Some Sales Mix Changes, '06-'11

By Dave Fratello | April 20th, 2011
It's not news that home prices locally are lower now than in in the bubble years. But the number of sales in various price ranges offer some dramatic evidence.

Consider just one number. In the first quarter of 2006, just a sliver, 6%, of all homes sold in Manhattan Beach (all areas) went for less than $1m.

This year (Q1 '11), more than a quarter of homes sold for less than $1m – 27%. Statistically, that's a 450% increase in the proportion selling below that magical $1m benchmark.

Our chart here (click to enlarge) draws a pretty stark line between the 2006-2008 period and the past 3 years. The sales mix changed drastically in the first true post-bubble year, 2009.

This year's entry-level sales in the first quarter look more like that year's, with about the same share going for less than $1m. However, with substantially more closed sales this year (64 in Q1 this year, compared to 40 in Q1 '09), that also means more actual homes trading below $1m.

Now, go bigger.

Back in that late-boom year of '06, something near half the homes sold in Q1 went for $2m or more (44%). (The median price that quarter was $1,972,500– see "How Q1 of '11 Compares.")

This year, almost all (83%) of the homes sold in MB in Q1 sold for less than $2m – just 17% were above that mark this time.

MB West of Sepulveda fared about the same over this 6-year period. There are always a few more sales above $2m west of the highway.

Though the big-dollar sales seem to get all the headlines, they still made up less than a quarter (22%) of the sales in the first part of 2011, down from 48% in the rush of 2006.

For both MB west of Sepulveda and citywide, we see that the share of homes selling above $2m was at a 6-year low this year.

So, if you sense that entry-level prices and typical prices around MB have come down somewhat dramatically – you're right. And if you think the high end is chugging along as well as ever – well, maybe, but it's no longer a dominant segment of the market.

Nerdy notes: These data on the "sales mix" in MB come from MLS-reported sales in Q1 of the years at issue. We'll take one more look at how sales by price range have changed over recent years in another post soon.

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