Q1 of 2015 Didn't Slow

By Dave Fratello | April 14th, 2015

Definitely one of the most common types of questions we hear – among working agents and regular working folks like you – is something like, "How Long Can This (Rally) Go On?"

Recently we've heard a buzz that there's been a "slowing down" in the Manhattan Beach real estate market in the first part of this year.

But that's not what the data say.

Closed sales are a looking-backward measure, to be sure, but they don't paint a picture of any slowing.

We're looking here at the number of closed sales in the first 3 months of each of the past 8 years. There are clear dips in 2008-2009, as the market wobbled and dropped.

After the recovery began in Q3 2009, the first quarter of 2010 was "normal" at 74 closed sales, the same level hit in 2014 (minus 1) and here in 2015.

The rockin' rally we're in now did see somewhat more sales in 2011-2013, but the 2013 peak was only 12 sales more in the quarter – 4 more per month difference.

With chronically low inventory in the past 3-4 years, it would be hard to honestly say that there's been any flagging in demand at all.

You can almost say that the sales volume for Manhattan Beach homes has been flat for 6 years for the first quarter of each year. Prices, of course, have not been flat at all during this same period.

If someone meant to say that a "slowdown" is happening right now, just 2 weeks after the close of Q1 2015, there's a lack of evidence for that, too.

Even with Easter week and "everyone" being away, there were 9 deals made in the past 7 days in MB.

We can't easily draw data comparisons for pending sales by period, year-over-year, but this past week hardly seemed sluggish. Our eyes widened with a few of the richly priced listings to make quick deals.

Here are all 9 of the past week's posted new escrows, listed most recent first:

2509 North Poinsettia Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2509 Poinsettia (5br/3ba, 3300 sqft.), listed at $2.749M (pictured),

1505 Voorhees (5br/6ba, 4235 sqft.), listed at $2.699M,

1509 Magnolia (3br/2ba, 1350 sqft.), listed at $1.549M,

2216 Grandview (3350 sqft. lot), listed at $2.295M,

1158 Longfellow (26K sqft. lot), listed at $4.000M,

13 Laurel Square Manhattan Beach CA13 Laurel Square (3br/3ba, 2500 sqft.), listed at $1.659M (pictured),

621 13th (4br/5ba, 5650 sqft.), listed at $6.295M,

2001 Oak (2br/1ba, 850 sqft.), listed at $1.249M and

422 21st Place (3br/4ba, 1920 sqft.), listed at $2.199M.

So, while everyone would concede that the current rally in prices and sales is amazing and seems destined to slow some day, that day's not here yet. 

While the data keep pointing to a healthy – and even rambunctious – ongoing recovery, we're going to call it like we see it.

Early this year, after posting about how Manhattan Beach median home prices had hit a record new level, Dave was quoted in the news saying that this rally could have "a few years" left.

If and when that seems to change, we'll try to isolate and share the evidence. For now, don't bet on it being imminent.

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