November Provides Another Spark - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 11/30/20

By Dave Fratello | December 3rd, 2020

One of the larger questions hovering over this boisterous second half of the year in local real estate has been: Will things keep rolling during the holiday season?

Traditionally, you would not choose to launch a new listing in late November or in December, and if you were still on the market at that time, you wouldn't have super high hopes about buyers swooping in. It's just too quiet.

Maybe you sense a "but" coming here...

Once again, 2020 has proved to be different.

November 2020 saw more new escrows open than in any recent year. Yep, Manhattan Beach real estate remained hot even in a time of year that's typically quieter.

We saw 38 new escrows opened, 21 of them in the first half of November.

Only once in the prior 7 years did we see a total of more than 30 new deals: the 32 new escrows in Nov. 2013.

Since then, the low 20s have been the norm, and late 2016 was very weak with just 16 new deals.

You want a real shocker? November this year was busier than... October of this year!

We saw 36 new deals signed in October 2020, one of the first months to be lower than last year and to be about the same as other recent years. (See "Normalcy Among Record Sales - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 10/31/20.")

Inventory is still higher than this time last year: 109 listings compared to 79 at the end of November 2019. That's more than one-third more inventory, but not necessarily excessive. Not when there are buyers active.

Now, as we write, the COVID-19 situation is taking a turn for the worse. Infections are up everywhere, at about triple the daily rate in LA County that was seen only a month ago. We're looking at new state- and county-level restrictions, and people seem to understand that the proper thing to do is mostly to stay at home.

This time is a little different than the early 2020 shutdowns, so far. Real estate has remained categorized as an "essential business," including showing and selling homes. With many people moving due to life changes related to the pandemic, of course we hope to see real estate continue to be facilitated, with the safety protocols that have evolved this year.

And if people aren't traveling as much around Christmas, one of slowest times of the year for home sales just might not be too bad. But don't get caught up predicting, not here in 2020.


We'll take a quick look at some recent closed sales.

936 8th Street Manhattan Beach CAFirst, on the city side of the Hill Section, 936 8th (7br/8ba, 6700 sqft.) has closed for $6.986M.

The inspired new modern replaced a landmark, storybook old cottage that was so thickly surrounded by trees and bushes, it's said that once the crews came to tear down the old place, several neighbors discovered displaced woodland creatures taking up residence in their yards... and other places.

Rocky Racoon may have needed to find a new home, but here the buyers have gotten a splendid 3-level warm modern with tons of natural light and a treetop/rooftop view to the north. (You can still take the 3D tour here.)

And in a few cases of recent purchases & resales, the results were mixed:

2101 Chestnut Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2101 Chestnut (3br/2ba, 1750 sqft.) was purchased in Feb. 2020 for $1.860M. But it has just resold, essentially unchanged, for $150K more, $2.010M.

1150 5th (3br/3ba, 2125 sqft.), a single-level flipper remodel with a pool, was acquired for $2.370M in June 2018, but just now resold for $5K more, $2.375M.

And 1215 Fisher (5br/6ba, 5400 sqft.) sold new in July 2019 for $6.500M, and has just resold $50K higher at $6.550M.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 11/30/20:

> 109 active listings as of 11/30/20 (flat from 11/15/20) 

> 78 SFRs (-7)

> 31 THs (+7)

See the Inventory list as of 11/30/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 15 actives (-5)

> Sand Section: 59 actives (flat)

> Hill Section: 9 actives (-1)

> East MB: 26 (+6)

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 11/30/20".

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