Dreaming of 50

By Dave Fratello | March 27th, 2014

The market is as busy as ever, but Spring is the time for new listings. Maybe for a while, supply can keep ever-so-slightly ahead of demand.

As we write, inventory is at 48 total listings in Manhattan Beach, a high for the year. And we know of a few more still coiled up, poised to hit today and Friday.

That could get us to a (recently) uprecedented 50 listings this week.

As our chart here shows, if we're anywhere over 42 active listings by COB next Monday, then 2014 will exceed the total inventory available in 2013 for the first time year-over-year.

As reported in our MB Market Update for 3/31/13, inventory had already begun a downward trend by hitting 42 active listings, and we never saw that many options again until mid-May as the market began to cool off for Summer. (Sounds strange, but that's the typical seasonality of local real estate.)

Inventory was dropping steadily last Spring due to extremely strong demand. As one example, there were 29 new listings in the period March 15-March 31 last year, but 33 listings came off the board during that time, mostly due to sales – hence the net drop in inventory.

Our records here show that total inventory last year peaked just before midyear at 73 listings – a few days before our 6/30/13 update recorded 68 active listings on the public market.

So far this year, we've always been below the cramped inventory levels of 2014.

Why do we care about inventory data?

Maybe it needs not be said, but our chronic shortage of listings in MB for the past 2+ years is a cornerstone of runaway prices. Buyers find the market very stressful, and some are beginning to quit.

In this blogger/agent's opinion, we could have a healthy market that's still strong for sellers without the wild imbalances of the past oh-so-many months. So that's why we care.

Do we still have strong demand? Oh yes. The latest new listings, most reviewed in our Sunday Opens post, to make quick deals:

2709 Laurel (3br/3ba, 1900 sq. ft.), a major remodel looking to follow in the tracks of 3112 Poinsettia (4br/3ba, 1750 sq. ft.), the beach-cottage remodel that recently sold for $1.875M. 2709 Laurel began at $1.849M and has its deal within a week.

3204 Walnut (4br/4ba, 2450 sq. ft.), also a remodel that began at $1.849M.

1606 18th (3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.), a really sharply remodeled cottage that started at $1.299M.

227 Larsson (3br/2ba, 1820 sq. ft.), a remodeled cottage on the "right" side of Larsson, launched at $1.579M.

1800 Pine (4br/3ba, 3135 sq. ft.), a very well-executed  "Spanish Colonial Revival" home listed at $2.650M.

1632 Curtis (5br/5ba, 3400 sq. ft.), a newer single-level Cape Cod that began at $1.999M.

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UPDATE: At different points in the day inventory exceeded 50, up to 51-52. At 50 again as of 4PM.

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