Manhattan Beach Market Update for 7/31/20

By Dave Fratello | August 4th, 2020

You wouldn't know from how mild our Summer has been so far, but Manhattan Beach real estate has remained hot.

Historically hot.

Following a June with the most new escrows in 8 years, we've now just seen a July with the most new escrows in 8 years.

That means, going back to 2013, no June/July combination has seen more new purchase contracts for local homes than this pandemic-impacted 2-month period.

Did we say "pandemic-impacted"? Almost seems like "pandemic-powered."

We continue to see demand displaced from March and April rolling into Summer.

Our first chart makes this clear. With 106 new escrows opened in June/July, we're 15 over the previous high (2018), about 40% higher than a typical year, and 56% higher than 2019's total.

Amazingly, 106 new deals in these two months is also more new deals than in any March/April combination going back to 2013. Those are typically the first two full months of the Spring market, among the busiest months of the year. To best those periods now, not only past Summer periods, underscores how fast the pace really is now.

Looking inside the data for the full month, action was spread out pretty evenly around town. East Manhattan drew the most bids (20), while the Trees (13) and Sand (12) were close to one another. The Hill Section, which has lower inventory and typically a slower pace, saw 6 new deals during July.

So how is all the action impacting inventory?

Well, not everything is selling. There's still a lot for buyers to choose from.

At July's end, we were down 4 listings from mid-month at 133 actives. However, this is the highest inventory level as of July 31 of any of the past 8 years, cresting by one listing over July 2019's high inventory. This is more than twice the level of busy, busy 2013-14, for instance.

It seems like it would be unusual to pair a blistering sales pace with record-high inventory, but this is a volatile season with unusual dynamics.

Looking at closed sales, it's funny, we don't see the same kind of spikes yet in 2020 data that we see in new escrows. Closed sales are a lagging indicator, as it takes some time to wrap them up.

Among the notable sales in this period:

2301 Laurel Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2301 Laurel (5br/5ba, 3400 sqft.), a corner-lot Cape Cod in the Martyrs neighborhood. Just too pretty to last, it sold quickly and $55K over asking at $4.250M.

Also in the Trees, a nicely located new construction with Spanish inspiration at 1720 Walnut (5br/5ba, 3550 sqft.) closed very near asking at $3.820M.

1609 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAThey hit a big number on a resale of a major remodel at 1609 6th (5br/4ba, 4950 sqft.). Did we say "major remodel?" The listing describes it thusly: "Over $1.4 million was infused into the redesign of this modern day fortress."


This was also a period where some builders were able to close the books on some properties once priced much too ambitiously.

There was a corner-lot new home at 1801 6th (4br/5ba, 3200 sqft.) in East Manhattan that launched near $3.3M in March 2019, very high for a home on a 5000 sqft. lot. It's now closed for $2.620M (-20% from start).

3203 Vista Drive Manhattan Beach CAAnd ocean-view modern 3203 Vista (5br/5ba, 3200 sqft.) began at the skyward number of $5.250M one year ago, but made its way down to $3.900M to make a sale.

Curiously, the $3.900M sale price for Vista was a $100K increase over the list price as of March 17. Fully 10 weeks later, it was bid up by $100K. That was in late May, right as our market began to rise.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 7/31/20:

> 133 active listings as of 7/31/20 (-4 from 7/15/20) 

> 110 SFRs (-5)

> 28 THs (+1)

See the Inventory list as of 7/31/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 25 actives (-6)

> Sand Section: 72 actives (+6)

> Hill Section: 8 actives (-3

> East MB: 28 (-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 7/31/20".

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