Days on Market On the Rise in the Tree Section of Manhattan Beach

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach homes

In this ultra hot market any sign that things are slowing down is big news.  While the market is still very favorable for sellers we are noticing that many homes in the tree section of Manhattan Beach seem to be sitting on the market for a little longer.  The current average for “active” listings (those not sold or in escrow) is 56.  The number can be a bit misleading due to the fact the local MLS days on market continue to accrue if a home that is in escrow posts as “backup” status.  The number of days on market has risen every month since August of 2014 with a slightly higher number in January.  As inventory slowly rises the days on market will likely follow.  See all of the latest Manhattan Beach real estate market trends at our updated statistic pages.

October a Strong Month in Manhattan Beach Home Sales

By Keith KyleManhattan-Beach-Strand

October showed no signs of a slowdown in the luxury real estate market of Manhattan Beach.  42 homes closed escrow and prices reached new highs with a median home price of $2.1M and an average home price of $2.2M which is well over the previous 18 months.  Of the 42 home sales only one was sold below $1,000,000.  12 of the homes sold between $2.0M and $3.0M, 3 homes sold between $3.0M and $4.0M and 3 homes sold above $4.0M.  Visit our market trends page to see the current price and market trends for all of Manhattan Beach CA.

View the October 2014 home sales in Manhattan Beach

What’s shocking to some is commonplace in Manhattan Beach real estate

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach Strand

One of the more challenging aspects of selling homes in the luxury community of Manhattan Beach, is the “sticker shock” many out of town buyers have when we first start searching for a home.  As one of the more expensive markets in the country, buyers are often unprepared for the type, size or condition of the home that they can get for their money.  Buyers inevitably compare the home they are selling to the home they are buying and without taking location into consideration, they find that they can often purchase something not even similar to what they’re selling.  The greatest surprise comes to buyers from states such as Texas in which they owned a 5000 foot mansion on acres of land for example and the $1.5M that they sold it for translates to  a 3 bedroom, 2200 foot townhome in Manhattan Beach with a lot measured in feet and not acres.

The reason for all of this, of course, is that it’s all about location….and the demand for that location.  There is such demand for homes in Manhattan Beach which offers great neighborhoods, ocean views, award winning schools, almost perfect weather, proximity to a world class destination beach, and near enough but far enough from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, that prices just continue to rise at an often incredible pace.  As there is no additional land to build on, even “fixers” or tear downs sell above market value as builders are eager to cash in on the demand for new construction luxury homes.

So what can an out of state buyer do?  Research the recent home sales in Manhattan Beach and current listings.  Getting comfortable with the fact that, although the prices are dramatically higher than other cities and states, these are the prices and the costs to live in such a high demand area.  Southern California has always been one of the most sought after housing destinations in the country and nowhere is that demand greater than life on the coast in Manhattan Beach.  Buyers that research values, prices and trends,  may still have that initial shock but just having an understanding that these are not “inflated” prices but just the values of the area and down the road when it’s time to sell, they’ll be on the other side of this incredibly strong market.

The chart below represents the median sales prices in Manhattan Beach for the past 2 years with a median price edging ever closer to the $2.0M mark.

Manhattan Beach Real Estate Market Snapshot – May 2014

By Keith Kyle

Manhattan Beach real estate….by the numbers

May marks the 5th straight month with an increase in available homes for sale in Manhattan Beach with 65 current MLS listings as of May 5th, 2014.  See information below on the current market trends including current MLS listings, recent sales, pending home sales and home prices in this luxury coastal community in Southern California.

Active Homes for Sale:  Current Median Home Price $2,050,000

Active Homes for Sale – 65 homes
List Price DOM BR BA Year Built SqFt Lot SqFt
Min 557,000 3 2 1.00 1921 812 1,350
Max 7,999,900 370 7 7.00 2014 10,001 15,001
Avg 2,618,445 37 4 3.80 1984 2,990 5,227

Pending and Backup

Homes Currently in Escrow with Pending or Backup Status – 48 Homes
List Price ADOM Selling Price BR BA Year Built SqFt Lot SqFt
Min 905,000 1 1.00 1935 765 1,351
Max 12,875,000 355 6 7.00 2014 7,900 13,506
Avg 2,167,730 49 4 3.44 1980 2,799 5,025

Closed Home Sales in Past 30 Days (April 5th to May 4th)

47 Homes Sold/Closed Escrow 4/5 – 5/4
Single Family Residence – 44 total SFRs sold
List Price ADOM Selling Price BR BA Year Built SqFt Lot SqFt
Min 990,000 950,000 1 1.00 1925 699 1,286
Max 8,950,000 204 8,100,000 6 10.00 2014 8,500 14,368
Avg 2,235,316 38 2,166,045 4 3.20 1972 2,653 4,993
 Townhomes and Condos – 3 Total Sales
List Price ADOM Selling Price BR BA Year Built SqFt Lot SqFt
Min 1,299,000 8 1,450,000 2 3.00 1982 1,608 2,698
Max 2,299,000 33 2,100,000 3 4.00 2007 2,050 3,359
Avg 1,692,333 18 1,701,667 3 3.33 1992 1,878 2,921
All Home Sales – 47 Sold Homes
List Price ADOM Selling Price BR BA Year Built SqFt Lot SqFt
Min 990,000 950,000 1 1.00 1925 699 1,286
Max 8,950,000 204 8,100,000 6 10.00 2014 8,500 14,368
Avg 2,200,657 37 2,136,404 3 3.21 1974 2,604 4,860

How Do Regular Home Buyers Compete In This Market

By Keith Kyle

Every Monday I get together with some other agents and discuss the latest happenings in real estate and each week the news seems to become more discouraging for home buyers in Manhattan Beach.  Homes are selling well over asking, almost all sales involve multiple offers, often buyers are competing with all cash buyers or with builders, and not much that’s remotely priced close to market value lasts longer than a few days.

So how is a “regular” home buyer supposed to compete in this high end market.

The answer, unfortunately, is that until a significant increase in inventory starts to lessen the demand, a regular buyer with conventional financing just may have to wait it out.  What’s driving this is clear….absolutely record low inventory.  As of this article there are only 37 active homes for sale in Manhattan Beach.  Contrast that with the near peak of 284 homes for sale in February of 2009 and it’s not hard to see why each and every new listing is receiving so much interest. The chart below shows the active homes for sale in Manhattan Beach over the last 5 years and at this point…nobody is selling.

Why sellers aren’t listing their home in this market is an entirely different issue as everything from prices, to demand to terms, to interest rates favor them but that doesn’t seem to be making a difference.

Will Overpricing Help Slow the Manhattan Beach Market Down?

By Keith KyleTree-Section

I’ve noticed an early January trend in some of the local markets as many homes now seem to be listed at prices that recent sales just don’t seem to justify. Will this overpricing help slow the market down a little as we’re starting to see some homes sit on the market and even eventual price reductions.  At the moment there are a number of homes in Manhattan Beach that have been on the market for 45 days or longer.

We’ve seen the market increase in value dramatically in the past 12 months with values generally rising each month but since late November we seem to be seeing more homes priced well above the current market and well above the pricing trend. Only time will tell what 2014 has in store in the Beach Cities real estate market but as perception is such a real part of real estate, buyers now seeing homes sit on the market without selling may mark the beginning of a slow down.

Is the Real Estate Market in Manhattan Beach Slowing Down?….It Depends

By Keith Kyle

We have definitely seen signs of the market slowing down over the past 2 months in the South Bay, but that doesn’t mean that slow down has been shared equally.  In fact in situations where the home is special, or location is great, or just happens to be in an area in which inventory is still dramatically low, we’re still seeing an absolute frenzy with multiple offers, appraisal contingencies waived, and prices over the already high list prices.  So what’s leading this somewhat confused market?

There are many factors that have led to some houses being a hotbed of activity while others seem to sit.  Price is always a factor.  As I often advise my sellers, we have one chance to be a “new listing” and take advantage of all of the excitement and momentum that comes along with that.  Price too high and that momentum can quickly be lost.  Once a home is no longer a new listing, interest dies quickly.  With the incredible pace of the market in 2013 homes don’t stay “new” for long and if a home is still on the market after 10 days or so,  buyers start to lose interest or think that there is something wrong with the home.  Lesson to sellers…..price the home appropriately from the onset.

Chart showing decreasing number of active, pending and sold homes

Chart showing decreasing number of active, pending and sold homes in Manhattan Beach

The second factor is the constant in real estate…location, location, location, but add to that condition, condition, condition.  While this market is still incredibly active and favorable to sellers, it has certainly remained much stronger for “special” houses….whether that be the A+ location, the perfect remodel,  or the bungalow oozing with charm.   A few months ago it seemed any home was quickly snatched up regardless of condition or location.  With prices at near peak levels, however, buyers are often not willing to take on situations that are less than ideal.  Homes needing work, busy streets, less than ideal locations, are now sitting unsold for longer periods of time.

On the other hand there have been numerous recent sales in Manhattan Beach that were an absolute flurry of activity and interest from the moment they hit the market.  Buyers are still willing to chase homes, pay a premium, and even waive some of their inspection and appraisal contingencies if the new listing if it is special in some way and appeals to buyers in a price range with low inventory.

We should expect some typical slow down during the holiday period but sellers should take note that if their home isn’t ideally located, move in ready, or happens to be in that range in which demand is high, but inventory is low, they need to heed the advice of their real estate professional and be right on target with pricing.