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    A Manhattan Beach Deal or Rip-Off?

    October 13, 2016

    By: Richard Haynes
    A Manhattan Beach Deal or Rip-Off?

    Freshly minted sale at 429 Marine Place in Manhattan Beach for $3,065,000 made headlines in the office last week after a long, drawn out listing period. This brand new construction attached townhome sits on a rare 40-foot wide lot allowing for two over-sized 2,700 sq ft homes extending between Marine Place and 23rd Street.

    The reason we took note was that this 2-on-a-lot property was built by a developer on spec, and the neighboring attached townhome with the address of 428 23rd Street had closed seven months earlier at a price of$3,849,000. See the difference? Maybe you do maybe you don’t.

    That $784,000 price disparity is large, and we figure it has to be attributed to something. And if not, was Marine Place a deal? Or was 23rd Street a rip-off?

    Looking at both properties they are virtually spitting images of one another. Each includes about 2,700 sq ft, 4-beds, 4.5 baths, elevators, nice finishes, etc., etc. The only differences we saw were that the more expensive sale on 23rd Street had two advantages: 1) a peek-a-boo ocean view down the street, and 2) 23rd Street being a nicer/wider street over the alleyway-type feel of Marine Place. So were those factors really enough to command over three quarters of a million dollar difference? Let’s look at some past and present data…

    Immediately, the first comparables that come to mind were back in 2015 with another daring spec that featured two attached beach plantation homes at 315 Marine Avenue and 316 Marine Place. These two homes offer a decent case study as they were also virtually spitting images of one another with the exception of differing views and streets. Only, in this case, 315 Marine Avenue had the more stunning views allowed by the street corridor on Marine Avenue and no neighboring properties across the wider street. It did, however, have the drawback that Marine Ave is a much busier street when compared to Marine Place. These properties sold at $3,520,000 and $3,499,000. Hardly a difference at all with respect to the sales price.

    Perhaps the busy street on Marine Avenue made the difference in these beach plantation homes selling at basically the same dollar amounts? And perhaps the fact that the 23rd Street townhome had advantages in both view and street warranted the much larger price to its sister townhome? Let’s look further…

    Maybe the deciding factor will be the newly constructed 814 Highland and 815 Crest Drive attached townhomes. 814 Highland has sold, what looks to be, pre-completion for $3,800,000 while its back alley counterpart recently hit the market at the same pricing of $3,799,000 (take a look at the Crest pictures for more insight). These townhomes again are virtually twins with exception of differing streets and views. Will the Crest listing sell at a price comparable to its newly closed partner on Highland? Or will it take a significant discount based on lesser views and an alley-like street?

    All in all, there are many different factors that could have contributed to this price disparity. The sale of 23rd Street was a much different time in February when inventory in Manhattan Beach was low and the market still felt white hot. Additionally, there are different motivational factors with buyers that warrant quick sales at certain prices due to factors too great to list in a blog post. The results of the Highland/Crest sales will give us a better insight on whether this was a steal or a rip-off, but for now, we will let you decide!

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