A Blistering 3 Months - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 8/31/20

By Dave Fratello | September 2nd, 2020

August continued to see a blistering pace of new home sales locally.

New escrows opened in Manhattan Beach at an unprecedented pace last month, when compared to the prior 7 years of the current real estate cycle.

We'll give you all the data below, but we jump to a headline, just under our first chart.

This pandemic-impacted real estate market in 2020 in Manhattan Beach now has seen both the worst, and the best, 3-month periods for home purchases.

March through May, with stay-at-home orders observed locally, marked the low point, with 79 new escrows over a 3-month period.

June through August, with 160 new escrows, smashed the record for Summer months, and saw more new escrows than any 3-month peak-season period in our market (March-May) over these past 8 years.

It's a remarkable transition from "worst to first," right here in the same year.

(Take note, in the top chart, March-May periods are in blues and greens, while June-August periods are in reds and oranges. This helps to show how unusual it is to have a Summer period near the top.)

You can see some of this rush in the full-month August numbers.

If we had said to you, at any time in the past few years, that August features a languid pace of home sales, the data would have proved the point.

Look at that: 17 new escrows in August 2019.

Remember hot-hot-hot 2017? Just 22 new escrows in August.

The most deals in August during this cycle? Those came back in August 2013, with 42 new deals, as the market was nearly exploding.

There's some perspective for the 54 new deals in August 2020. It's a figure without recent precedent.

And it was an equal-opportunity month.

The pace was consistent. There were 27 new deals inked in both the first and second halves of August.

This year, we beat out last year by 20 deals in the second half of August. We were nearly 4x last year's pace this year.

Clearly, the past few months have involved a lot of "making up for lost time." Our local real estate market tends to see about 400 closed sales per year, but we had fallen way off that pace during the stay-at-home period. Pent-up demand has been working its way out since the real estate market essentially re-opened in late May.

We closed out August with 352 closed sales from Sept. 1-Aug. 31.

In the 12 months ending May 31, the pace had dropped as low as 327.

Sleepy Summer? Not this year.

How much longer?

There's a lot left to go here, and somehow, remarkably, little indication of a headwind, despite a global pandemic, massive unemployment and hundreds of millions of disrupted lives in our "new normal."

Nerdy note: Data on new escrows by 2-week periods come from our regularly published Manhattan Beach Market Updates, which are snapshots taken at the middle point and end of each month.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 8/31/20:

> 125 active listings as of 8/31/20 (-9 from 8/15/20) 

> 87 SFRs (-14)

> 38 THs (+5)

See the Inventory list as of 8/31/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 22 actives (flat)

> Sand Section: 70 actives (-6)

> Hill Section: 11 actives (-1)

> East MB: 22 (-2)

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 8/31/20".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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