MB Market Update for 3/15/19

By Dave Fratello | March 19th, 2019

We're getting rolling with the Spring market, and there are a couple of trends evident.

There seems to plenty of buyer demand, and good, well-priced listings are moving just fine, with action at just about all price points.

But inventory is also beginning to build up.

With 110 listings as of March 15, MB had more options for buyers than in any of the prior 5 years.

In fact, a quick check of deeper data suggests that 2011 was the last time we had this many listings in mid-March. (We don't quite love the data source for that stat, so we're sticking with "suggests" instead of stating it plainly as fact.)

Indeed, for much of this year, inventory is running at least 25% higher than in 2018.

But you can make too much of a stat like this.

While 2019 inventory is floating well about 2016 and 2018 levels, the trendline doesn't look all that different from 2017's inventory data.

And 2017 was... a very good year. [Cue Sinatra.]

2017 had more sales than '15 or '16, and saw a 13% increase in the MB median home price.

Obviously, inventory is only one part of the equation.

We're going to be watching inventory more closely as April turns to May. Stay tuned.

In sales this period, we saw a listing at the farther end of Pacific near Rosecrans close.

3208 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3208 Pacific (4br/3ba, 3180 sqft.) is new construction that developed some cobwebs over 8+ months on market.

Though it began at $2.799M in May 2018, a lot happened after.

The first agent lasted 2 months. A new listing with new agents began, but failed and got rebooted.

For whatever reason, the seller who was having trouble unloading the project routinely offered a lower-than-normal commission for potential buyer's agents, a 20% cut below the norm. Maybe that should not lead to "blackballing" a listing, but it certainly doesn't improve the perception of a listing among local brokers.

MBC featured this listing in a January post, noting that it was set up to be the least pricey (ok "cheapest") new construction in quite a while.

We noted that the lowest-priced newly built home of at least 3000 sqft. in the Tree Section in a long time was 616 30th (5br/5ba, 3370 sqft.), which pre-sold at $2.512M in Aug. 2012.

3605 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CAThe only recent new construction sale in that price range was 3605 Oak (5br/4ba, 3250 sqft.) at $2.575M in June 2018.

Now, 3208 Pacific has marked out a lower low with its sale at $2.400M.

We had to go waaaaaay back to 2010 to find a less pricey new construction sale.

That was 848 14th St. (5br/5ba, 3500 sqft.), a 2009 build that closed for $2.150M in June 2010.

So let's say this all again in a new way.

3208 Pacific didn't just sell 14% under asking.

It didn't just sell $175K lower than the lowest recent new construction sale in the Trees.

It sold for the lowest price for any Tree Section new construction in nearly 9 full years.

We also saw a closing that was both cautionary and optimistic regarding Sand Section townhomes.

2801 Alma Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2801 Alma (3br/4ba, 1960 sqft.) is a 2005 Mediterranean with some ocean views.

It has closed for $2.550M, but not until enduring a quiet 4th quarter 2018 and cutting $189K from the start price.

2816 Crest Drive Manhattan Beach CAIn the end, Alma performed better than nearby 2816 Crest.

That's a 2007-built townhome that arguably has much better and more permanent views.

But Crest began much higher and endured more back-and-forth and time on market.

2816 Crest began at $2.890M, clearly above comps, and settled for $2.475M, more than $400K and 14% under the ambitious start.

But at the end of the day, you do still see resales of townhomes moving, after a period of time when this market segment was resetting and a bit slow.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 3/15/19:

  • 110 active listings as of 3/15/19 (+11 from 2/28/19) 
  • 84 SFRs (+8)
  • 26 THs (+3)

See the Inventory list as of 3/15/19 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

  • Tree Section: 27 actives (-1)
  • Sand Section: 47 actives (+5)
  • Hill Section:11 actives (+3)
  • East MB: 25 (flat)

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 3/15/19."

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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