MB Market Update for 8/15/16

By Dave Fratello | August 16th, 2016

The surprising story of the last month or so, the would-be "dog days" of Summer, has been all the real estate activity in Manhattan Beach.

For instance, all that sand castle building on the beach. (See DigMB's story on the recent competition. By the way, nice job there, Mr. Mayor!)

Seriously, a rush of sales has been a big factor in the actual real estate market, too, dropping inventory from near-panic-inducing highs to merely high.

On occasion of this market update, we decided to ask: Where are all these new deals happening?

We will look at the last 4 weeks' worth of data. (See our nerdy note on methodology at the * way down below.)

After all, inventory was high as of July 15th (133) and only got higher over the next few days (to 141 on July 20th). It's been a steady stream of sales since then, with inventory now down 29 from that recent peak.

The first answer to "where were the sales?" comes by region of Manhattan Beach.

Are people mostly buying at the beach this Summer? Not really. 

The greatest number of sales by category was in East Manhattan, with 21 new escrows from July 15-Aug. 15. (We are focused exclusively on homes that went into escrow during this period, not closed sales.)

Now, roughly half of the housing in MB is east of the highway. So seeing "the most" sales there might not be a shock. What's more, we collapse 3 separate MLS sections into one for "East Manhattan," while preserving 3 separate sections west of Sepulveda in our reports.

Another way to break down our data is to say there were 31 sales west of Sepulveda, and 21 east. By this measure, sales east of the highway made up 40% of all new escrows.

If you look at the data that way, east vs. west,, what's interesting is that on July 15th, East MB inventory was just 30% of all inventory citywide. So with 40% of the sales in this period, the east side has played a big, even outsized, role in the inventory absorption of the past month.

Look at this another way: As of July 15th, there were 44 homes for sale in the Sand Section, and 42 for sale in all of East MB. Yet over the next month, there were 75% more sales in East Manhattan than at the beach.

Price is the other factor worth looking at.

Over this past month, 60% of all sales in Manhattan Beach were on homes priced at $2.000M or less. 

Though there is plenty of higher-priced inventory all over the city, only 7 sales in the month were at $3M or more.

In this case, homes under $2M are really, really over-represented in the recent sales figures. As of July 15th, only 26% of inventory was priced at $2.000M or less. Yet 60% of buyers were actively making deals in that "lower" price tier.

Meantime, 41% of inventory was priced at $3.000M or higher. (54 listings on July 15th.) But with 7 sales/new escrows in this period, only 13% of the sales were in that category. (Not all of them "stuck," either.) It was much quieter at the top.

Homes in the narrower slice of $2M-$3M lagged only a bit, making up 32% of inventory on July 15th, but 27% of new escrows since then.

So, if you're wondering how inventory has been eaten away so effectively over the past month, you have three easy takeaways:

  • A bunch of the sales were east of Sepulveda
  • Most of the sales were under $2M
  • Almost all of the sales were under $3M

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 8/15/16:

  • 112 active listings as of 8/15/16 (-6 from 8/1/16)
  • 97 SFRs (-6)
  • 15 THs (-1)

See the inventory list as of 8/15/16 here, or see the MB Dashboard for up-to-the-minute data.

Active listings by region of Manhattan Beach in this report:

  • Tree Section29 actives (+1)
  • Sand Section38 actives (+1)
  • Hill Section13 actives (+1)
  • East MB: 32 actives (-9)

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 8/15/16."

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* Nerdy note: There is no perfect way to search for new escrows by time period, but here at MBC, you have the tools available to you – as do we. We went through a series of recent MB Market Update posts and selected only the new escrows from the 8/1/16 and 8/15/16 reports that did not appear on the 7/15/16 report or prior reports. After copying that data into a spreadsheet (a fun Summertime activity, if ever there was one), we did the sorts and created the charts necessary to draw the conclusions in this post. There are possible imperfections to this methodology, but the scale of our data would not likely change much with small inaccuracies. Please note that we did not account only for "new escrows" that did "stick" (i.e., remained in escrow or closed). The vital point here was to find where the sales activity has been.

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