale price was more than $1M lower. (!)

Ordinarily, if you bring an offer 16% and/or $1M under asking price, you can expect to be told what you can do with it.

But not this time!

They made it work.

So, was the $7M start price way off?

If you go by only the sales on very nearby walkstreets (16th-20th), that list price wasn't crazy.

Two sales last Summer that would be reference points were:

222 17th Street Manhattan Beach CA222 17th (5br/4ba, 4280 sqft.), a remodel/rebuild sporting a 2009 "effective" year built. The home was very modern and open with good views.

It closed in Aug. 2018 for $6.850M.

OK, based on that one, you could question why 212 18th was supposed to be worth $130K more.

But it wasn't far out of range, was it?

125 17th Street Manhattan Beach CA125 17th (4br/4ba, 4335 sqft.) is a 1995 custom contemporary with updates as recently as 2016.

It's lower on the block of course, but perhaps not as "open with good views" as 222 17th.

The very particular contemporary style of the home required 420 DOM and price cuts of almost $1.2M to sell it.

It closed in July 2018 for $7.200M.

Now, 212 18th was probably more comparable to 125 17th in that it was custom and a bit challenging.

The 2004 build for 212 18th has a style you could just call classic Americana without getting too deep into terminology. It isn't current. Just a regular family home hanging out on a block with $7M+ homes.

But if challenging 125 17th got $7.2M, maybe challenging 212 18th could get near that?

Truly, things were looking pretty reasonable by the time the listing got to the low-to-mid 6's.

Go back to those heady sugar-high days of 2017 and you'll see 205 16th (4br/5ba, 4270 sqft.), a 2001 build, selling for $6.900M.

That place has been a construction site almost ever since its trade in March 2017. (A prep-for-market remodel turned out not to be nearly enough.)

One way that 212 18th isn't quite like 205 16th is the views. The 16th St. home happens to be on a favorable bump in the hilly walkstreet and has some seemingly unblockable views over neighbors across the walkstreet, toward the pier.

But 212 18th does currently benefit by having two under-height neighbors to the west, so the views and view potential are pretty good, even if the views might be taken as "rented."

Sheez, there's another one in the high 6's that could compare favorably to 212 18th.

But 212 18th sold for $5.350M.

The comps that argue for that number all come from further north.

Oddly, all are 224 addresses:

224 29th Street Manhattan Beach CA224 29th (5br/6ba, 5000 sqft.) is a 2001 build with contemporary style and views.

It launched at $6.200M but closed $1M lower at $5.200M in Aug. 2018.

(This was the same time as 222 17th was getting $6.850M.)

And back in December 2017, both of these walkstreet homes sold in the 4's:

224 31st (4br/4ba, 4150 sqft., 2005 build) at $4.600M, and

224 32nd (4br/5ba, 4500 sqft., 2008 build) at $4.400M.

Someone can say walkstreet values are teetering, but the data are showing us there's a big difference between north end walkstreets and those closer to town.

But you can't really argue.

Sometimes the home is just worth what it's worth, and that's what you take.

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