MB Market Update for 8/31/09

By Dave Fratello | September 4th, 2009
They are our very ugliest spreadsheets yet, but the new MB Market Update spreadsheets for 8/31/09 can be downloaded by clicking here, or at any time by using the link at the upper-right corner of the page.

Ugly? Yes. (That graphic is not the MBC spreadsheets, but something more elegant.)

Two reasons:
1) We ran a full month, instead of the usual 2 weeks between updates, which means a lot more comings and goings represented on each page; and

2) We discovered that we'd been carrying some deadwood on the spreadsheets, and this set shows us scratching off some listings that did not belong.
We'll explain in a moment, but first here's a bit of news... this will be the last of the conventional, Excel-to-PDF spreadsheets, like we've published for 2 1/2 years.

MBC will still offer public market tracking, but in a new, improved fashion. We'll pull into the 21st century with a new format soon. Stay tuned.

Meantime, let's take a look at the overview statistics for MB west of Sepulveda at month's end.

Overall SFR inventory was at 103.

That's quite a drop from the 143 we reported at the end of July. More than half that drop is from cancellations in the month of August. A chunk is from the removal of "deadwood" from our spreadsheets. Here's how listings came off the books in August:
  • 13 "deadwood" listings (8 cancellations and 5 sales MBC had missed in prior months);
  • 21 cancellations in August; and
  • 18 sales (new escrows) opening in August.
That's 52 coming off the books. During the same period, there were 12 new listings added to inventory, for a net reduction of 40 off our spreadsheets in one month – a real cut of 27 last month without considering MBC's extra inventory.

We should also note that 4 listings we're counting as active inventory were "on hold" at month's end. That could mean anything. We typically label such listings with an "H" to the left and wait a month or so to see if they return, depending on what we know about the backstory.

Year over year, Aug. 2009 inventory was down a tiny bit from Aug. 2008. Last year, our count at month's end was 106. As our story from then shows, there was also a pre-Labor-Day rush of cancellations last year – inventory dropped a net of 11 from the end of July to the end of August last year. This year saw more than twice the dropoff in active listings from July to August.

To continue the YOY comparisons:
New Listings
Aug. 2008: 19
Aug. 2009: 12

Sales (New Escrows)
Aug. 2008: 14
Aug. 2009: 18

Aug. 2008: 17
Aug. 2009: 21
In sum, this year we saw more sellers quit, fewer new sellers enter the market, and a few more buyers take the plunge.

Inventory, year-over-year:
Hill Section
Aug. 2008: 18
Aug. 2009: 26

Sand Section
Aug. 2008: 37
Aug. 2009: 38

Tree Section
Aug. 2008: 51
Aug. 2009: 39

Total WOS:
Aug. 2008: 106
Aug. 2009: 103
The revisions to MBC's spreadsheets (deleting deadwood) will require a look back at some of our inventory graphs and a restatement of some of our claims in the accompanying stories. We'll prepare some revisions and explain in an upcoming post.

Meantime, happy Labor Day – for real, this time.

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