MB Market Update for 8/31/17

By Dave Fratello | September 6th, 2017

We've saved our end-of-August update till after the holiday weekend because, frankly, we thought many of our readers would be away.

So now, as the post-Labor-Day market prepares for a bit of a seasonal rush (it's what we expect each year, anyway), we'll take a look back at Summer.

The Summer real estate market in Manhattan Beach seemed to have plenty of activity. In the moment, it seemed to defy expectations of the "Summer doldrums."

Now we're seeing that the data don't quite prove that this Summer was busier than most.

You know us here at MBC, we like to compile numbers.

We looked at the pace of new escrows for the months of July and August, the two principal months of Summer when the market typically is quieter. (Yes, we remember when Summer was 3 months long.)

Turns out, there were fewer new escrows in Summer 2017 than in 2016 or 2015.

There were 70 new deals made in those 2 months in 2015, and 74 deals posted in the same time last year.

The drop to 60 in Summer 2017 is 19% down from last year's pace.

Fun fact from this 3-year data set: The busiest time for new escrows to open across the 3 years was the second half of July. Makes sense if you imagine some number of buyers wanting to lock in at the last minute in time for school.

We're not going to panic over this drop in the sales pace. It's still a small sample of time. We didn't even try widening the study period to 3 months, for example. It's a snapshot.

We actually saw a higher number of closed sales in this 2-month Summer period than in 2015 or 2016. With 73 closed this year, the pace was over 2016 by 3 sales and by 11 from 2015.

Closings lag the timing of new escrows, so the higher number this Summer would reflect a busier May/June period.

Also, most importantly, if we look at the full year leading up to Aug. 31 of each year, the sales pace for the year ending this Summer is far ahead of the prior 2 years: 437 sales closed from Sept. 1, 2016-Aug. 31, 2017, higher than 376 the prior year and 379 the year before.

So there's still lots going on in our market, even if Summer ended with a bit of a whimper.

As you review our spreadsheets and other market info, one sale you're not going to see post is 2909 Laurel (5br/4ba, 3700 sqft.), and it's too bad. This would be important Tree Section data for a lot of people to have.

This was a home advertised new in 2005 as an "elegant Craftsman home," but over time, different owners have converted it to more of a contemporary, beachy home. Its bonus 50' wide frontage and substantial porch at the entry make it distinctive.

The sale has recently closed for $3.210M, but the info has disappeared from the MLS feed that you can get on most websites (like Zillow and MBC). 

It's no conspiracy. Realtors can see the sale, but it's flagged. What seems to have happened is that the date set in the MLS for the closing came and the property was automatically set to "sold" by the computer system before an agent did the physical input of the sale.

When a listing is switched over to "sold" automatically like that, the number is presumed to be unreliable, so it doesn't go out to the internet. 

If the policy is meant to be pro-consumer ("we don't want to publish inaccurate data"), then great. But anything that reduces the amount of data available to consumers is unfortunate. We'll see if there's any chance to revise the policy. (Dave's on an MLS committee where the matter can be taken up.)

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 8/31/17:

  • 115 active listings as of 8/31/17 (+1)
  • 88 SFRs (-1)
  • 27 THs (+2)

See the inventory list as of 8/31/17  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 (+1)
  • Sand Section: 58 actives (-3)
  • Hill Section: 7 actives (-2)
  • East MB: 24 actives (+5)

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 8/31/17."

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