sales data

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The LA Times on Wednesday was all raves about LA-area real estate markets where prices have now surpassed their previous bubble-era heights. (See the Times story here.) Money quote:

Across the region, home prices remain far below their peaks despite an explosive run-up in the first half of 2013. But nominal prices in some affluent neighborhoods have entered uncharted waters.... Sales have tumbled overall, but they continue to climb in wealthy communities.

That sounded familiar, until we got deeper into the story – and Manhattan Beach got no mention at all.

Which cities made the cut?

Arcadia. Mar Vista. Temple City. Irvine. (Pictured.) And 8 more.

Only Venice popped off the page as a coastal market widely known to be hot. The buzz around "Silicon…

There are streets around MB which, in and of themselves, have location issues.

Think Oak Ave. in the Tree Section, or Larsson in the Hill Section. Or down in the Sand Section, maybe parts of Highland or Manhattan Ave.

East of Sepulveda, one of those streets with issues is Wendy Way in Liberty Village. Like Oak and Larsson, there's a "right" and "wrong" side to this Way street – in Wendy's case, because busy Aviation Blvd. is just to the east. (1508 Wendy, pictured here, is on the "wrong" side, and just closed for $905K.)

Aviation can be a notable impact, due to noise and whatnot. Some buyers will even avoid the "right" (west) side – away from Aviation – simply because it's "too close."

But despite this liability, Wendy Way has actually been the busiest…

Late last Summer, MBC began a test of Zillow's accuracy by seeing how their Zestimates of newly listed properties worked out in the real world. (See "Testing Zillow's Estimates.")

We began with a snapshot of the 12 (then-) newest listings in mid-August 2013, then tracked progress on those over time. We're now 6 months past the start of the test, and ready to call it a wrap.

Before we ask how, exactly, Zillow performed, let's recall how well Zillow says they expect to perform.

As you can see on this page, Zillow's engineers publish their own statistics on the accuracy of Zestimates. In the LA Metro area, for Q3 2013, the Zestimate at the time of a public listing's launch was within 5% of the eventual closed sale price 32% of the time.

Rephrase that:

It's only half a month and a "slow" time for local real estate, but we have noticed that almost all the new listings so far this year have come in East Manhattan Beach.

One new listing of 2014 west of Sepulveda, 2912 Pine, made its deal so quickly, it's hard to recall it being on the market this year. The only other one, 104 The Strand, listed on Jan. 1 and made its deal yesterday. The other 7 new offerings so far this year were all east of the highway (see the list below), and an 8th came out after Christmas 2013, close enough to the new year.

So this got us wondering and figuring: What's the usual proportion of real estate sales in Manhattan Beach between east and west? As is our style, MBC answers that idle question with data.

Data going back 8 years…