July '10 Sales in MB

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, August 20th, 2010 at 1:39am.

The news Wednesday was full of worried chatter about an evident, recent dropoff in housing demand.

An example from the LA Times: "Southland home sales fell dramatically in July... A total of 18,946 homes were sold in the six-county region, a 20.6% drop from the previous month and a decline of 21.4% from July 2009."

The Times also pointed to a modest 1.6% drop in median prices from June 2010, but said that in the (admittedly massive) area under consideration, median prices were up 10% from July 2009-July 2010.

"Dramatic" drops in sales volume, but year-over-year price increases. OK, that's how the region performed. What about MB?

Here, the story of July 2010 was a positive against almost all points of comparison.

We looked at MLS data for sales in MB, this time including condos and THs along with SFRs to give a broader sample.

(Note: All those news stories are tied to a new Dataquick release – their data covers more sales, while the MLS captures only those that hit the public market or off-market sales that are reported for comps purposes.)

West of Sepulveda, MB saw more sales close in July 2010 than in the previous month (June 2010), plus more year-over-year (July 2009). (Click chart to enlarge.) Of course, these are small numbers, with all of 26 closings for July 2010.

Rather than look only at one-month snapshots, which can be misleading with those small numbers, we expanded the search to capture 3 months' worth of data for 2009 and 2010. We added May and June to the July totals for each year. You see both the monthly results and the 3-month compilations in each of the charts in this story.

Our second chart shows that the median price west of Sepulveda was also up slightly (2%) year-over-year, from $1.615m last July to $1.642m in July 2010. (Click chart to enlarge.)

The median price did not rise from June to July this year because of a very noticeable statistical fluke: Several higher-priced sales closed in June 2010, pegging the median at $2.350m, far above any other median we recorded.

The 2% rise in the median from year to year becomes more impressive using that 3-month compilation: the west-of-Sepulveda median price rose 12% by that more inclusive measure.

More sales month-to-month and year-over-year, plus a rising median price? That's the trifecta.

Who says this Summer's been cold?

It's partly the same story for MB as a whole. Looking at sales of SFRs, condos and THs, median prices were up 10% citywide when comparing July 2009 to July 2010.

We also looked at May-July of each year.

Same result: Higher median prices in 2010, both for west-of-Sepulveda and for MB as a whole.

But the big news from this analysis is a rise in the MB median price using the broadest set of data here: all of MB, using the 3-month compilation comparing May-July from 2009 and 2010. The median price rose 17% over this period.

Again, who said we were having a cold year so far?

It's interesting to note that the number of sales in these 3-month periods under comparison was precisely equal: 112 sales each year. 

That said, the sales pace for MB as a whole was lower in July 2010, down from 47 citywide in July 2009 to 34 this year. Blame that finding on a statistical blip from July 2009 east of Sepulveda – last year, East MB recorded 26 sales in July, versus a much more normal 8 sales in July this year.

What we're seeing here in looking at these 3-month periods is the fruit of 2 very different Spring markets. Closings in May-July reflect deals cut mostly from March through May. Last year: Depressed. This year: Sunny.

And MB once again bucked a couple of negative trends seen elsewhere in the Southland.

Now can we keep it going?
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