Listing in Nov./Dec. Is Tough

By Dave Fratello | December 26th, 2018

The real estate market is seasonal.

People do buy and sell at all times of year, but there are waves of activity where a listing is more likely to find a buyer. The end of the year is not typically one of those times.

As if to buck market seasonality, some sellers push out a listing in November and December. Often, that choice of timing is propelled by other factors, but sometimes it's a strategic choice of sorts: If we get our listing out toward the end of the year, we'll be all alone in the market. Buyers will have to come to us.

Now, with just a few days left in the year, we'll take stock of some late-in-the-year listings and see how they've performed so far.

New In November

A quick search finds 36 listings in Manhattan Beach where the current listing contract date was Nov. 1, 2018, or later.

Among those new to market in early November:

1151 9th Street Manhattan Beach CA1151 9th (4br/3ba, 2675 sqft.) is a single-level expanded cottage with a guest unit in back, attached to the garage.

It's gotten updates along the way, and could use another round of refreshers.

This one began in early November at $2.400M. It's down 13% now to $2.095M, but no deal.

311 Aviation Place (3br/3ba, 1750 sqft.) is one of the row-style townhomes in the Manhattan Pointe complex east of Aviation.

The complex saw 2 sales at $1.170M early this year, but the latest closing was at $1.080M. (See "A Pullback in Manhattan Pointe Prices?")

So 311 came out at $1.075M on Nov. 1, trying not to be greedy. But after 2 months, it's still out there.

544 1st Street Manhattan Beach CA544 1st (3br/3ba, 1600 sqft.) is a customized, expanded one-level cottage in the South End running along Valley Drive.

The large lot (~5400 sqft.) is a nice find, although the location at a busy intersection requires some patience.

This one launched at $2.999M in mid-November, and is still looking to make something happen.

Among the highest-priced listings was new construction at 1755 8th (5br/8ba, 4830 sqft.), asking $4.950M. You'll often see odd timing coming from projects that have just finished and are ready for public marketing, regardless of what might be "optimal" timing.

Time on Market Before November

Of those 36 listings dated after Nov. 1, 8 listings had compiled significant Days on Market before Nov. 1.

Of those, 4 with prior market time actually changed horses (listing agents) to re-list after Nov. 1. The rest were, as we like to say, "bogus re-lists" resetting the DOM.

Among the reboots with new agents after Nov. 1:

216 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CA216 2nd (4br/4ba, 2750 sqft.) is a corner-lot modern built in 2007 on a lot that's about 1800 sqft.

Views are substantial, although partly interrupted by a power line. You can truly hear the ocean.

216 2nd tried earlier this year for 6 months, at prices from $5.8M down to $5.5M. With the new agent, they've cut the price notably to $4.688M, but after 6 weeks, no buyer.

733 35th (5br/6ba, 3900 sqft.) is a plus-sized Mediterranean built in 2000 and with some refresher updates (painted cabinets, new carpet).

It began in June at $3.099M, and had a deal in September when priced at $2.999M. That didn't work out, and the listing came back with new agents in mid-November at $2.980M.

1426 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1426 Marine (2br/1ba, 840 sqft.) is a nicely upgraded, but small, cottage, purchased just last year (March 2017) for $1.279M.

There was a change of plans. In April this year, they listed for resale for $1.499M. They made some cuts, but didn't sell.

With a new agent, they're now down to $1.299M.

We've been tracking the Redfin estimate on this one, because when Redfin listed the property for sale (at a price that was obviously too high) in Spring, they suppressed the estimate as a favor to the seller.

When the new listing began with a new agent in mid-November, Redfin revealed their estimate from April to have been $1.371M, but in November they were saying $1.469M. (Ummm, no.)

Today, Redfin's bots have dropped 1426 Marine to an estimated value of $1.271M.

How They've Fared

So we can say 28 listings were all new to the market, while the rest were hoping to see different results in the closing days and weeks of 2018.

Out of all the 36 listings starting or refreshing after Nov. 1:

- 3 have cancelled off the market

- 4 were "on hold" as of this writing

- 4 have closed sales

- 3 are under contract

- 22 are still looking for buyers

So we can make these observations:

- 81% of listings starting or rebooting after Nov. 1 have not sold

- 61% are still for sale

- 7 of the 22 active listings have more than 34 DOM today

- 9 of the active listings actually began after Dec. 1

They Did It, They Really Did It

Some November-December listings pulled off a nice trick. In fact, 20% did.

They've sold or gotten under contract in this odd time of year.

- 4 sales with listing contract dates after Nov. 1 have sold; one was a re-list

- among the closed sales for listings truly beginning after Nov. 1, all 3 posted less than 2 weeks on market (5 DOM, 5 DOM and 12 DOM, to be specific)

- the 3 current pending sales averaged 34 days to get under contract

The quick sales, already closed:

3905 Crest Drive Manhattan Beach CA3905 Crest offers super ocean views from El Porto, east of Highland.

The 1930s Spanish duplex wasn't worth as much as the land underneath.

Listed for $1.450M, it sold within 2 weeks for much more: $1.675M.

1821 Palm (4br/4ba, 4130 sqft.) is a 1990 original SFR with some updates on a great street.

Location, location...

With 5 DOM, it sold for $99K less than asking: $3.200M.

424 Rosecrans Avenue Manhattan Beach CA424 Rosecrans (3br/3ba, 1800 sqft.) is a newer (2005) TH with views... and... location on Rosecrans.

Listed for $1.799M, it was among the lowest-priced Sand Section townhomes offered in recent memory.

The quick sale (5 DOM) brought notably less: $1.600M.

Last time a comparably sized townhome sold for less than $1.7M in the Sand Section was in early 2017, when 468 36th Place closed for $1.530M.

Wrapping It Up

There are still a few days for late-2018 listings to make a deal. Total inventory is down to 70 listings as of the 26th of December.

Any that don't sell are already positioned to be the first homes available in 2019.

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