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 636 23rd Street BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2473 sqft LOT 4383 PRICE $2,755,000 $PSF $1,114 DOM 45 DOM START $ $2,755,000 START 06/17/21
Address 333 21st Place BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1813 sqft LOT 2694 PRICE $2,450,000 $PSF $1,351 DOM 17 DOM START $ $2,450,000 START 07/15/21
Address 429 31st Street BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 4246 sqft LOT 2705 PRICE $3,699,000 $PSF $871 DOM 403 DOM START $ $3,799,000 START 06/24/20
Address 1909 Faymont BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1821 sqft LOT 5313 PRICE $2,099,000 $PSF $1,153 DOM 17 DOM START $ $2,099,000 START 07/15/21
Address 1829 Oak Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1400 sqft LOT 4680 PRICE $2,299,000 $PSF $1,642 DOM 17 DOM START $ $2,299,000 START 07/08/21
Address 1822 8th Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 2045 sqft LOT 7505 PRICE $2,125,000 $PSF $1,039 DOM 17 DOM START $ $2,125,000 START 07/15/21
Address 3609 Oak Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1089 sqft LOT 4644 PRICE $1,685,000 $PSF $1,547 DOM 52 DOM START $ $1,685,000 START 06/07/21
Address 3212 Oak Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1322 sqft LOT 4486 PRICE $1,748,000 $PSF $1,322 DOM 18 DOM START $ $1,748,000 START 07/14/21
Address 1301 5th Street BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2652 sqft LOT 9227 PRICE $2,799,000 $PSF $1,055 DOM 24 DOM START $ $2,799,000 START 07/08/21
Address 1712 N Poinsettia Avenue BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2767 sqft LOT 4467 PRICE $2,850,000 $PSF $1,030 DOM 6 DOM START $ $2,850,000 START 07/16/21
Address 2510 Laurel Ave BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 2040 sqft LOT 4120 PRICE $2,450,000 $PSF $1,201 DOM 38 DOM START $ $2,450,000 START 06/23/21
Address 1657 Gates Ave BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 4197 sqft LOT 7500 PRICE $3,150,000 $PSF $751 DOM 120 DOM START $ $3,695,000 START 03/23/21
Address 2317 Elm Avenue BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 2277 sqft LOT 4485 PRICE $2,499,000 $PSF $1,097 DOM 20 DOM START $ $2,499,000 START 07/12/21
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 504 N Poinsettia Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4596 sqft LOT 6501 PRICE $6,999,000 $PSF $1,523 DOM 1 DOM START $ $6,999,000 START 07/15/21
Address 229 30th Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1721 sqft LOT 2699 PRICE $3,700,000 $PSF $2,150 DOM 6 DOM START $ $3,700,000 START 07/06/21
Address 552 3rd Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 2095 sqft LOT 2701 PRICE $3,275,000 $PSF $1,563 DOM 82 DOM START $ $3,300,000 START 05/11/21
Address 612 Anderson Street BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1707 sqft LOT 3250 PRICE $2,295,000 $PSF $1,344 DOM 179 DOM START $ $2,349,999 START 01/18/21
Address 457 28th Street BD/BA 2br/1ba SQFT 870 sqft LOT 2700 PRICE $2,250,000 $PSF $2,586 DOM 65 DOM START $ $2,350,000 START 05/28/21
Address 1825 Pacific Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1200 sqft LOT 4778 PRICE $2,100,000 $PSF $1,750 DOM 14 DOM START $ $2,350,000 START 07/01/21
Address 746 29th Street BD/BA 4br/2ba SQFT 1259 sqft LOT 4803 PRICE $2,000,000 $PSF $1,589 DOM 12 DOM START $ $2,000,000 START 07/06/21
Address 1772 Curtis Avenue BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 1691 sqft LOT 5640 PRICE $1,795,000 $PSF $1,062 DOM 81 DOM START $ $1,975,000 START 05/12/21
Address 1509 Faymont Avenue BD/BA 3br/1ba SQFT 1091 sqft LOT 5398 PRICE $1,475,000 $PSF $1,352 DOM 0 DOM START $ $1,475,000 START 07/19/21
Address 433 27th Street BD/BA 4br/3ba SQFT 1947 sqft LOT 1581 PRICE $2,799,000 $PSF $1,438 DOM 6 DOM START $ $2,799,000 START 07/06/21
Address 1541 5th Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4071 sqft LOT 7506 PRICE $3,795,000 $PSF $932 DOM 9 DOM START $ $3,795,000 START 07/05/21
Address 717 29th Street BD/BA 5br/4ba SQFT 3448 sqft LOT 4800 PRICE $3,299,000 $PSF $957 DOM 25 DOM START $ $3,299,000 START 07/07/21
Address 931 Duncan Avenue BD/BA 3br/1ba SQFT 1273 sqft LOT 4797 PRICE $2,249,000 $PSF $1,767 DOM 31 DOM START $ $2,249,000 START 07/01/21
Address 583 35th Street BD/BA 4br/5ba SQFT 3909 sqft LOT 5403 PRICE $4,100,000 $PSF $1,049 DOM 32 DOM START $ $4,100,000 START 06/30/21
Address 1821 11th Street BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 1427 sqft LOT 6495 PRICE $1,415,000 $PSF $992 DOM 54 DOM START $ $1,449,000 START 06/08/21
Address 1427 12th Street 1 BD/BA 2br/3ba SQFT 1335 sqft LOT 7500 PRICE $1,099,000 $PSF $823 DOM 39 DOM START $ $1,099,000 START 06/02/21
Address 316 20th Street BD/BA 5br/7ba SQFT 4278 sqft LOT 2700 PRICE $6,895,000 $PSF $1,612 DOM 3 DOM START $ $6,895,000 START 07/08/21
Address 1335 19th Street BD/BA 6br/6ba SQFT 5010 sqft LOT 7492 PRICE $3,999,000 $PSF $798 DOM 41 DOM START $ $4,150,000 START 05/24/21
Address 516 21st Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 3540 sqft LOT 3772 PRICE $5,249,000 $PSF $1,483 DOM 113 DOM START $ $5,350,000 START 04/01/21
Address 2801 N Valley Drive BD/BA 2br/1ba SQFT 965 sqft LOT 2453 PRICE $1,599,000 $PSF $1,657 DOM 39 DOM START $ $1,599,000 START 06/23/21
Address 2305 Bayview Drive BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2570 sqft LOT 3496 PRICE $3,999,000 $PSF $1,556 DOM 80 DOM START $ $4,199,000 START 04/16/21
Address 2201 Oak Avenue BD/BA 5br/6ba SQFT 3467 sqft LOT 4485 PRICE $3,399,000 $PSF $980 DOM 9 DOM START $ $3,399,000 START 06/24/21
Address 218 1st Place BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 2012 sqft LOT 2703 PRICE $3,680,000 $PSF $1,829 DOM 82 DOM START $ $3,680,000 START 04/12/21
Address 1827 11th Street BD/BA 2br/2ba SQFT 1427 sqft LOT 6502 PRICE $1,425,000 $PSF $999 DOM 54 DOM START $ $1,449,000 START 06/08/21
Address 1613 5th Street BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 4400 sqft LOT 7500 PRICE $3,389,000 $PSF $770 DOM 37 DOM START $ $3,389,000 START 06/25/21
Address 319 24th Street BD/BA 3br/3ba SQFT 1900 sqft LOT 2704 PRICE $3,099,000 $PSF $1,631 DOM 39 DOM START $ $3,299,000 START 05/01/21
Address 3201 Laurel Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1216 sqft LOT 4325 PRICE $1,950,000 $PSF $1,604 DOM 7 DOM START $ $1,950,000 START 06/23/21
Address 1511 2nd Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 4657 sqft LOT 6635 PRICE $3,799,000 $PSF $816 DOM 66 DOM START $ $3,999,000 START 04/23/21
Address 220 20th Street BD/BA 4br/4ba SQFT 3716 sqft LOT 2615 PRICE $6,295,000 $PSF $1,694 DOM 32 DOM START $ $6,295,000 START 05/27/21
Address 754 35th Street BD/BA 5br/3ba SQFT 3397 sqft LOT 5406 PRICE $3,199,000 $PSF $942 DOM 38 DOM START $ $3,199,000 START 06/24/21
Address 1908 Wendy Way BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1390 sqft LOT 5345 PRICE $1,499,000 $PSF $1,078 DOM 9 DOM START $ $1,499,000 START 06/17/21
Address 220 43rd Street BD/BA 3br/4ba SQFT 1884 sqft LOT 2713 PRICE $2,295,000 $PSF $1,218 DOM 55 DOM START $ $2,395,000 START 05/25/21
Address 532 Marine Avenue BD/BA 3br/2ba SQFT 1220 sqft LOT 3554 PRICE $2,250,000 $PSF $1,844 DOM 56 DOM START $ $2,250,000 START 04/23/21
Address 938 Duncan Avenue BD/BA 5br/5ba SQFT 5381 sqft LOT 4689 PRICE $4,350,000 $PSF $808 DOM 114 DOM START $ $4,450,000 START 03/04/21

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