Inventory & Pace of Deals Recovering in Manhattan Beach

By Dave Fratello | June 6th, 2020

If you're watching data from various parts of the economy, you see a familiar pattern.

Whatever people used to do, during March and April, they stopped doing. Stopped going. Stopped buying. Stopped selling. (Ugh: Stopped working.)

That was also the case in Manhattan Beach real estate.

For instance, people stopped listing homes for sale, or took them off the market.

The typical early Spring months see a gusher of new listings coming to market, absorbed by a steady pace of new transactions.

Not so this year, as is plain from the gold section in our chart.

The normal March rise in volume reversed, and by mid-April, we had the fewest listings on the market of any of the past 5 years.

Notably, this was almost a mirror-image of 2019's April data. Much of 2019 saw steadily higher inventory than in many recent years. A year later, we were at an epic ebb.

But you can also see how inventory has come racing back, reaching 127 on May 31.

This was just a tick under last year's 129, and put 2020 over the 3 other prior years on this chart. (Hint: The years before 2016 were much lower.)

Now, as we write, a few days into June, inventory is being absorbed. Purchased, that is.

In our MB Market Update for 5/31/20, we already pointed out the May 15-31 was the first "normal" 2-week period for new purchase contracts in a few months.

Here's a chart with that info. It  shows how the second part of May compares, while also showing, vividly, that one "normal" period wasn't quite enough to help the whole month of May, or the full period from March-May.

With 79 new escrows opened in these past 3 months, we've just lived through a much slower period than any since the current market cycle began.

Looking again at the interplay of inventory and sales, we were at "only" 124 listings as of Saturday morning. This came after a recently-unheard-of 7-day period with perfect balance between new listings and new deals.

Over one week, we saw 14 new listings, and an equal number going into escrow.

That's as clear of a signal as you could want to say the "Spring" market is under way, shifting into Summer.

For perspective, this could be an inversion of normal market patterns. Ordinarily, February through May/June are the busiest time of year for Manhattan Beach real estate, followed by a Summer slowdown and a Fall market kick.

It seems easy to expect a busy Summer now. We'll then see if it rolls all the way through Fall.

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