Bummer Summer? - Manhattan Beach Market Update for 8/31/22

By Dave Fratello | September 1st, 2022

Note to self: Don't write down your predictions.

Back in May, we were glad to finally see some inventory coming to a starving market. This, in turn, led us to some exuberance:

"We're going out on a limb here.

"When we say, 'This year, it's going to be a Summer market,' what we mean is, an unusually large portion of sales for 2022 are likely to result from listings and sales made during June-August. It's a prediction."

We literally predicted a rush of listings and sales from June-August.

Now the data are in, and, in a word: No.

Instead, Summer 2022 in Manhattan Beach saw a tie for the fewest number of new purchase contracts from June through August. (Based on data from our hand-crafted, MLS-based market update spreadsheets.)

With just 79 new escrows, 2022 tied Summer 2019, a period that preceded a lackluster Fall and a 2% drop in the citywide median price.

Summer 2022 ran at less than half the blistering, unprecedented pace of Summer 2020, after the end of lockdowns had unleashed a home-buying frenzy.

And this year ran about 20-25% below average for most of the past 10 years.

What happened to that "Summer market," Dave?

Other factors intervened. Yes, inventory grew and buyers had more choices. That part of the prediction came true.

But mortgage interest rates spiked in June, and, combined with spooky-seeming economic news, caused many buyers to hit "pause," watching for a change in market conditions. Some simply could not continue.

Rates later came down, sorta like gas prices have, the economic picture brightened, and the mood definitely seems better in the local real estate market today.

But we won't be making any predictions.

Aware of the lower pace of new deals, we thought to look at sales.

Normally we look at sales totals in quarters, but we took a look at year-to-date sales for Manhattan Beach.

Kinda wish we didn't.

Because these data show us that our 237 closed sales this year, January 1-Aug. 31, puts 2022 among the 5 slowest years for sales among the past 15.

Yes, including yucky 2008-2009.

This year actually lags behind laggy 2019 by 30 sales at this point.

We've been tracking the overall slower pace of sales throughout the year 2022, noting every time that the lack of inventory has frustrated buyers and kept our numbers way down.

Finally, when inventory bounced back up a bit for Summer, buyers had decided to go do something else.

We took a peek at some other indicators, like Days on Market and Median Price, but those figures remain healthy. The median price continues to rise modestly, and the typical days on market for homes that sell remains microscopic, under 2 weeks.

This year has more to prove in its final 4 months.

We'd say the pressure's on the traditionally busier September/October market... but we shan't jinx anything by predicting.



Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 8/31/22:

> 60 active listings as of 8/31/22 (-3 from 8/15/22) 

> 52 SFRs (-2)

> THs (-1)

See the Inventory list as of 8/31/22 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 (-5)

> Sand Section: 25 actives (flat)

> Hill Section: 16 actives (flat)

> East MB: 10 (+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 8/31/22".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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