MB Confidential Is 5

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 4:55am.

As the local housing bubble was threatening to pop 5 years ago today, a voice out in the online wilderness said:

"HOME PRICES ARE DROPPING IN MANHATTAN BEACH."

That voice was this voice, in the first post on Manhattan Beach Confidential, March 15, 2007.

A lot of things followed. There were more posts. There was some news, even some controversy. Suddenly there were more readers. And more. And a raucous comments section.

The local housing market took the predicted dive, with transactions dropping sharply and prices dropping 18-25% through 2009-2010, depending on how you analyze things.

The gears shifted here at MBC in Year 4. The author, Dave Fratello, dropped his anonymity (ok, my anonymity!), started a newspaper column, got a real estate sales license and began representing buyer clients. (See "Hi, I'm Dave.")

The local market settled in MBC's Year 4 or so, too. MB had weathered the storm better than most markets, but still had suffered. Mostly, 2010 and 2011 were flat. The 2011 median price for single-family homes was actually the same as 2009's, and '09 was a bottom year. Through much of the past 2-3 years, buyers have often had an upper hand, and sellers were unsure what was next.

Having completed 5 years, we see a different market today, right now, anyway. Inventory is so tight that multiple-offer situations are becoming common. Tiny interest rates, low supply and high demand set the stage for – egads, Dave, are you going to say it? – rising prices. There are a few directions where things could go from here, but we feel we owe it to you to call it like we see it. One thing is for sure: The next steps in this market will make for interesting news and analysis throughout the year.

MBC remains fun to produce, so we'll keep it going. The blog author knows something about marathons, and 5 years of near-daily blogging on one subject definitely qualifies. The philosophy is basically this: If both the day-to-day work and the long-term results are fun and worthwhile, you keep running.

Keep coming back. We'll keep running, and keeping it real.
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