Re-Introducing the MB Market Updates

By Dave Fratello February 3rd, 2012.

We are proud to re-introduce one of MB Confidential's most popular past features: the MB Market Update spreadsheets. Click here to see the newest online version, covering the month of January 2012.

As some readers will recall, for about 3 years, we did our market tracking in Excel files, publishing the PDFs online for download. Then we gave away the dial-up modem and switched to an online Google Docs format. Our last spreadsheet was issued in Fall 2010.

Finally, they're back, better than ever, and covering more activity in MB than ever. There are hundreds of properties in the current spreadsheets, reflecting current actives and recent sales.

As we re-launch the feature, it's worth saying why. These spreadsheets have got something we don't think you can find anywhere else: An intelligently organized, easy to browse, subregion-by-subregion list of active and sold properties. Recent moves are easy to spot. Background data on each subregion and each property are easy to find at a glance.

Our goal is to return to publishing updates twice a month. The January 2012 update needed a lot of background work to get us started, so it covers the whole month.

Here are some things to know about the MB Market Update spreadsheets:

Basic Features

Use TABS to select different MB submarkets.
Organization by submarket/subregion of MB: Using the TABS at the top of the page, you can easily navigate to a list of Hill Section properties, Sand Section SFRs, Sand Section THs, Tree Section or East MB properties. (This link starts you in the Hill Section, but you can move on from there.)

Live links to properties (active or sold): Click on any property address to see the full listing details on Redfin. (Why do we point to Redfin? Because they have "the friendliest, most complete display of information" on properties. For more, see our nerdy explanation in "Not Using Redfin to Search? Why Not?") To see everything you may need to register with Redfin, but they do not harass registrants.

Pending and sold property info: Submarket by submarket, you can develop your own comps and sense of market activity with our report on recently sold properties. We'll maintain 6 months' worth of recent history in the solds.

New Features

Expanded coverage: We're no longer limited to SFRs west of Sepulveda. MB Confidential has gradually grown to include discussion of Sand Section townhomes and East MB SFRs, and the spreadsheets now track these submarkets. (We're still skipping THs/condos outside the Sand for now, and that means few Manhattan Village listings will hit the spreadsheets.)

Integration with MBC blog content: We review lots of homes at MBC, mainly in our "Weekend Opens" feature, but in other posts as well. Now, each home listed on the spreadsheets contains a link to the most relevant and recent post about the property. (If we've written about it.) If there's a blue checkmark in the next-to-last column (under "Click for MBC post on property"), click the checkmark and you'll go straight to the story.

Improved highlighting: To better call attention to market action (new and pending listings), we're using color highlights. On the main sheet of active listings for a particular submarket, new listings will have a yellow highlight and an N (for "new") next to them, while properties that went under contract during the period covered by the update will be in green with a P (for "pending") next to them. You'll see this on the current sheets.

Better Data

Real estate listing data do not always make common sense. For instance, if a seller switches listing agents after 6 months and the property has been under the new agent's control for one month, with many searches, you'll see 30 DOM, not 210 DOM. Similarly, lots of changes in the formal listing status over time can obscure the actual pricing history.

In compiling data for these spreadsheets, we try to follow common sense. We count everything from the start. That means...

True reporting of price cuts from start: Both the "Actives" and "Solds" page for each submarket will show any price reductions from the original asking price. (The percentage drop of the final price from start is also shown in Solds.) Because we count back to the start price, not just the price on the most recent version of the listing, MBC's spreadsheets present a better picture of pricing adjustments.

DOM calculations: We will calculate DOM based on the first date the property hit the open market, regardless of re-lists, holds, failed escrows or changes of listing agents. Only if a property went off market 90 days or more will we use the most recent re-list's start date. Note that this method of calculation will tend to show slightly more DOM in some cases and many more in others, more than you would see on Redfin or through a routine MLS search. In rare cases, the DOM we show may be slightly more than even the CDOM figure ("combined days on market") shown in some searches. This is our attempt to give the most forthright appraisal of how long the property has been available, period.

Past-sale data and other comments: In the "comment" column, we will usually post relevant past-sale data for a property, mainly if it last transacted in 2003 or later. Knowing the market value during the past decade can help in assessing a property's current market value. (MB's median price for 2011 was essentially flat to 2004, for instance, and properties sold in peak years like 2006-07 commonly go for 15% or more below acquisition when resold.) We'll also offer other relevant comments that provide insight into the property's value.

That's a summary of what you'll find in our online spreadsheets. We'll also resume reporting on market activity based on our market tracking.

We hope and expect that you'll find the new spreadsheets useful.

Any time you have a question or suggestion, feel free to email MBWatcher / address: MBWatcher [ at ]

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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