Where We're Going This Year

By Dave Fratello | February 12th, 2013

How's 2013 shaping up for MB real estate?

It's been good luck that Dave's been quoted recently by a couple of local media sources on that very question. (Here's the LA Times front-page story, and here a new story from the Easy Reader.)

We've tried to say just what anyone else looking at the data and working on the front lines would say.

In the LA Times:

"Last year was gangbusters," said Dave Fratello, an agent with the REAL Group in Manhattan Beach... "We flipped very quickly from a buyer's market to a seller's market.... "Everybody is shaking their heads," Fratello said. "This is crazy."

In the Easy Reader:

“Any well-priced desirable property seems to draw three to five offers at least, and that drives prices up,” [Fratello] said.... “For better or worse, I predict a crazy spring with higher prices and more bidding wars. I don’t see what’s going to stop the momentum in the next few months.” These are honest opinions about where we stand, and what's ahead.

Some totally separate questions are:

  • How did this boom get started? 
  • What's driving it?  
  • Is it sustainable? 
There are lots of opinions on those big questions, and we'll come back to them.

For buyers looking to get into Manhattan Beach, the questions are simpler, in a way:

  • When can we get a darn house already? 
  • How can we "win" in this environment? 
  • And what's it going to cost us?

You'll notice that these are not esoteric questions. They're concrete.

If you're in the midst of a house search, you may or may not have time for the "big" questions. Most likely, you just want to get it done.

And if the market looks like it's going up, those "esoteric," "big-picture" questions about price trends don't resonate. Low rates for financing seem to make purchase price less of a consideration.

This is where we are.

Some MB Confidential readers who go way-way back with us are going to notice the contrast between Dave's line today and back in 2007.

MBC's first post began with the premise that prices were dropping in Manhattan Beach. That was early 2007. The evidence seemed clear, but it wasn't a point that was acknowledged in polite conversation. Someone had to say it.

Prices did drop, a lot, in the years that followed. We documented that, daily, and the gradual recovery that began in 2010.

But now the market's back, fairly roaring, and we have to say that, too. What's true matters.

And what's next? Markets don't switch directions suddenly. If your window is 3-6 months, expect more of what we see now. Beyond that, the "esoteric" questions start to be more interesting.


What's next at MBC? Big changes to the site are just around the corner. Stay tuned!

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