MB Market Update for 8/31/19

By Dave Fratello | September 3rd, 2019

Summer's past, and we're looking to the next couple of months to help define what kind of real estate year 2019 is going to be.

Dave and MBC are publishing a broader report on the market soon, with our traditional "deep dives" on data. More on that soon.

But for now, let's offer some good news that might mitigate anxiety that's been out there in the market.

We have already reported that sales simply slumped in June and July. Closed sales lag behind buyer activity by 4-8 weeks, so that data was telling us that buyers were busy in Spring until suddenly they weren't. The vexing question was: Why?

The pressing question was: Would that Summer slump continue?

In August, the slump did not continue. MB buyers helped the market bounce back.

With 39 closings in August, 2019's figure beat the average of prior years by one.

This year was better (by one) than 2018, better by 6 sales than 2017 and equal to 2016.

And August 2015's meager 30 closings? Left in the dust.

We're just going to call it a return to normalcy for now. There was no obvious reason for the late-Spring slump, such as an interest rate spike or bad economic news.

We can proceed into the busier early Fall (September/October) period in the market here with a bit of momentum.

There is still quite clearly a buzz out there about how things are "slower" at the top of the market. There's a little good news there, too, judging by inventory.

In May, we had noted that fully 50% of listings in Manhattan Beach were priced over $3.5M. (See "Is MB Inventory Often 'Top Heavy?'")

As August turned to September, "only" 45% of listings were priced over $3.5M.

But there will be more to say on market activity at various price points.

1900 John Street Manhattan Beach CAOne of the notable sales of this period was a pre-market new construction sale on a prime street: 1900 John (5br/7ba, 4890 sqft.).

It's the highest-priced new construction sale in the immediate area out of 4 recent sales, 2 of which involved Dave's clients. Let's look at the 2 highest prior sales before the "big reveal" on 1900 John.

The home at 2001 John (5br/7ba, 4865 sqft.) is an artfully crafted 2-story home with ample basement. It listed boldly at $5.475M in July 2016. It lingered and cut before our clients saw the right opening, and got it for $4.650M in late 2016.

Soon after, construction began on 1901 Palm, a corner lot just 100 yards away.

The new home at 1901 Palm (5br/7ba, 4760 sqft.) was the work of a different builder, but extremely similar in design, floorplan and finish to 2001 John.

With its corner-lot location, the sellers tried to shoot the moon, listing it at $5.500M. But it eventually sold under $5M at $4.875M, or $225K more than the non-corner home on John.

Now 1900 John, whose backyard touches the backyard of 1901 Palm (now that's a similar location), has closed for $5.350M, nearly 10% higher than that neighbor sold for in May 2018.

For those bellyaching about slow segments of the market, new construction with identical location and nearly identical style and finishes selling 10% above the local record is... not evidence of a problem.

Here's the rest of our local real estate market update report for the period ending 8/31/19:

  • 124 active listings as of 8/31/19 (same from 8/15/19) 
  • 99 SFRs (flat)
  • 25 THs (flat)

See the Inventory list as of 8/31/19 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 (+2)
  • Sand Section: 59 actives (flat)
  • Hill Section:18 actives (+1)
  • East MB: 24 (-3)

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 8/31/19."

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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