Pending Sales in Manhattan Beach Skew Pricier

By Dave Fratello | May 12th, 2020

We have marveled at the (perhaps) surprising jump in the Manhattan Beach median home price recently.

How could it be rising in the middle a pandemic? Setting records!

At a time when sales activity has been on a lifeline?

We've crunched some more numbers, and concluded this: The median price is more likely than not to continue rising for a bit.

That's because most homes in escrow now are priced above the current median price of $2,499,500. If most closings are above that number, the median will rise.

What we see now is an unusually high proportion of higher-priced properties with deals.

Let's do a year-over-year comparison, starting with 2019 data.

Last year at about this time, the overwhelming majority of homes in escrow (84%) were priced below $3.5M.

And 45% of the properties under contract were priced under $2.500M, which happens to be the current median price.

What a difference a year makes.

As we look at 2020 data, there's one drastic change: Many fewer homes in escrow under $2.500M.

Last year: 45%.

This year: 27%.

The biggest crunch: A drop by 14% in escrows on properties priced $1.5M-$2.5M. Like it or not, that's more or less the "entry level" price for Manhattan Beach.

So right now, 73% of homes in escrow were listed above the current median price. Even if all don't close, you can still see why we're saying it's more likely that the median has to rise.

Notably, the proportion of sales in the range of $2.5M-$3.5M remained almost totally steady, 39% last year and 38% this year.

At the high end, there's been growth.

Above $3.5M last year, we found "just" 16% of the active deals.

This year, it's 34%, basically a doubling.

You can guess at any number of reasons why buyers now making deals skew toward the higher end of the price spectrum.

The median price is calculated based on the mix of closed sales over a period of time. (We use 12 months.) The median is the exact middle point: Half of all sales are above that number, half are below. So if most of the new escrows opening up are on properties priced well above the median, and most close, the median's going to keep rising.

In our recent median-price report, we noted that we had looked at recently failed escrows. More of the failed escrows, too, had been priced higher than the current median price. This made it possible, at least, to declare that the median wasn't rising because lower-priced deals were failing.

Now we see more reason to expect continued increases. There are fewer lower-priced deals.

This median price rise would occur even if there are fewer sales, and even if "typical" prices for similar properties seem to be dropping.

If we get to that point with May, June and July sales, for instance, it may become harder to see what's going on in the market as a whole.

A rising median price suggests strength and scarcity, and an upward trend suggests most homes are getting more expensive. Let's see how things look as we close out the next few months.

Right now, even as real estate is just tentatively "opening up" again, we might begin to worry a bit about demand.

Do we have a problem with buyers looking at the sub-$2.5M price point?

Let's give this a few-to-several weeks to play out in an oh-so-slightly-more-normal market before we assume so.

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Nerdy notes:

- We scrubbed both the 2019 and 2020 data of a few "zombie" escrows, properties that remain in the MLS database as "pending" sales but have been "stuck" there for many, many, many months, over a year in one case, for reasons unknown.

- There were 30 current escrows as of May 12, 2020, and 51 escrows as of May 15, 2020, used for the charts above.

- Crystal ball time: There are 19 sales between $2.500-$2.600M right around today's median point, and which would be factors in any median price calculation at the end of May. This is a way of saying any rise may be modest, within $100K.

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Current Escrows in Manhattan Beach

(this data is constantly updated and may not be limited to pending escrows as of the date of the original post)

ADDRESS BD/BA SQFT LOT PRICE $PSF DOM START $ START
Address 2100 Wendy Way BD/BA 3br/1ba SQFT 1091 sqft LOT 5448 PRICE $1,600,000 $PSF $1,467 DOM 12 DOM START $ $1,600,000 START 05/05/22
Address 429 21st Place BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2000 sqft LOT 2696 PRICE $2,699,000 $PSF $1,350 DOM 2 DOM START $ $2,699,000 START 05/11/22
Address 1756 Gates Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4342 sqft LOT 7509 PRICE $3,299,000 $PSF $760 DOM 10 DOM START $ $3,299,000 START 05/03/22
Address 301 Homer St BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2350 sqft LOT 3359 PRICE $3,999,000 $PSF $1,702 DOM 12 DOM START $ $3,999,000 START 05/05/22
Address 2913 N Poinsettia Avenue BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3170 sqft LOT 4645 PRICE $3,750,000 $PSF $1,183 DOM 8 DOM START $ $3,750,000 START 05/04/22
Address 32 Cayman Court BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1876 sqft LOT 2417 PRICE $1,550,000 $PSF $826 DOM 13 DOM START $ $1,550,000 START 04/29/22
Address 469 27th Street BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2450 sqft LOT 1549 PRICE $2,999,999 $PSF $1,224 DOM 5 DOM START $ $2,999,999 START 05/02/22
Address 3002 Laurel Avenue BD/BA 5br/6ba SQFT 3250 sqft LOT 4640 PRICE $4,295,000 $PSF $1,322 DOM 12 DOM START $ $4,295,000 START 05/05/22
Address 705 35th Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 2957 sqft LOT 5402 PRICE $2,800,000 $PSF $947 DOM 19 DOM START $ $2,800,000 START 04/28/22
Address 200 40th Street BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 2468 sqft LOT 1706 PRICE $5,299,999 $PSF $2,147 DOM 115 DOM START $ $5,499,999 START 01/22/22
Address 1901 Lynngrove Drive BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3269 sqft LOT 5768 PRICE $3,599,000 $PSF $1,101 DOM 5 DOM START $ $3,599,000 START 05/05/22
Address 750 29th Street BD/BA 6br/8ba SQFT 4835 sqft LOT 4803 PRICE $5,995,000 $PSF $1,240 DOM 19 DOM START $ $5,995,000 START 04/15/22
Address 1521 Artesia Boulevard D BD/BA 2br/3ba SQFT 1638 sqft LOT 6744 PRICE $1,299,000 $PSF $793 DOM 20 DOM START $ $1,299,000 START 04/27/22
Address 1219 17th Street BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3515 sqft LOT 5958 PRICE $3,999,999 $PSF $1,138 DOM 20 DOM START $ $3,999,999 START 04/27/22
Address 221 36th Street BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1948 sqft LOT 1353 PRICE $3,695,000 $PSF $1,897 DOM 40 DOM START $ $3,695,000 START 04/07/22
Address 220 42nd Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1455 sqft LOT 1356 PRICE $1,950,000 $PSF $1,340 DOM 21 DOM START $ $1,950,000 START 04/26/22
Address 3601 Bayview Drive BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 3090 sqft LOT 1744 PRICE $6,499,000 $PSF $2,103 DOM 19 DOM START $ $6,499,000 START 04/28/22
Address 3009 Manhattan Avenue BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 2700 sqft LOT 1353 PRICE $5,999,000 $PSF $2,222 DOM 90 DOM START $ $6,300,000 START 02/16/22
Address 1550 Gates Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4336 sqft LOT 7499 PRICE $3,450,000 $PSF $796 DOM 8 DOM START $ $3,450,000 START 04/21/22
Address 502 Rosecrans Avenue B BD/BA 2br/3ba SQFT 1677 sqft LOT 5992 PRICE $1,799,000 $PSF $1,073 DOM 43 DOM START $ $1,799,000 START 04/04/22
Address 137 15th Street BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 888 sqft LOT 1347 PRICE $2,499,000 $PSF $2,814 DOM 20 DOM START $ $2,499,000 START 04/22/22
Address 615 Aviation Way BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1850 sqft LOT 7500 PRICE $1,659,000 $PSF $897 DOM 2 DOM START $ $1,659,000 START 04/24/22
Address 611 Aviation Way BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1850 sqft LOT 7500 PRICE $1,729,000 $PSF $935 DOM 5 DOM START $ $1,729,000 START 04/21/22
Address 615 23rd Street BD/BA 5br/6ba SQFT 4388 sqft LOT 4404 PRICE $5,999,000 $PSF $1,367 DOM 6 DOM START $ $5,999,000 START 04/21/22
Address 3603 Manhattan Avenue BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1912 sqft LOT 2705 PRICE $3,499,000 $PSF $1,830 DOM 70 DOM START $ $3,499,000 START 01/30/22
Address 1637 1st Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1402 sqft LOT 4993 PRICE $1,775,000 $PSF $1,266 DOM 0 DOM START $ $1,775,000 START 04/12/22
Address 3008 N Ardmore Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1906 sqft LOT 7490 PRICE $3,299,000 $PSF $1,731 DOM 5 DOM START $ $3,299,000 START 04/15/22
Address 812 5th Street BD/BA 6br/7ba SQFT 5576 sqft LOT 7124 PRICE $9,500,000 $PSF $1,704 DOM 34 DOM START $ $10,500,000 START 03/18/22
Address 1642 5th Street BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 814 sqft LOT 7501 PRICE $2,400,000 $PSF $2,948 DOM 47 DOM START $ $2,600,000 START 03/27/22
Address 212 41st Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1543 sqft LOT 1350 PRICE $2,120,000 $PSF $1,374 DOM 6 DOM START $ $2,120,000 START 04/07/22
Address 227 Aviation Pl BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1646 sqft LOT 0 PRICE $1,250,000 $PSF $759 DOM 20 DOM START $ $1,250,000 START 03/23/22
Address 1501 Artesia Boulevard J BD/BA 2br/3ba SQFT 1183 sqft LOT 11365 PRICE $1,200,000 $PSF $1,014 DOM 47 DOM START $ $1,188,000 START 03/31/22
Address 2812 Oak Avenue BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 3843 sqft LOT 4486 PRICE $2,799,000 $PSF $728 DOM 33 DOM START $ $2,799,000 START 03/29/22
Address 2105 N. Meadows Ave BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2269 sqft LOT 5004 PRICE $2,599,000 $PSF $1,145 DOM 47 DOM START $ $2,599,000 START 03/31/22
Address 1202 Tennyson Street 8 BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1750 sqft LOT 13120 PRICE $1,349,000 $PSF $771 DOM 54 DOM START $ $1,349,000 START 03/24/22
Address 465 33rd Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1396 sqft LOT 4045 PRICE $3,299,000 $PSF $2,363 DOM 54 DOM START $ $3,350,000 START 01/31/22
Address 1636 2nd Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 3553 sqft LOT 5109 PRICE $3,950,000 $PSF $1,112 DOM 161 DOM START $ $3,850,000 START 12/07/21
Address 577 36th Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4000 sqft LOT 5334 PRICE $4,249,000 $PSF $1,062 DOM 0 DOM START $ $4,249,000 START 11/30/-1
Address 614 The Strand BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2128 sqft LOT 3406 PRICE $13,000,000 $PSF $6,109 DOM 76 DOM START $ $13,000,000 START 03/04/19
Address 220 11th Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 2256 sqft LOT 2709 PRICE $4,500,000 $PSF $1,995 DOM 19 DOM START $ $5,000,000 START 04/20/18
Address 1825 Pacific Avenue BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 3350 sqft LOT 4778 PRICE $4,250,000 $PSF $1,269 DOM 0 DOM START $ $4,250,000 START 12/27/21

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