Quick Median Price Update

By Dave Fratello | September 19th, 2012
We last really looked at median prices at the midpoint of the year. Let's check in quickly before Q3 closes in a couple weeks, when we can do a nerdier post with graphs and charts.

First off, in case you missed the last couple references to 2012 medians, see "Sales Data for First Halves of '06-'12" and "More Median Price Data, 2006-2012." You'll see what we mean by "nerdy" there.

So how are things now?

Median prices still don't show much of a hot market, but at least we can say prices aren't down now – as they were, surprisingly, at the midpoint this year.

We're going to compare nearly 9 months of 2012 data against full-year data from 2011. 

MB Citywide Data - SFRs

2011 (full year): 320 sales, median price: $1.450m

2012 (thru 9/18): 259 sales, median price: $1.510m (+4%)

MB West of Sepulveda - SFRs

2011 (full year): 226 sales, median price: $1.590m

2012 (thru 9/18): 186 sales, median price: $1.594m (flat)

These few numbers – which, admittedly, compare different time periods – do show slight differences from our mid-year check-ins. Then, the citywide median was down, and west of Sepulveda was up.

The addition of more data points has shown us more of what's expected citywide, given how sales have been going. We're up 4% overall. But west of Sepulveda flat? That's a surprise, and a change from Summer.

What about the beach? It's been hot at the beach, right?

MB Sand Section - SFRs

2011 (full year): 96 sales, median price: $1.849m

2012 (thru 9/18): 68 sales, median price: $1.837m (flat)

MB Sand Section - SFRs + THs

2011 (full year): 134 sales, median price: $1.675m

2012 (thru 9/18): 108 sales, median price: $1.710m (+2%)

Across the board, you see a sales pace that puts 2012 on track to gently surpass 2011's sales totals. (We'd have more sales with more inventory!)

But median prices are still slow to show much growth in Manhattan Beach, even at the beach.

You have to look at category-specific examples to see really stunning prices:
  • Martyrs, newer house: $4.900m (624 14th)
  • Flat South End walkstreets, land: $1.982m (413 7th)
  • Tree Section, new: $2.5m+ (ex: 616 30th)
  • Sand Section plateau, new: $3.230m (417 34th)
Median prices don't capture those data points well, missing the highs and lows by nature of how medians are calculated.

We still hear the occasional reference to how MB is up 10%, 15% or more this year.

That's hype. The type that comes out of the well-known, widely discussed imbalance between supply and demand here, the return of the bidding war, and the seemingly endless supply of "all-cash" buyers jumping into MB real estate.
Those are signs of a seller's market, but not pure madness.

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