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Inventory is loosening up a bit here in Manhattan Beach – still cramped in general, but better than at any time this year, and higher year-over-year as well.

But there's one place where that's not true: By the beach.

The Sand Section has a mere smattering of listings. And yet, Summer's coming. Buyers need beach pads, don't they?

There's one listing new this week: 116 Rosecrans (3br/4ba, 1820 sq. ft.), an ocean-view TH build in 2008. They're asking $2.185M.

Last week, east of Highland, they brought out 3304 Alma (4br/4ba, 2450 sq. ft.), another ocean-view TH, asking $2.350M.

The only other Sand Section listing in the past 2 weeks was a 1.5-size lot on a prime, private street at 329 17th with a duplex on it, asking $3.700M (to start?).

Among the 8

The market is as busy as ever, but Spring is the time for new listings. Maybe for a while, supply can keep ever-so-slightly ahead of demand.

As we write, inventory is at 48 total listings in Manhattan Beach, a high for the year. And we know of a few more still coiled up, poised to hit today and Friday.

That could get us to a (recently) uprecedented 50 listings this week.

As our chart here shows, if we're anywhere over 42 active listings by COB next Monday, then 2014 will exceed the total inventory available in 2013 for the first time year-over-year.

As reported in our MB Market Update for 3/31/13, inventory had already begun a downward trend by hitting 42 active listings, and we never saw that many options again until mid-May as the market began to

Excited for the Super Bowl? The two top seeds engaged in combat, best offense against best defense, storylines galore.

But that's just 3 hours.

It's after the Super Bowl that things get exciting in Manhattan Beach real estate. Or should get exciting.

You saw some inventory creep out into the market in January. And you saw a bunch of those new options get snapped up.

Today, January 31, we're at 27 total listings citywide.

All week, we've watched for a typical week's trickle, or maybe that Super Bowl flood – but it's just been drips. Only 3 new listings all week are truly new to the market:

1019 8th (3br/2ba, 1720 sq. ft.), asking $1.749M (pictured)

3207 Vista (3br/2ba, 1600 sq. ft.), asking $1.399M

1617 Mathews (5br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.), asking

Welcome back, and here's hoping you had a good Thanksgiving.

We're going to start the week here with a quick look at the state of the Manhattan Beach real estate market – or what's left of it.

Our chronic inventory shortage this year has now hit a new low, with just 32 active listings as of November 30.

This chart shows that the number of available choices has now dipped below the prior low from mid-April. But of course, in April there was a bit of a frenzy going on, with a Spring rush of inventory met by an eager fleet of buyers.

One way to compare the state of things now to then: At the time of our mid-April market update, there were 84 pending escrows, reflecting all of that Springtime activity. Right now (as of 11/30/13), there are 40 active escrows –