Tree Section Home Sells 33% Off Start

By Dave Fratello | August 20th, 2020

1021 33rd Street Manhattan Beach CAIt's big.

With more land.

In the much-desired Tree Section.

Private, with virtually no neighbors.

And less than 10 years old.

Maybe that's why they launched 1021 33rd (5br/4ba, 3985 sqft.) at an ambitious price more than a year ago, in July 2019.

Ambitious = $3.799M.

After the (inevitable) cuts, this one made two deals once it got down to $2.999M (-$800K), one in September last year and one in October. The second one washed out 4 months later, in late February, just before COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders hit.

The latest deal was inked in late June, and this time it stuck.

Final closed price this week: $2.525M.

As noted in our headline, that's a whopping 33% under the original asking price, nearly $1.3M off.

But the start price is only a measure of the seller's ambitions.

In context, it's one of the true deals of the year in the Trees.

So far in 2020, there have been 28 single-family homes sold of 4br or more and 3000 sqft. or more in the Trees.

598 36th Street Manhattan Beach CAAt $2.525M, 1021 33rd closes now with the second-lowest price, just above the $2.500M paid in March for much smaller 598 36th (5br/3ba, 3050 sqft.), a 1980s build on the corner along busy Blanche. (Pictured.)

That is some kind of amazing, because the lot size for 1021 33rd is quite a bit bigger than average.

Its 7046 sqft. lot is essentially 50% bigger than you would find in most parts of the Tree Section - certainly for most nearby homes, allowing for extra outdoor space. (Pictured.)

Given the incredibly high value for dirt alone in the Trees ($1.600M or so for a typical lot, if you can find one), it's just a bit surprising to see that the extra land couldn't stop the home from selling lower than almost every comparable property.

Clearly, that's because all that land was in a location that buyers found challenging.

1021 33rd is in the Trees, but on no part of 33rd that you would get to by walking from the Sand Dune to the east.

No, it's a short spur located at the official end of Ardmore right before Sepulveda, a spot where cars tend to line up to turn left or go to the mall. (You probably thought you were on Ardmore the whole time.)

And the price per square foot for 1021 33rd was a steal, lowest this year.

Yep, we've got a graph for that.

In the hot purple on the left edge, you'll see 1021 33rd at $633/PSF.

Two others are in the 600s, then the data jump quickly into the 800s and beyond.

Median PPSF for these size homes in the Trees is $893/PSF, while the average is $931/PSF.

Sure, that PPSF measure can be a bit unkind when a home is larger than the typical home in the group. At nearly 4000 sqft. of living space, 1021 33rd is 5th-largest in this group.

But still: What about that lot size? Isn't the extra dirt supposed to give a little boost to the PPSF?

It would, if buyers paid more for the property because of the extra lot size. But we've already established that the lot's location made it hard for buyers to prefer it to typically sized lots.

It's also worth noting that the larger lot size here might make the home more desirable (different floorplan, more outdoor space), but its utility is limited. Especially so because the lot is essentially a triangle.

Last points here go back to the history on this one.

Remember the Speedy Speckies?

Back in early 2011, while the world was still waiting for a revival of new home construction, one local builder began a raft of several new building projects in the Trees. They were built in assembly-line fashion, with demo crews, framers, stucco and everything in between being applied at one site, then the next, then the next, often just a couple of minutes' drive away. (See our April 2011 post, "Speedy Speckies Sprout.")

1021 33rd was built as a "cousin" to those homes, by the same developer, as we noted in January 2012:

"It is clearly the better among the cousins, with a superior, different, big layout and without the daring, frilly, even questionable details found in some of the others. As newer Caliterraneans go, it's pretty safe and attractive."

New, 1021 33rd listed for $2.100M, about $400K over the balance of the "cousins." (Yes, seems like a long time ago, especially pricewise.)

Maybe it "should have" sold higher like that, because of its larger size and lot size.

It didn't. The home closed off-market for $1.500M, less than every one of the mainstream cousins. (See "The Strange Case of 1021 33rd," July 2012.)

You can see here how history echoes in the current day.

A big house like 33rd "should have" sold somewhere in the 3's, perhaps the high 3's, based on home size and lot size.

Instead, it turns out to be one of the lowest-priced sales of the year.

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