How Q1 of '11 Compares

By Dave Fratello | April 15th, 2011
When we last took a look at sales trends in MB, we called 2010 "clearly a rebound year for local RE." (See "4th Qtr: More Sales, Lower Prices.") So has that feeling carried over into 2011?

Signs point to "yes."

There were more closed sales in the first quarter of 2011 than in any year since 2007, a year when the bubble was popping but not everyone had gotten the message yet. As our graph here shows, that was true of data for all of MB as well as for the region west of Sepulveda.

(Click on either of our graphs here to enlarge.)

The boost in sales was +9 for both the region west of the highway and for the whole city – which leads to a logical deduction: it was West MB that drove the boost this year, while East MB was flat.

West of the highway, though, median prices were down 7% compared to last year – from $1.607m in Q1 2010 to $1.5m this year.

The citywide median for Q1 2011 was also $1.5m, a little jump from $1.430m last year.

A trough was carved out for WoS prices at $1.326m in 2009. Each of the past 3 years is down markedly from the 3 years prior (2006-2008).

These quarterly medians are hard to rely on, though, with fairly small numbers of sales to go on.

Look to the bumpiness of the 4th-quarter medians in our prior post on this subject. Though you see the same kind of general downtrend since 2007 – no surprise there – the Q4 2010 median price was $1.362m west of Sepulveda, and $1.252m for all of MB.

If you were to compare the most recent quarters to quarters, you could actually say that Q1 2011 saw MB prices go up 20%!

The changes in sales mix were readily apparent as we compiled these data, with lots more sub-$1m sales in the soup. We'll take a deeper look at some of these numbers next week.

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