July '10 Sales in MB

By Dave Fratello August 20th, 2010.

The news Wednesday was full of worried chatter about an evident, recent dropoff in housing demand.

An example from the LA Times: "Southland home sales fell dramatically in July... A total of 18,946 homes were sold in the six-county region, a 20.6% drop from the previous month and a decline of 21.4% from July 2009."

The Times also pointed to a modest 1.6% drop in median prices from June 2010, but said that in the (admittedly massive) area under consideration, median prices were up 10% from July 2009-July 2010.

"Dramatic" drops in sales volume, but year-over-year price increases. OK, that's how the region performed. What about MB?

Here, the story of July 2010 was a positive against almost all points of comparison.

We looked at MLS data for sales in MB, this time including condos and THs along with SFRs to give a broader sample.

(Note: All those news stories are tied to a new Dataquick release – their data covers more sales, while the MLS captures only those that hit the public market or off-market sales that are reported for comps purposes.)

West of Sepulveda, MB saw more sales close in July 2010 than in the previous month (June 2010), plus more year-over-year (July 2009). (Click chart to enlarge.) Of course, these are small numbers, with all of 26 closings for July 2010.

Rather than look only at one-month snapshots, which can be misleading with those small numbers, we expanded the search to capture 3 months' worth of data for 2009 and 2010. We added May and June to the July totals for each year. You see both the monthly results and the 3-month compilations in each of the charts in this story.

Our second chart shows that the median price west of Sepulveda was also up slightly (2%) year-over-year, from $1.615m last July to $1.642m in July 2010. (Click chart to enlarge.)

The median price did not rise from June to July this year because of a very noticeable statistical fluke: Several higher-priced sales closed in June 2010, pegging the median at $2.350m, far above any other median we recorded.

The 2% rise in the median from year to year becomes more impressive using that 3-month compilation: the west-of-Sepulveda median price rose 12% by that more inclusive measure.

More sales month-to-month and year-over-year, plus a rising median price? That's the trifecta.

Who says this Summer's been cold?

It's partly the same story for MB as a whole. Looking at sales of SFRs, condos and THs, median prices were up 10% citywide when comparing July 2009 to July 2010.

We also looked at May-July of each year.

Same result: Higher median prices in 2010, both for west-of-Sepulveda and for MB as a whole.

But the big news from this analysis is a rise in the MB median price using the broadest set of data here: all of MB, using the 3-month compilation comparing May-July from 2009 and 2010. The median price rose 17% over this period.

Again, who said we were having a cold year so far?

It's interesting to note that the number of sales in these 3-month periods under comparison was precisely equal: 112 sales each year. 

That said, the sales pace for MB as a whole was lower in July 2010, down from 47 citywide in July 2009 to 34 this year. Blame that finding on a statistical blip from July 2009 east of Sepulveda – last year, East MB recorded 26 sales in July, versus a much more normal 8 sales in July this year.

What we're seeing here in looking at these 3-month periods is the fruit of 2 very different Spring markets. Closings in May-July reflect deals cut mostly from March through May. Last year: Depressed. This year: Sunny.

And MB once again bucked a couple of negative trends seen elsewhere in the Southland.

Now can we keep it going?

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