What's (Not) Happening in East MB?

By Dave Fratello | October 13th, 2015

If you're looking for a family-size home in Manhattan Beach, your mainstream choices are going to be in the Tree Section or East Manhattan.

While both areas have seen a fair share of sales this year, right now there are more listings than deals in East MB.

You might begin to wonder: Is this a seasonal phenomenon, or the beginning of a bulge of inventory?

We can't draw conclusions in October, but we can observe where buyers' choices are growing:

1561 Gates Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1561 Gates (5br/6ba, 4375 sqft.) (pictured) is a 1980s Mediterranean that just came to market asking $2.450M. (See our open-house post for more.) Lot size: 7500 sqft.

1751 Curtis (5br/4ba, 3750 sqft.) is a 1980s original that got a 100% total interior remodel and looks great. It began 2 months ago, mid-Summer, at $2.550M and is down to $2.399M now. Lot size: 7500 sqft.

1653 Curtis (6br/4ba, 4400 sqft.) is also a 1980s original, with an updated kitchen and nice pool. New to market at $2.399M. Lot size: 7500 sqft.

1305 11th (5br/4ba, 3700 sqft.) is a year-2000 build in a contemporary style, asking $2.395M. Lot size is almost 5000 sqft.

1765 Curtis Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1765 Curtis (5br/4ba, 3875 sqft.) (pictured) is – stop us if this sounds familiar – a 1980s original with some updates, in this case to the kitchen and master bath, principally. On its second listing this year, asking $2.395M. Lot size is 6000 sqft.

1150 2nd (4br/4ba, 3700 sqft.) is a 1980s Spanish up a long flag-lot type driveway up off of busy 2nd Street. Originally asking $2.399M, they're down to $2.299M after 4 months on market. Lot size is hard to suss out, as they include the driveway.

1643 5th (4br/3ba, 3100 sqft.) is a 1970s original and very different from the others referenced above in size & style. Still, with 4br and 3000+ sqft., it qualifies as a target for a typical family looking in Manhattan Beach. Listed for $2.199M. Lot size: 7500 sqft.

So that's a fairly diverse set of 7 comparable homes, all priced between $2.2M-$2.4M or so, competing for buyers' attention.

After all those months and years spent decrying the lack of inventory, shouldn't buyers be thrilled to have choices?

And yet, as we write, there are no properties east of Sepulveda priced over $2M that are in escrow.

So what's happening? Or not?

There are even more choices, depending on the buyer. Take a 10%-ish jump up in price into the $2.7s, and you quickly find 4 more options:

  • 1765 Voorhees (5br/5ba, 4160 sqft.), newer construction (2013) asking $2.795M.
  • 1120 6th (5br/5ba, 3600 sqft.), new construction with a location issue, asking $2.688M.
  • 1200 5th (5br/5ba, 5075 sqft.), a 90s Spanish on a corner lot, asking $2.779M.
  • 1147 3rd (6br/4ba, 4850 sqft.), a 1999-build Mediterreanan on a cul-de-sac, asking $2.775M and over 130 DOM.

The simplest explanation of the relative lack of activity in this sector is "seasonal factors." Kids are in school, families are settled, fewer buyers are out there with a powerful will to make a deal.

OK, but there's been a serious buzz around MB since late August, so this feels a bit different.

You see a little bit of this on one block of the Tree Section, also, where 1501 Pine (5br/4ba, 2950 sqft., $2.699M) and 1601 Pine (5br/5ba, 2950 sqft., $2.550M) are ostensibly competing for the same buyers, and stand together almost alone in their market tier, but seem not to be lighting a fire.

Back in East Manhattan, you have to think that one of those 7-11 listings is going to sell soon. Maybe a few of them will go before we get to mid-November. The question will be: At what price?

And then, how are the rest affected?

That could be a ripe question looking toward Spring 2016.

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