Still Sprinting This Spring - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 5/31/21

By Dave Fratello | June 8th, 2021

There was no letup in the pace of sales locally in May.

Was the month not quite a record month? No, it wasn't, just hot. (Well, if you've been here, the weather's been, frankly, chilly, but we're talking real estate.)

With our chart, we can look back over 9 years, using data published regularly here in our twice-monthly Manhattan Beach Market Updates.

This May, with 49 new contracts signed within the month, is third-best among those 9 years. Not quite as smokin' hot as 2017, and somewhat behind that busy year of 2014, but otherwise better than the rest.

We were calling 2020's 31 new escrows a sign of recovery, a "bounceback in demand." (See "Manhattan Beach Market Update for 5/31/20.") In that first notable pandemic-recovery month, most of the new deals came in the latter half of May (21 of 31).

This year, the equation was a bit reversed. Of the 49 new escrows within the month of May, 33 were in the first half, and "just" 16 in the second half.

There is significant scarcity in the $2.5-$3.5M price point, where a lot of buyers would like to be, but potential sellers out there are just being stingy, refusing to list their homes for sale. (C'mon, folks!)

We like to look at a few notable sales each period. Here at the Edge office, we've closed several sales in the past few weeks. Here are a couple from the second half of May:

417 27th Street Manhattan Beach CA417 27th (3br/3ba, 1688 sqft.) is one of Dave's and Edge's listings that closed just before the end of the month. It's a single-family on a somewhat larger-than-half-lot size lot (~1700 sqft.), a common size on this one side of the block on 27th.

You might recall that we began the listing in Fall 2020, not a time we would normally launch, but last year was not a normal year. We began at $2.649M and got showings, but when it didn't happen fast enough, we reverted to strategy, canceling and coming back in time for the Spring market (early Feb. in this case.)

The sellers liked the direction of the market and raised their price a bit to $2.679M. While we heard some, er, feedback over that at times, look what happened. At the end of the day, there were multiple offers and we got full price.

For more on the property including photos and 3D tour, see the property website:

417 20th Place Manhattan Beach CA417 20th Place (3br/4ba, 2155 sqft.) is a fully remodeled, bright 1980s TH near town with a little ocean view.

A ready-to-go beach house near town, starting out under $2.400M was... popular.

And sold almost immediately to one of the first buyers in the door.

Asking: $2.379M. Sold: $2.429M (+$50K). For more see

We've been busy on this particular street. In late 2020, we sold a co-listing at 309 20th Place (3br/2ba, 1815 sqft.) quickly at full price: $2.325M.

1161 Duncan Drive Manhattan Beach CAOne other sale that we weren't involved in, but was endlessly fascinating to us over several listings, was 1161 Duncan Drive.

This was a ~21K sqft. lot at one of the highest points in East Manhattan, barely west of Sepulveda, with some nifty views to the east and north, maybe a glimmer of Long Beach/Port of L.A. from a 2nd floor.

It sold way-back-when in Oct. 2017 for $4.800M, after a sky-high start at $8.200M. (See more in "Why Is Pricing This Lot So Confusing?")

The buyer made big plans, but they changed. There's been more than one effort to re-sell.

This time it finally happened, $400K under acquisition at $4.400M.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 5/31/21:

> 71 active listings as of 5/31/21 (-3 from 5/15/21) 

> 50 SFRs (+1)

> 21 THs (-4)

See the Inventory list as of 5/31/21 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 17 actives (-1)

> Sand Section: 38 actives (+3)

> Hill Section: actives (+1)

> East MB: (-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 5/31/21".

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