Manhattan Beach Market Update for 5/15/20

By Dave Fratello | May 17th, 2020

So, heeeeeeere's the inventory.

There's a big bet being made on multi-million-dollar properties all over Manhattan Beach.

The bet: It's time.

We recorded a jump in active inventory of 19 listings between May 1 and May 15. The figure was at 108 listings on Friday, and even leaped to 112 listings as of this writing on Sunday.

The May 15 total was an increase over mid-April by 26 listings, and 28 over the first of April.

And there are still 21 listings on "hold," which would put inventory at 133 as of Sunday morning.

Live inventory last year, on May 15, 2019, was 123.

All of this new inventory is coming out now because sellers are making the judgment that the market is ready to pick up again.

The beach is open, the Strand is open, parks are open. Real estate is trying to get there. Though LA County restrictions remain significant for many businesses, we've begun to learn how to see and show homes safely in current (COVID-19) conditions.

Absorption hasn't sped up yet, though.

The first half of May saw 10 new escrows, not greatly different from the 8 new deals made in both the first and second halves of April. (We're not charting this slow pace against other years right now, but you can see our latest graph of March-April new escrows in our 4/30/20 Market Update here.)

What's normal for May?

For the same period, first half of May, we had 16-18 new deals in the slowest 3 years going back to 2013, with totals in the 20s and up to 32 new escrows in other years. (That's more than 2 a day!)

So the 10 new deals for May 1-15 remains part of a historically slow pace of sales, but everyone's trying to look forward now. (You can quickly see the newest escrows here.)

Meantime let's look at a few big sales that closed in the first part of May:

113 19th Street Manhattan Beach CA113 19th (3br/4ba, 1900 sqft.) is mid-90s modern on a half-lot corner on a walkstreet. It's along Ocean Drive and has good ocean views.

The day we first heard of this one coming at $3.200M, the thought was, "They mean to get it sold quick."

It seemed an impossibly "low" number for what was on offer. But it was late March, only a week or so into the stay-at-home order, and what could you do to sell a property then?

Maybe hold an auction?

This was a special case, a Strand-adjacent, downtown-close, ocean-view property in good shape, but the "auction" strategy worked fine. Sold price: $351K higher at $3.551M.

There was a big "wow" sale in Manhattan Village at 53 Sausalito Circle.

The 2br/2ba, 1450 sqft. Plan 5 unit is a prized single-level floorplan, massively remodeled, and on the golf course.

The $1.783M closed price simply wipes the floor with all possible Plan 5 comps.

Four units sold in the past 5 years in the narrow range of $1.425M-$1.444M. The one most comparable to 53 Sausalito was 36 Fairway, overlooking the 9th hole, which sold for $1.425M in June '18.

There are only 5 sales in the Village of condos or townhomes higher than $1.783M, all with 3 or 4 bedrooms and 800-1200 more square feet of living space.

So, wow.

849 17th Street Manhattan Beach CAAnd take a look at 849 17th, an 8,000 sqft. lot in the Tree Section across from Pacific school.

Does it seem like a coincidence that there are a bunch of big lots selling on this block right now?

It's not a coincidence.

849 17th is sandwiched between a double lot sale that's pending (839 17th, 16,000 sqft.) and another oversized lot that's in escrow (855 17th, 12,000 sqft.).

849 17th has closed for $3.750M. It was never even listed; the deal was arranged off-market.

839 17th was the first to publicly list, for $7.750M, and had a deal almost immediately.

855 17th listed for $5.900M and had a deal within 2 weeks (during COVID!).

We'll wait till they all close to get into more detail, but for now we'll just observe that this is an enormous amount of money being poured into simple land acquisitions.

People want Manhattan Beach, and they want the space to build everything they want. Now.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 5/15/20:

> 108 active listings as of 5/15/20 (+19 from 4/30/20) 

> 82 SFRs (+16)

> 26 THs (+3)

See the Inventory list as of 5/15/20 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

> Tree Section: 26 actives (+9)

> Sand Section: 49 actives (+6)

> Hill Sectionactives (-2)

> East MB: 26 (+6)

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 5/15/20".

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