As the market changes, median prices can be slow to show movement.
We saw this throughout the bumpy market of 2007-08, and even from 2008-2013.
You could see things happening in the market – price declines, price rises – that took months to show up in median price data.
And what does the median price really tell you anyway? It's a trend indicator. But unless your specific house, or the house you're looking to buy, is a "median house," how the market is trending is itself only a suggestion to factor into value.
This is why same-house sales over a fairly short period of time can be valuable signposts.
Which brings us to 24 Westport in Manhattan Village.
This 4br/4ba, 3256 sqft. home is a single-family "estate home" in the Village. Though it's got a build date of 1983, the interior finishes and flooring were more in line with an early-2000s set of updates.
The headline: This home just sold for less than it was purchased for in 2021.
In early July 2021, this home sold immediately for $3.100M. (See note* below for context.)
But this time, it sold for exactly $3.000M, or $100K below acquisition.
That's a drop of $100K over 20 months.
Out of those 20 months, about the first 11 months had seen a continuously rising market, while the last several months, eh, not so much.
The sellers must have figured that they still had some of that 2021-22 appreciation left in the bank, because they listed at $3.499M and held fast to that. There was no price cut until the closed sale rolled in. All of a sudden, it was down basically $500K.
Where were median prices at the times of this home's two recent sales?
In July 2021, the Manhattan Beach median home price was $2.900M, meaning this property sold $200K over the median.
At the end of February 2023, the median was $3.087M, meaning this property appears to have sold almost $100K under the median this time.
This same property also sold in 2019 (July). At that time, it was understandably below the 2021 and 2023 prices, coming in at $2.700M, when the median was $2.350M. This suggests that the value rose 15% in two years, then dropped 3% over the next nearly two year period.
A quick word about condition: We don't see that anything much changed between the 2019 sale, the 2021 sale and the 2023 sale, except some backyard stuff. We kid you not: Some of the photos in the 2022-23 listing are the identical photos, with the same staging, angles, everything – 100% the same – as from the 2019 listing. (This living room shot is one of them.)
The fact that the listing took 93 DOM to sell is another surprise.
Looking back to the year 2000, there were 95 sales of "estate home" SFRs in the Village, with a median DOM of just 23 days. About half, 42 out of 95 sales, accepted an offer in 15 days or fewer. Only two dozen took more than 60 days.
How This Sale Ties in With Market Trends
We've said here many times on the blog in recent months that Q3-Q4 2022 sale prices in Manhattan Beach were often notably below where the same homes "should have" sold in Q1-Q2 of the same year. In other words, price declines began last year, but on a case-by-case, "anecdotal" basis, rather than in market-wide data.
It feels like that Q3-Q4 trend has continued into Q1 2023, and that homes are selling now for less than they would have exactly one year ago.
It's hard to put your finger on it until you get a specific house like 24 Westport that has sold in two different markets.
One to watch: In escrow now is 23 Village Circle (4br/4ba, 3184 sqft.), which came to market late last year at $3.400M.
It had cut to $3.299M before making a deal last week.
* At the time of its 2021 sale, 24 Westport appeared to be the first-ever public-market sale of an original "Estate Home" for $3M or more. The latest sale at $3.000M also seems to be the only other one at $3M or higher, pending whatever closes out at 23 Village Circle. In April 2021, a completely rebuilt, fully modernized home at 10 Westport had fetched $3.500M.
Please see our blog disclaimer.
Listings presented above are supplied via the MLS and are brokered by a variety of agents and firms, not Dave Fratello or Edge Real Estate Agency, unless so stated with the listing. Images and links to properties above lead to a full MLS display of information, including home details, lot size, all photos, and listing broker and agent information and contact information.