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 304 16th Street BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2244 sqft LOT 2994 PRICE $3,499,000 $PSF $1,559 DOM 8 DOM START $ $3,499,000 START 10/13/21
Address 28 Sausalito Circle BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 1450 sqft LOT 3162 PRICE $1,450,000 $PSF $1,000 DOM 9 DOM START $ $1,450,000 START 10/12/21
Address 11 Cordoba Court BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1876 sqft LOT 2282 PRICE $1,775,000 $PSF $946 DOM 23 DOM START $ $1,775,000 START 09/28/21
Address 28 Bermuda Court BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1876 sqft LOT 0 PRICE $1,876,000 $PSF $1,000 DOM 1 DOM START $ $1,876,000 START 10/20/21
Address 3212 Alma Avenue BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2187 sqft LOT 3499 PRICE $3,250,000 $PSF $1,486 DOM 10 DOM START $ $3,250,000 START 10/08/21
Address 432 35th Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 2771 sqft LOT 2700 PRICE $3,295,000 $PSF $1,189 DOM 6 DOM START $ $3,295,000 START 10/13/21
Address 714 N Dianthus Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 3709 sqft LOT 5161 PRICE $4,495,000 $PSF $1,212 DOM 8 DOM START $ $4,495,000 START 10/13/21
Address 1221 11th Street BD/BA 6br/6ba SQFT 5636 sqft LOT 9450 PRICE $5,675,000 $PSF $1,007 DOM 13 DOM START $ $5,675,000 START 10/08/21
Address 1236 6th Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 2277 sqft LOT 7502 PRICE $2,650,000 $PSF $1,164 DOM 5 DOM START $ $2,650,000 START 09/28/21
Address 1127 5th Street BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 3062 sqft LOT 7501 PRICE $2,699,000 $PSF $881 DOM 17 DOM START $ $2,699,000 START 10/04/21
Address 324 17th Street BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 3634 sqft LOT 2707 PRICE $5,999,000 $PSF $1,651 DOM 7 DOM START $ $5,999,000 START 10/14/21
Address 1561 Nelson Avenue BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 4588 sqft LOT 7484 PRICE $3,799,000 $PSF $828 DOM 14 DOM START $ $3,799,000 START 10/07/21
Address 3504 Crest Drive BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 2028 sqft LOT 1802 PRICE $2,200,000 $PSF $1,085 DOM 16 DOM START $ $2,200,000 START 10/05/21
Address 1317 Gates Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1518 sqft LOT 5098 PRICE $1,999,000 $PSF $1,317 DOM 19 DOM START $ $1,999,888 START 09/23/21
Address 1220 Keats Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1262 sqft LOT 5726 PRICE $1,699,000 $PSF $1,346 DOM 13 DOM START $ $1,699,000 START 10/08/21
Address 3017 Elm Avenue BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 960 sqft LOT 3734 PRICE $1,826,000 $PSF $1,902 DOM 41 DOM START $ $1,899,000 START 09/10/21
Address 662 Rosecrans Avenue BD/BA 2br/1ba SQFT 750 sqft LOT 3664 PRICE $1,399,000 $PSF $1,865 DOM 24 DOM START $ $1,399,000 START 09/27/21
Address 1315 Manhattan Beach Boulevard B BD/BA 2br/3ba SQFT 1175 sqft LOT 5498 PRICE $1,100,000 $PSF $936 DOM 34 DOM START $ $1,100,000 START 09/17/21
Address 3605 Crest Drive BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 1149 sqft LOT 1746 PRICE $1,779,000 $PSF $1,548 DOM 35 DOM START $ $1,779,000 START 09/16/21
Address 2408 Walnut Avenue BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3091 sqft LOT 4482 PRICE $3,599,000 $PSF $1,164 DOM 21 DOM START $ $3,599,000 START 09/30/21
Address 504 John Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4783 sqft LOT 7003 PRICE $8,699,000 $PSF $1,819 DOM 139 DOM START $ $9,499,000 START 06/04/21
Address 124 21st Place BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1939 sqft LOT 1354 PRICE $3,799,000 $PSF $1,959 DOM 42 DOM START $ $4,000,000 START 09/09/21
Address 18 Chatham BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 2632 sqft LOT 7610 PRICE $2,395,000 $PSF $910 DOM 10 DOM START $ $2,395,000 START 10/01/21
Address 2104 Grandview Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1790 sqft LOT 3493 PRICE $2,595,000 $PSF $1,450 DOM 27 DOM START $ $2,595,000 START 09/24/21
Address 4 Bermuda Court BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 1465 sqft LOT 1076 PRICE $1,299,000 $PSF $887 DOM 21 DOM START $ $1,299,000 START 09/30/21
Address 918 N Peck Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 3586 sqft LOT 5744 PRICE $3,545,000 $PSF $989 DOM 32 DOM START $ $3,545,000 START 08/10/21
Address 652 26th Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 3639 sqft LOT 5122 PRICE $4,150,000 $PSF $1,140 DOM 6 DOM START $ $4,150,000 START 09/30/21
Address 1211 Bayview Drive BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 2350 sqft LOT 3314 PRICE $3,845,000 $PSF $1,636 DOM 76 DOM START $ $3,995,000 START 08/06/21
Address 757 35th Street BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 1148 sqft LOT 5406 PRICE $1,755,000 $PSF $1,529 DOM 9 DOM START $ $1,755,000 START 09/18/21
Address 405 26th Street BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 2895 sqft LOT 3465 PRICE $4,750,000 $PSF $1,641 DOM 36 DOM START $ $4,750,000 START 09/15/21
Address 2825 N Valley Drive BD/BA 4br/2ba SQFT 1402 sqft LOT 4997 PRICE $1,999,000 $PSF $1,426 DOM 3 DOM START $ $1,999,000 START 09/28/21
Address 400 7th Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 2480 sqft LOT 2694 PRICE $3,995,000 $PSF $1,611 DOM 32 DOM START $ $3,995,000 START 09/19/21
Address 857 11th Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 2184 sqft LOT 4962 PRICE $2,750,000 $PSF $1,259 DOM 21 DOM START $ $2,750,000 START 09/09/21
Address 3608 Laurel Avenue BD/BA 2br/1ba SQFT 846 sqft LOT 4640 PRICE $1,600,000 $PSF $1,891 DOM 11 DOM START $ $1,600,000 START 09/18/21
Address 2504 Pine Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 3600 sqft LOT 4480 PRICE $3,579,000 $PSF $994 DOM 28 DOM START $ $3,579,000 START 09/23/21
Address 748 Manhattan Beach Boulevard A BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1410 sqft LOT 6426 PRICE $1,699,000 $PSF $1,205 DOM 36 DOM START $ $1,699,000 START 09/15/21
Address 3613 N Poinsettia Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1488 sqft LOT 4644 PRICE $1,899,000 $PSF $1,276 DOM 8 DOM START $ $1,899,000 START 09/20/21
Address 3013 N Poinsettia Avenue BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3110 sqft LOT 4612 PRICE $3,499,999 $PSF $1,125 DOM 53 DOM START $ $3,499,999 START 08/29/21
Address 216 1st Street BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1940 sqft LOT 2705 PRICE $3,399,000 $PSF $1,752 DOM 84 DOM START $ $3,499,000 START 07/29/21
Address 3512 Alma Avenue BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1877 sqft LOT 3501 PRICE $2,300,000 $PSF $1,225 DOM 2 DOM START $ $2,300,000 START 09/25/21
Address 2211 Vista Drive BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2250 sqft LOT 3509 PRICE $2,699,000 $PSF $1,200 DOM 36 DOM START $ $2,699,000 START 09/17/21
Address 2304 Elm Avenue BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3349 sqft LOT 4481 PRICE $3,595,000 $PSF $1,073 DOM 11 DOM START $ $3,595,000 START 09/13/21
Address 511 N Dianthus Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1907 sqft LOT 3249 PRICE $2,295,000 $PSF $1,203 DOM 73 DOM START $ $2,295,000 START 08/12/21
Address 2921 Pacific Avenue BD/BA 4br/2ba SQFT 1810 sqft LOT 4705 PRICE $1,899,000 $PSF $1,049 DOM 38 DOM START $ $1,899,000 START 09/13/21
Address 664 35th Street BD/BA 4br/2ba SQFT 1750 sqft LOT 5400 PRICE $2,200,000 $PSF $1,257 DOM 4 DOM START $ $2,200,000 START 09/16/21
Address 592 30th Street BD/BA 5br/7ba SQFT 4648 sqft LOT 4804 PRICE $4,699,000 $PSF $1,011 DOM 444 DOM START $ $4,699,000 START 06/05/20
Address 938 Duncan Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 5381 sqft LOT 4689 PRICE $4,350,000 $PSF $808 DOM 164 DOM START $ $4,450,000 START 03/04/21
Address 3609 Oak Ave. BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1089 sqft LOT 4644 PRICE $1,585,000 $PSF $1,455 DOM 13 DOM START $ $1,624,900 START 09/07/21

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