Explosive Growth in Home Sales in Manhattan Beach

By Dave Fratello | July 9th, 2021

The incredible pace of home sales in Manhattan Beach over the past year has can now be seen in record-smashing data.

Between July 1 last year and June 30 this year, the number of closed sales reached 546.

That's an astounding 67% increase over the same point last year, and nearly 100 sales and fully 22% higher than the next-highest July-June total in 14 years.

Add to this the news of Manhattan Beach median prices scaling new heights, jumping 8% in just the first 6 months this year to $2.800M (story here), and what you have is a market that is, quite simply, on fire.

If you predicted these outcomes back in, say, March-April 2020, pat yourself on the back. To most people, this dramatic escalation in real estate market performance is a surprise turnabout after major worries about economic desolation and negative impacts on real estate.

These data are only not a surprise in one sense: We've been seeing these trends and reporting on them constantly over the past several months. Sophisticated market watchers, such as yourself, are able to see this data now and say "yep, that's what's been happening."

Why?

The most obvious first point is that the 2020 market was "The Year Without a Spring." The Manhattan Beach real estate market is typically busiest from March-May, with significant activity in February and June as well. Closed sales tend to peak from April-July.

But the world shut down in March last year, and there was no Spring market until Summer 2020. That's one reason the June 30, 2020, data were so anemic.

By Summer 2020, the market was trying to make up for lost time. Rates were attractive, COVID-era displacements and workplace changes inspired all kinds of sales and purchases, and we were off to the races.

So this year's July-to-June data effectively contains two Spring markets, last year's delayed Spring and this year's on-schedule Spring.

How Current Market Activity Compares

We often provide snapshots of data from the front lines to try to help gauge where the market is at, and where it is going.

One of those finger-in-the-wind data points is always the number of pending escrows. That is, the number of contracts inked within a period of time.

For June, with 45 new escrows, 2021 was solid, but not as busy as June 2020, which had 55 new deals. (June was the first month last year to kick off the recent record-setting pace that we're still enjoying now.)

Indeed, June this year was only the third-busiest of the past 9 years.

That's exactly what we said about the month of May here in Manhattan Beach, which saw the market "Still Sprinting" (post here) with 49 new escrows within the month, but only 3rd-best of the past 9 years.

The data smooth out a bit when we look at two months combined, in this case both May and June together.

Now you see 2021 on a par with three recent years, 2014, 2017 and 2018, with 94 deals arranged during these two months. Due to its laggard May, the year 2020 hasn't yet taken its place in the top tier, by this two-month measure.

Now, this is the second time we've noted some 2021 market data that actually lags 2020's data. (The pending sales pace in mid-June was the first to be lower than last year.)

But as we did then, we're not ready to say "oooh, the market is slowing down, save your acorns!"

The pace of pending sales is holding up nicely despite a shocking drop in inventory.

Nothing to buy, no sales.

As just one snapshot: June 30 inventory of 67 active listings was nearly half the last "normal" year, 2019, when there were 132 active listings at the same time of year.

At our Edge real estate office, we're thankful to have one of our busiest years ever. But we're kept up nights worrying for our buyer clients who just cannot find what they are looking for, or get stuck in bidding wars when they do find something good.

Limited supply is helping to drive price increases, and the number of ready-and-willing buyers out there even now, in Summer, suggests that with more inventory, there would be even more sales this year.

We're not done yet.

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Nerdy note: All closed sales data is from the local/regional MLS system, CRMLS, Inc., initially compiled by InfoSparks © 2021 ShowingTime.

Pending sales data are from MB Confidential's custom MB Market Updates. All data charted by Dave Fratello for MB Confidential.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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