The Manhattan Beach Sand Section has been one of the most talked about real estate markets in all of southern California since the financial crisis. The Sand Section came to be known as a hot market around 2012 with major sales activity, low inventory, and rising prices which continued all the way through 2015. Many non-real estate pros today still believe the Sand Section is white hot, but a lot has changed.
Sand Section Market
Beginning in early 2016, the Sand Section finally hit some buyer fatigue. Years of new highs, seller over confidence, and desperate buyers started to slowly subside. Inventory began to rise through 2016, more than doubling by years end. If you had not been watching carefully, last year’s median actually declined from the year before.
As of July 19th, the city of Manhattan Beach has 107 active home listings. The Sand Section has 52 of those listings representing almost 50% of the available inventory. Current median ask price in the Sand Section is $4,225,000, while the median sales price for 2017 is much lower at $3,125,000. Clearly, the Sand Section is slower than in prior years and remains fairly flat with high asking prices and selective buyers that now have leverage.
The lone bright spot in the Sand Section for buyers and sellers seems to be town homes. As the Sand Section has risen significantly in price, town home prices have moved as well. And since town homes tend to be the most affordable option in the Sand Section, sales have continued to stay strong as buyers opt for a shared wall to save hundreds of thousands dollars, if not millions.
Of the 52 listings, only eight of those are town homes, and there have already been 18 sales with four more currently in escrow in 2017. The market is very healthy in this asset class.
For buyers, there is value here as well. The entirety of the Sand Section market is selling at $3.125 million median price this year, while town homes are trading at a median sale of around $2.6 million. Not to mention, all median sale new construction since 2016 has been about $4.45 million, while town homes have been about $3.6 million in that same time frame. That is a lot of money to save and still get your location, location, location.
448 21st Place was a brand new construction 3-bedroom that sold for 2.75 million. That is well below the market median of $3.125 million and close to the $2.6 median for all town homes…and remember this is new construction! (It’s counterpart at 445 21st Street was larger and sold for $3.5 million)
2417 Crest Drive was a nicely sized 2,300 sq. ft. 3-bedroom with big views that sold for $3.375 million. A stand-alone home with the same views would have likely sold for hundreds of thousands more.
I represented the Buyer for the sale of 412 Highland Avenue that closed this past June. This home was a steal as it was recently updated with a light and bright interior for $2,483,405. Not only was this a south end location with 3-bedrooms and over 2,000 sq. ft., the home had sneaky great ocean views to boot. A fantastic buy for a Sand Section home on the lower end of the price spectrum, if I do say so myself!
Lastly, 3100 Alma Ave was a nicely kept 2,400 sq. ft. town home with views that sold for $3.1 million. It moved quickly and for over asking while still selling below the 2017 median Sand Section homes sale.
As you can see, Sand Section town homes still offer value relative to the greater market for buyers. And there is good demand, low inventory and steadily rising prices for sellers. This is certainly healthy micro-market for everyone.
I have added two more town homes to the market…and they are new construction under median prices! In fact, they are two of the lowest priced new construction town homes to hit the market in the last three years. I hope you enjoy.
320 35th Street is a 4-bedroom/4.5-bathroom, 2450 sq. ft. contemporary with views
319 34th Place is a 3-bedroom/3.5 bathroom, 2,001 sq. ft. contemporary with views