2013 Wrap: Fewer Sales, Big Median Bump

By Dave Fratello | January 8th, 2014

One year ago, as we looked back at the sales data for Manhattan Beach real estate in 2012, we were a bit surprised. The data did not then show a rising market, even though everyone working in the market had seen and felt it. (See "2012 Wrap: More Sales, Tiny Median Bump.")

This year, there's no such problem.

The median price for SFRs in Manhattan Beach in all of 2013 jumped 18.5% year-over-year to hit $1.725M.

Judging by median prices for SFRs, our market had hit about the same bottom 3 times in recent years. As our chart shows, in 2009, 2011 and 2012, the median price was about the same, near $1.450M in each case, and down 18% from the 2006-2007 peak.

Now we're up 18% over 2012 and back near 2006-2007 territory again, just 3% shy of the 2006 peak ($1.779M).

Want to know the "median house" of 2013? There were 2 that sold for $1.725M, both of them half-lot SFRs near the water: 128 1st Place and 121 Moonstone.

The 2013 jump in prices came on sales volume that dropped somewhat from 2012.

2013 saw fewer public-market sales than 2012, which seems no big surprise given our persistent inventory crunch.

The drop to 333 total SFR sales from 355 in 2012 was a 6% decline. But this was still more sales than in any year since the bust besides 2012, and very much on par with 2007, the last year of the prior cycle – as things began to go wobbly.

So we've seen a stop to the uptrend in sales, but you sure have the sense that if there had just been more willing sellers last year, we'd have cracked the 2012 total easily.

Getting back to the median price jump, it's interesting to see the citywide data begin to match the anecdotal data – we've seen homes selling now for 2006-07 prices, sometimes more.

The difference between 2013 and '06-'07? This rally feels like one that's just begun. Whereas back then, as the peak was hit, it seemed clear that the early-2000s rally had played out and a correction was likely. (After all, the rest of the world had already begun to drop.)

Here, as 2014 dawns, there aren't yet the warning signs of a decline on the horizon – not that it couldn't happen, of course. At this moment, most of the factors that fed the flames last year – especially cheap money and low inventory – remain present.

We'll look at some other data from 2013 sales in a future post.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale