There's always a quiet war going on in the real estate market.
When there are winds of change in the air, buyers and sellers are constantly reassessing their positions, preparing for a sort of combat.
Each side looks for an advantage in the data, or in the mood, and starts to tell a story about why the market is favoring sellers, or buyers... whoever that person might be.
We're in a peak time now where conflicting data offer plenty for either buyers or sellers to use.
But some sales that are piling up provide grist for the sellers to say the market's fine, for them.
Please Note: The properties below are listed and brokered by a variety of agents and firms, not Dave Fratello or Edge, unless noted. Click on any image or address for full details. The name of the listing broker and agent for each property, along with any contact information supplied through the MLS, is displayed with each property.
Busy Streets, No Problems
They say people like Valley Drive, because its proximity to the greenbelt and, generally, to parks and downtown, makes for a great lifestyle.
Evidence from 3 recent sales along Valley/Ardmore suggest "they" are right.
2213 N. Valley (4br/3ba, 2880 sqft.) is a cool remodeled 1970s house under a tree canopy.
Asking $3.149M, this one sold $126K higher at $3.275M. (Listed by Richard Mueller of Compass.)
Meanwhile, next-door neighbor 2209 N. Valley (4br/3ba, 3524 sqft.) sold a short time before, also going over asking... by a lot.
Start: $3.195M. Sold: $3.475M (+$280K) (Listed by Colleen Hartley of Bayside.)
The highest sale like these two came in only $1 over asking price, but that was still $3.500M total.
2310 Laurel Bluff (4br/3ba, 3667 sqft.) had begun at $3,499,999. (Listed by Natalie Walsh of Palm Realty Boutique, Inc.)
It's an early 90s original that has been tricked out with about 80% internal remodeling. (The master bath is still original.)
It's not literally on Ardmore, but rather up above it perhaps 12-15'. It certainly has noise impacts, but it also benefits from being on a private street and gets nice views of treetops along the greenbelt.
The walkable location and remodel won out over any potential concern about the busy streets nearby.
More Tree Section Scores
Meantime, we've seen Tree Section sales in the 4's, even one over $5M.
849 12th Ct. (5br/6ba, 3528 sqft.) is among the higher closings at $4.750M.
It's a beauty for sure, and with staging, it presented as a magazine-worthy home. (Listed by Holly Danna of Compass.)
If you want a measure of the market, consider that this one sold all-new 26 months ago (June '20) for $3.675M. That's a 29% increase.
1817 Elm (5br/4ba, 3184 sqft.) wasn't too far behind.
Sold off-market for $4.500M, the 1999 build (remodeled) ranks 4th in PPSF among all Tree Section sales with 3000+ sqft. in the past 6 months (at $1,413/PSF). (Listed by Claire Gillespie of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty.)
Go back even further in time, you'll find 632 26th (4br/4ba, 3502 sqft.), a 1989 build.
It's the "oldest" of the sales we're discussing here, closing just 2 weeks ago.
Based on location, not so much condition, they asked $3,999,999, and got $1 more (there it is again!), $4.000M. (Listed by Chad Fahlbusch of Strand Hill Christies International Real Estate.)
Meantime, nearby 562 33rd (5br/4ba, 3548 sqft.) did get more than asking.
The 2003 build in a good location with street-to-alley lot asked $4.295M, but got bid up to $4.460M.
Did we say there was a Tree Section sale over $5M, too?
Yes, but with a qualification.
1145 Fisher (5br/6ba, 5014 sqft.) is in the South Martrys area where zoning is more like the Sand Section, and this home features both instant walkability to downtown and some ocean views. Those aren't exactly features you expect in the Tree Section.
This is a 2008 custom Tuscan. It was listed twice before, midyear last year at $5.999M and this year as low as $5.495M, before a third listing kicked off.
It's now sold at $5.400M. (Listed by Cristie George of Caris Properties, Inc.)
Here's an interesting case where the first 2 (unsuccessful) listings were by a local agency, but the last (successful) listing was by someone who doesn't have a shingle in Manhattan Beach - in fact, appears to have only 4 prior sales (on the MLS in SoCal) and no prior sales in MB.
We all believe in local expertise, but sometimes, a house is just ready to sell.
Liberty Village Stunner
Over at 2004 Manzanita (5br/4ba, 3062 sqft.), they pulled off what one might see as a minor miracle.
Here's a late-90s home that was just bought for $2.575M at the end of 2020, and had been remodeled since, although incompletely.
First floor & yards? Check.
Second floor? Not really.
And here is has sold for $3.400M, actually $32K over asking, even after one broken escrow. (Listed by Denise Arredondo Epeneter of Silver King Brokers.)
Every other one of the 6 total Liberty Village homes ever to sell over $3.000M were built in 2016 or later. This one dates back to 1997.
Twice recently, Dave's listings have set the high-water mark for Liberty Village (east of Redondo Ave.), one at 1900 Lynngrove ($3.320M) and most recently at 1901 Lynngrove ($3.725M) (pictured).
So, yeah, we noticed when an older build that wasn't fully remodeled creeped into that rare air last week.
This one at 2004 Manzanita seems to us more evidence that a market that people perceive to be in transition still holds plenty of surprises.
When a home simply checks the boxes for people who need to move, there isn't going to be a lot of discussion about trends, or data, or outlooks 18 months out, or who's got the upper hand.
The buyer is just going to step up.