Redondo Beach Realty: What's Hot and What's Not!

With the Real Estate prices in Manhattan Beach rising to astronomical levels beyond the reach of most home buyers and Hermosa Beach housing not too far behind, the Redondo Beach real estate market remains hot and many homes are still selling at or above the MLS list price with multiple offers and often the first week on the market.

So, here's how that tune goes. Many listing agents will price their new listings substantially below the targeted sales price. By "substantially" below, what we mean is tens of thousands of dollars less then the market. Throw in making the listing active on Thursday morning (Broker's Open) and the result can be in general a feeding frenzy no matter how often buyers are told that this is the play. In fact, to keep the musical analogy going one of my favorite riffs that I play for my buyer clients is that it is a terrible strategy to continually chase the newest listings (because that's exactly what everyone else is doing). It makes a lot more sense to try to find some value and savings in listings that have been on the market for 30 days or more.

The two hottest Redondo Beach neighborhoods right now are (no surprise) The Golden Hills in North Redondo Beach and Hollywood Riviera in South Redondo Beach. The Golden Hills "standard product" Tall and Skinny SFR with a reverse floor plan continues to be in high demand. Unfortunately, Sellers may be getting somewhat ahead of the market and I am seeing list prices in the mod $900's on 1980's properties needing updates and/or without the second 1/2 bath on the upstairs level. Buyers (rightly so) are not going for that because it was just 90 days ago that you could buy a 1990's Tall and Skinny in the Golden Hills for under $900K. As a further example of how far and fast these prices have escalated, earlier this year I was selling 1980's Golden Hills Tall and Skinnies for under $800K.

This also brings me to another topic I'll visit multiple times in this post: resale vs new pricing. Should a resale home ever be priced higher than new? (Sometimes? Maybe? Never?)

1980's Golden Hills "Tall and Skinny"
Over the last 60 days, there were 17 Single Family Residence sales in the Golden Hills. That's almost 2 per week. (Three were on Stanford and I currently have one in escrow on Stanford so I guess Stanford is hot, lol.) Of the 17 sales, 2 were in the $900's and 4 were above $1M. below $900K, 1712 Carlson sold for $865,000 (full list price) after 6 days on market. That home was built in 1985. So, I'm not quite sure how we get to $949K for 1701 Morgan or 1640 Haynes which are both also mid '80s homes. My more jaded and pessimistic point of view tells me that in a low inventory environment, agents will lead Sellers to believe that any sales price is obtainable even though at the end of the day it is unlikely that even the most inexperienced agent would want to waste their own time marketing a listing that isn't priced to sell (as opposed to pricing under the sales price as discussed above). Speaking of selling above the list price, 7 of the 17 homes under discussion sold in the Golden Hills closed escrow above the list price. That's about 40%.

The most interesting segment of the Golden Hills market to me are the sales above $900K and specifically above $1M. Here's why. At $900K to $1M, buyers are making a very specific decision to pass on an often much larger townhouse with a standard floorplan and typically more outdoor space in order to buy a smaller SFR on a smaller lot. In fact, I've had buyers who consciously made that same decision.

4 Bedroom Casner Resale
1127 Stanford (pictured) was listed for $879,000 and sold for $900,000. It was a very nice standard layout Tall & Skinny SFR built in 2004 with 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths and the typical reverse floor plan layout. It sits on top of the hill maximizing it's City and Mountain view. Custom built and completed in 2004. Includes beautiful hand painted tiles, stonework and cabinetry throughout. High ceilings create a great room feeling with hardwood floors extending throughout the living area kitchen and hallway leading into the master suite. Master suite has a spa like custom bath, plenty of closet space and it's own fire place. Downstairs two spacious bedrooms, a full bath with colorful custom tiles.

Which is why I am struggling with the older houses listed for more. So, in the "not hot" category, overpriced listings for sure! How do you define "overpriced"? As in all things "real estate", it depends.

A recent Golden Hills sale that really surprised me was 1728 Haynes. Listed for $985K, it went for $1,005,000. The property is somewhat unique in that it is a standard floor plan with 4 bedrooms, yes 4, located upstairs and the living area downstairs flowing out to the rear yard. It was also built by Casner Construction, my favorite builder in the Beach Cities, in 2006 when the builders were jamming in all kinds of upgrades.

So here's why I was surprised by this sale. Two very similar floor plan new houses built by Anastasi were recently on the market in the 1700 block of Spreckels priced at $1,019,000. So, would you pay about the same for a resale. In this case, most likely yes. Truthfully I found the finish work and construction of the older Casner resale to be superior to the new construction (which was also very well done). But that's just me. The properties on Spreckels are still in escrow and I'll be curious to see how much they sell for when they close.

Casner Quality Finish Work
Then there's the new urban legend of the "off market sale" which is a horse every agent is flogging right now in an attempt to get new buyers (for which they do not have anything to sell). Here's an example of a Golden Hills "off market" sale.

1520 Carver St sold for $925,000 "off market". It is a 4 bedroom "Tall and Skinny" single family house built in 2000. It is 9149 sq ft which is a little larger than standard and while it has the typical layout upstairs, downstairs there are 4 bedrooms. The sale price was probably pretty close to what may have been realized on the open market. But therein lies the dilemma. Because it never reached the open market we just don't know.

So, what's hot and what's not in Golden Hills?

  • 4 Bedroom SFRs
  • Standard Floor Plans
  • Newer Construction
  • Proximity to Jefferson Elementary
  • Overpriced 1980's properties
  • No updates
  • Hodgepdge remodels
  • All bedrooms below grade

On another note, I wanted to share a sort of related story. At my Open House last weekend at 2117 Huntington, a nice young couple came in and let me know they are followers of my blog. I assume this one because the OH was in North Redondo Beach. Thank you, I put a lot of time and effort into these various websites and trying to help both buyers and sellers get some insight from the perspective of a working agent. If you do read this or any of my other blog sites and run into me, please take the time and introduce yourself, I'd love to thank you personally for taking the time to read my writings. And whether you are buying or selling now or anytime in the future just let me know your real estate objectives because I can help you.

I'll be continuing Redondo Beach "Hot and Not" discussing 3 on a lot Townhomes next.