Q3 Stats: New Inventory a Bit Slower Than '16

By Dave Fratello | October 10th, 2017

We're watching the market closely here, as we head into the Fall months and the traditionally slower holiday season.

Inventory of homes for sale in Manhattan Beach was higher throughout September than it was for any of the past 5 years.

So, we asked, was inventory holding high because there were more sellers coming to market?

The data said: No, there were not more new listings in 2017 than over the same 3-month period of 2016.

For this post, we dove into the data and looked at 5 years' worth of inventory coming to market. We looked at the entire third quarter (July 1-Sept. 30) for each of the years 2013-2017.

It was 2016 that set a recent record, with 135 new listings coming to market in those 3 months.

Meanwhile, 2017 was 9% below that pace, with 123 new listings in Q3.

Now, this year was 15% higher in Q3 than 2015, and much higher than 2013-14.

But you already knew, from our recent discussions of inventory, that 2016 and 2017 stand out high above the prior 3 years in terms of base market inventory in Manhattan Beach.

In fact, 2016 saw a fairly steady decline in overall inventory citywide for most of Q3, even while all those new listings were coming out. (Inventory fell from 118 to 102 over that time.) Conclusion: It was a busy Summer last year!

Meantime, 2017 saw a gentle rise in inventory over these same 3 months of Q3 (from 113 to 122), even while fewer new listings came to market than in the same period of 2016. Still, it did seem like a reasonably busy Summer.

As we looked deeper at the numbers, one trend was painfully apparent: It's the Sand Section pushing out more new listings than normal.

You can see in our chart here that the Sand Section accounted for 50 of the 123 new listings in this period.

That's much higher than the Sand produced in any of the prior three years during the same period: 33 (2016), 35 (2015) or 28 (2014).

Meantime, every other area of Manhattan Beach saw fewer new listings in Q3 2017 than last year:

• Tree Section: -8 from 37 last year

• Hill Section: -10 from 16 last year

• East Manhattan: - 11 from 49 last year

The overhang of inventory in the Sand Section this year is no longer a new story. We've referred to it several times recently. It's kind of an issue. You can see that one reason for that overhang is a higher pace of new supply coming out.

Now, if inventory is growing, what about the sales pace?

Do you remember back at midyear, when we took note of the higher sales pace in Manhattan Beach?

We looked at a full year of sales activity from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. The idea was to take a snapshot of how busy the market was by midyear this year.

At that point, the total number of sales was up 17% over the prior year, and the median price was up 5%. (See "First Half '17 Bullish Again for Manhattan Beach.") Things were looking kinda hot.

Maybe the next question has to be: How was the Summer sales pace this year?

We'll look at that soon.

Meantime, here's the overall inventory for all Manhattan Beach through Sept. 30 this year.

You can see where the green line for 2017 inventory has remained above the 2016 total.

For now, blame it on the beach.

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