MB Market Update for 7/31/19

By Dave Fratello | August 1st, 2019

We're at something like the midpoint of Summer.

This is traditionally among the slowest times of year in the local real estate market, because, apparently, "everyone is out of town." (Why are you people leaving paradise?)

So new inventory tends to come on and hang around, and a slower sales pace means less overall market action. You get to the point where half the listings have been around long enough to have a price cut.

Turns out, there's a way to measure overall market activity, known as "months of supply." The total inventory level is divided by the pace of homes going newly into escrow. The resulting figure tells you how long it would take, hypothetically, to sell all of the homes on the market.

As our chart here shows, months of supply almost always grows throughout the Summer. Of the 8 years in our chart, only 2012 saw months of supply drop - that was because the market was rapidly heating up in 2012.

One reason to present this data is just to show, again, why sellers generally try not to launch a listing during Summer. It's a time of less market absorption, consistently.

Here's what also caught our eye(s): So far, here in Spring and Summer 2019, months of supply in Manhattan Beach has been higher than all 7 prior years. It's about a full month higher than last year.

By July 31, at 4.1 months, the figure was just 1/10th of a month (3 days!) lower than the highest figure on the chart, 4.2 months, which was hit in August 2016. That could be an early indicator.

As we've noted here before, a longtime rule of thumb in real estate has been that a 6-month supply of homes in an area signals a buyer's market. However, there is a newly forming consensus that because the internet speeds the sales cycle in real estate, now 4 months of supply is the new standard for declaring a buyer's market.

Looking back to that prior high, Summer and Fall 2016 were notable for a mood that prevailed among buyers, which was something like: "It's over, our time is coming." Buyers were getting picky, slower to act, thinking the market was about to flip in their favor.

Narrator: The market did not flip.

Turned out, 2017 was a "sugar high" year where sellers did great, and prices rose notably. So much for the predictive power of data, or attitude.

Still, we're going to get to Fall 2019 with some of the same liabilities as late 2016 had. We're likely to have the highest months of supply of this 7-year-plus bull market. Buyers innately sense it. We're hearing it all again.

At 127 active listings as of July 31, we're 38% higher than 2018's 92 actives. People are noticing that, too.

What it all means, we'll really have to see in September/October.

Nerdy note: All data for the chart above is from the California Regional Multiple Listing Service, INC. InfoSparks © 2019 ShowingTime.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 7/31/19:

  • 127 active listings as of 7/31/19 (-3 from 7/15/19) 
  • 101 SFRs (-2)
  • 27 THs (+1)

See the Inventory list as of 7/31/19 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

  • Tree Section: 23 actives (-5)
  • Sand Section: 58 actives (-6)
  • Hill Section:19 actives (flat)
  • East MB: 27 (+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 7/31/19."

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