Not Such Sunny Conditions - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 10/31/22

By Dave Fratello | November 2nd, 2022

Ooooooooh scary.

What, Halloween? No, that's passed.

It's the vibe, as the calendar flips to November.

Many Novembers.

Most particularly, in the Fall of 2016, 2017 and 2019, among the most recent years, various factors emerged in the market to give buyers pause. Some spoke darkly of an imminent reversal in prices, and declared themselves to be buyers only when they might see a deal. (Spoiler: The local real estate market was normal or better-than-normal the next year, each time.)

You hear that mood out there now, too.

You'll hear very level-headed people say, hey, the market rose 30% in 2 years, some of that wasn't real, and must be given back. They're philosophically certain of it.

There's a rational basis for it, too. Rates are up. Back when rates were in the 2's and 3's, affordability took a big jump. Price sensitivity left the building. For nearly 2 years, local home prices climbed along with that.

Now, with rates up, refis dead, and new mortgages slowing down, bulk data so far still fails to capture a shift in the market, as we have noted repeatedly in this space.

It's a Battle Out There

Data may be short, but try working on the ground. Sellers all over the South Bay are getting less now than they had reason to expect before, if they sell. (Dave, didn't you used to put stuff like that in ALL CAPS? - Ed.) That's the first sign of a shift. It happened fast, beginning in Summer.

This is still not a crisis, and we're not near being in a "buyers' market," as traditionally defined. Buyers have power, but they don't have many options. In a low-inventory market, prices can't slip as much. (This is the time of year when more listings cancel, further limiting inventory -- see our list later in this post.)

The next 3-4 months are going to be hard to gauge, because they're among the slowest parts of the year. So there will be a debate, perhaps without much new data.

Level-headed real estate veterans keep wanting to say the market is "normalizing." That we're coming to a "balanced" phase where there is some push/pull between buyers and sellers... where homes take a little time to sell... where prices stabilize.

Then you'll hear some excitable types tell you that the market can't be lurching, because they're busy, or had a hot listing get multiple offers, and so on. (Hey, we've had multiples on our 3 most recent MB/South Bay listings, all within the past month, but we don't translate that to "things are super!")

We're data geeks here, so while we believe in the power of anecdote and small samples, our focus is on bigger trends. The close-focus and big-picture views are often showing different things now. So we wait for more numbers.

Worth emphasizing: We've seen that, historically, any negative trends take longer to show in Manhattan Beach. It takes a while after the rest of the state, or the rest of the country, gets pneumonia for Manhattan Beach to catch a cold.

Other than a little deceleration in the sales pace and prices, broadly speaking, no real estate market really has pneumonia now. You can barely hear a cough.

Bottom Lines

It's not scare-mongering to say the market is adjusting. This is also plainly not a market that's in free fall.

Willing sellers still find a pretty good audience for their product. It's much more important now, though, to do everything right in presenting and pricing a home. Fail to prep and stage, use a non-local agent, take photos with your phone, price to the moon... and you're going to face friction.

If you're a buyer, keep your preapproval updated, check in on rates regularly, and watch closely for opportunities. They're there now, and more will come.

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Recent Cancellations

Since Oct. 1, a total of 15 listings in Manhattan Beach quit the market, either by formal cancellation or a listing expiring:

Hill Section

308 Anderson (last at $3.200M & 83 DOM)

219 N. Dianthus (last at $4.100M & 53 DOM)

800 N. Poinsettia (last at $4.999M & 98 DOM)

Sand Section

308 The Strand (last at $36.000M & 105 DOM)

3216 The Strand (last at $30.000M & 285 DOM)

216 4th (last at $6.995M & 90 DOM)

472 29th (last at $4.495M & 100 CDOM)

2617 Vista (last at $4.699M & 193 CDOM)

2515 Alma (last at $3.500M & 75 DOM)

2521 Alma (last at $4.000M & 151 DOM)

3215 Vista (last at $2.999M & 29 DOM)

327 36th (last at $2.999M & 161 DOM)

Tree Section

3004 Oak (last at $2.495M & 93 DOM)

3616 Elm (last at $1.899M & 97 DOM)

Manhattan Village

54 Village Circle (last at $2.899M & 49 DOM)

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Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 10/31/22:

> 69 active listings as of 10/31/22 (+4 from 10/15/22) 

> 57 SFRs (+2)

> 12 THs (+2)

See the Inventory list as of 10/31/22 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: actives (flat)

> Sand Section: 36 actives (+7)

> Hill Section: 10 actives (-2)

> East MB: 16 (-1)

We're also providing a report on closed sales by region of MB

Sales data, including PPSF for all properties, are organized by sub-region of Manhattan Beach.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet: "MB Pending/Sold as of 10/31/22".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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