Take $1M Off, and We'll Talk

By Dave Fratello | July 31st, 2015

612 John Street Manhattan Beach CAOn the face of it, someone just drove a huge bargain at 612 John in the Hill Section.

The classic manse with epic views was publicly listed for $10.500M in early June.

Whoa, that was really something. Then a buyer knocked, just 2 weeks into the listing.

Did they really get $10M+?

With the closed sale now, the answer is: Not quite. But the final deal at $9.400M is nothing to sneeze at.

First, it's an extremely impressive $4M markup over acquisition just a bit over 3 1/2 years prior (Nov. 2011) at $5.400M.

Translate that to a monthly appreciation rate: The home rose in value by $91,000/mo., averaged out over the period of this most recent hold.

There had been some remodeling/updating to the home over this span, updating the look and feel from the original 2000-built Mediterranean stylings. So there was some cost to the sellers, but that sure paid off.

620 8th Street Manhattan Beach CASecond, we can't help but compare this one directly to a Hill Section sale that Dave made last year, off-market, at 620 8th St. (pictured).

612 John: 6br/8ba, 7400 sqft., 9985 sqft. lot with unobstructed views & pool: $9.400M

620 8th: 6br/7ba, 7250 sqft., 9950 sqft. lot with unobstructed views & pool: $7.900M

As you see, those specs are very similar. The 8th St. Mediterranean had been the highest sale price in the Hill Section for 13 months, but it's now been exceeded by $1.5 million (+19%).

Finally, that new $9.400M figure is also the highest public-market sale ever in the Hill Section of Manhattan Beach.*

We can find only 2 Hill Section sales that have ever topped that number, with one being a huge anomaly.

There's an epic corner-lot "English Country Estate" home at 900 Pacific (6br/6ba, 10,500 sqft.) that sold off-market in 2008 for $9.850M.

(* Worth noting: The Pacific property was listed on the MLS and went pending while listed, but the MLS listing was "canceled" right as the sale closed in Aug. 2008. Mmm-hmm. That tactic may have been intended to hide the sale price. Anyway, tax records are clear, and easily available at this point.)

Then there was that one sale that seems destined never to be beaten – until your kids or our kids or their kids make the sale somewhere down the road.

The king of Hill Section sales was at 853 3rd (6br/7ba, 8100 sqft.), a high-style custom modern that basically wasn't for sale in 2011 when it sold.

The buyer kept pushing and pushing, and when the offer hit $16.000M, the owners relented and handed over the keys. (See "2011: A Year of Highs, Part II.")

For now, the "official" public-market high will be 612 John. Until the next one.

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