Closings Fell in Q1 with Weak March

By Dave Fratello | April 7th, 2020

Knowing how the last two weeks of March went in the financial markets and with pandemic-related "safer at home" orders, how would you think home sales went?

Right. So you won't be surprised when we get to the stats.

It was a challenging environment. Escrows failed. Homes came back to market. Listed homes went off market. Open houses were banned. Plans to list homes for sale went on ice.

Still, there were 25 closings in Manhattan Beach within March.

But that was a dropoff from 39 in March the year before, and down from an average of 35.5 March sales across 6 prior years.

This slow March helped make Q1 the weakest for closed sales since 2008-09.

When you look back at the numbers for 2014-2019, Q1 was remarkably consistent across all 6 years, always with sales totals somewhere in the 70s. 

Before that, 2011-2013 were even better years, with Q1 sales totals in the 80s.

But the 59 closings in Manhattan Beach in this year's first quarter marked a low point.

Not since 11 years ago, in Q1 2009, did our market see a sales total in the 50s. Similarly, 2008 had also seen a low total.

And let's be honest, this sort of trend is probably just beginning.

It remains true, as we posted the other day, that the MB median price has just hit a record high.

And we'll take you back to a post from earlier in March ("Lots of Homes Sell in MB, Regardless"), where we made two important points:

1) MB saw an impressive number of annual sales even in the immediate aftermath of the '08-'09 market crash and recession, and

2) Sales bounced back soon after the ship was righted, with Q4 2009 sales nearly double those in Q4 2008.

So, yes, we're down now. The real estate market is unsteady and uncertain.

We won't see typical sales levels for a while. But we'll get to the other side of this, and plenty will happen in between.

Stay safe. And take a moment to appreciate some of the sales that did close in Q1 2020. They're displayed below. (Email subscribers will need to view this post online to see the sales.)



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