MB Market Update for 4/30/20

By Dave Fratello | May 4th, 2020

We're feeling like local real estate is opening up, but there's still a ways to go.

Inventory is escalating, but sales activity hasn't caught up yet.

And when we look back at the market over the past two months, it's grim.

We'll start there with our new chart.

It won't surprise you that we're having the weakest Spring season in a long time for Manhattan Beach real estate.

But you can also say, "this won't last" and look forward (one might hope) to unusually busy months ahead. The seasonality of our market may be upended. Summer doldrums? Bah!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

March and April proved to be the weakest by far of the last 8 years in terms of new contracts/new escrows.

The total of 48 new deals over those 2 months was only a bit over half last year's rockin' 93 total new deals. Those 48 new escrows were well below early Spring totals seen in the 70-100 range in prior years.

Both halves of April saw 8 new escrows, with 16 deals for the month totaling less than half of the weakest recent year (2018) and less than 1/3rd of last year's hoppin' April.

Face it: There's no happy way to slice this data. While the market was partly shut down, all of us were ordered to stay at home and uncertainty faced both public health and the financial markets, it was tough to sell a house.

We record these data publicly to see where they go next. We won't always see monthly sales in the teens.


Nerdy note: Our new escrows data is based on our hand-crafted, twice-monthly, MLS-based MB Market Update spreadsheets. It is a count of new contracts. We record in the middle of the month and end of the month which properties are in escrow, and count as "new" any that weren't in the prior report. If a property went into and out of escrow within those two weeks, it won't count, and we don't track whether any new escrow "sticks" and closes.


On the plus side, there was another jump in the median price. We'll post about this later with a chart, but oddly enough, April 2020 ended with the highest-ever median price for Manhattan Beach at $2,499,500. (Based on a 12-month data sample.)

How is the median price rising during a pandemic?

939 Duncan Avenue Manhattan Beach CAPut simply, 16 of the 23 sales within April were above that median price, in fact ranging from $2.599M-$11.000M. (Pictured is 939 Duncan, Dave's listing in the Hill Section that sold pre-market for $3.500M in April.)

When pooled with the prior 11 months' worth of sales, this crop of sales skewing higher moved up the new, higher median point.

Inventory is coming out to meet the (anticipated) demand, escalating even as we were making our sheets. As of Monday morning, it was at 95, a notch above the 89 recorded for our sheets.

And there were another 29 listings on "hold" in Manhattan Beach – not visible to consumers, but visible to agents. If they were all active on the market, we'd be at inventory of 124, or 7 higher than at the same time a year ago.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 4/30/20:

  • 89 active listings as of 4/30/20 (+7 from 4/15/20) 
  • 66 SFRs (+2)
  • 23 THs (+5)

See the Inventory list as of 4/30/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

  • Tree Section: 17 actives (-1)
  • Sand Section: 43 actives (+7)
  • Hill Section: actives (+2)
  • East MB: 20 (-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 4/30/20".

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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