MB Market Update for 3/15/20

By Dave Fratello | March 17th, 2020

We'll keep up with our twice-monthly updates here, and will try to offer more updates from the front lines along the way.

Let's just say, we live in interesting times, and it's not clear how the local real estate market will adapt over 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months or more.

One "sign of the times" is the unusual number of properties switching from "active" on the MLS to a "hold" status. It's like a "time out."

In the past 7 days, 12 listed properties in Manhattan Beach switched to "hold." This stops the process of counting Days on Market, stops display of the property on public websites and generally means there would be no showings or offers. The home is still for sale, kinda, but isn't being marketed.

Twelve listings isn't 80, it's not even 10% of the inventory that's going on hold. And they could be taking time off for other reasons. But you don't usually see more than one listing per week go quiet like this.

(Note: The original post said 8 listings went on hold. That was as of late Tuesday. The post was updated late Wednesday because the number had grown.)

It's reasonable to take a break, just like it's reasonable to stay on the market and compete for buyer eyeballs and offers.

It's reasonable for buyers to pause and reflect, and also to see this as a time when they can go make the right deal somewhere. Frankly, we're hearing both attitudes from our buyer clients.

Let's take a little look back at the first half of March, to recap some Spring market activity.

216 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA216 Marine (3br/4ba, 1950 sqft.) has closed for $3.750M.

This is the front unit of two new townhomes developed on spec and released to the market in August last year.

This one began at $4.100M, ran for a while, re-listed lower at $3.975M and is now closed $350K under the first price.

It rear-unit twin, 217 21st Place (3br/4ba, 1950 sqft.), also with impressive style and views, is in escrow now with a last price of $3.750M.

We were impressed by the detail and views for both units, and showed them several times in the beginning. None of our clients could quite see the asking prices as reasonable, and declared they'd wait. Here you are, 6 months later, watching them close 9% lower.

There wasn't any such doubt surrounding two recent Hill Section offerings that have just closed.

852 8th (5br/6ba, 4700 sqft.) is a 2008 corner-lot Cape Cod with big, unblockable ocean views to the south.

In many ways, the home is exactly what people say they're looking for in the hills. Classic styling, plenty of space (including basement media room), and those views that do not get old.

This time, Dave's clients got the property, inking a deal immediately as it went public. Closed for $6.200M.

Another view property nearby also sold quickly: 822 6th features a nifty remodeled 60s modern home, but it's really about the lot. Set at the peak of the 6th Street where the hill drops off to the south, it has huge, panoramic views toward the south and Catalina. The current house takes some advantage, but a new build could do even better.

Asking: $2.999M. Sold for: $3.575M.

1315 21st Street Manhattan Beach CAAnd in East Manhattan, one of those once-in-forever, smashing and surprising homes cropped up at 1315 21st (3br/3ba, 2600 sqft.) and made a deal at once back in early February. 

Asking $2.499M, this one closed higher by almost $100K at $2.583M.

What made this home so startlingly different was that it's "underbuilt" (lacking a second story), wide open with high ceilings, sleekly modern and thoughtful throughout. The exterior doesn't advertise what you get inside, a real hideaway. (See our rave in this weekend opens post from early February.)

That's a sampling of how the early part of the year had been going, specifically early March.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 3/15/20:

  • 96 active listings as of 3/15/20 (+3 from 2/29/20) 
  • 75 SFRs (+6)
  • 21 THs (-3)

See the Inventory list as of 3/15/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

  • Tree Section: 19 actives (flat)
  • Sand Section: 48 actives (+2)
  • Hill Section: actives (+1)
  • East MB: 23 (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 3/15/20".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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