The Reason You Can’t Find Your Home in Manhattan Beach

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach sand section homes

As most home buyers read about the market they have,  inevitably heard that inventory is down and that it is a “seller’s market” which is certainly the case but both may be a drastic understatement at the moment.  Inventory is at historic lows with both active homes for sale and sold homes being dramatically below the norm.  The chart below shows the past 5 years with monthly numbers indicating the number of homes active on the MLS (light green), the number of pending homes sales or homes in escrow (red line), and the number of homes sold or escrows closed (dark green) that month.

Manhattan Beach 5 Year Real Estate
The numbers are pretty staggering with February 2014 having only 26 closed sales and 36 current homes active on the market. Contrast that with February 2009 with only 25 closed escrows and 284 homes available for buyers and you’ll understand why buyers are willing to do just about anything and pay any price to get a home in this luxury coastal community. Due to low interest rates, and Manhattan Beach schools surpassing even their own record test scores, the demand for homes is as strong as ever.

Days on Market Misleading with CRMLS Data

I recently had two listings quickly go into escrow but confused a few agents with the homes status and showing instructions.  Both homes were Sale Pendingput into “Pending” instead of “Backup” status but both showed agent notes indicating we were looking for backup offers and that the homes could still be shown.  Why you might ask? (same question several agents had).  The reason is that the CRMLS days on market continue to accrue in backup status and not pending status which leads, in my opinion, to very misleading information and data.

As an example I just sent information on a sold home to a client to use for refi comp purposes.  It showed 51 days on market, which is a very good indication that it may have been priced too high and took a while to sell (in this current sellers market). Upon a deeper look the home sold after 7 days and the rest of the time was in escrow. A home selling in 7 days paints a very different picture of current market conditions. If home buyers see an average days on market of 45-60 but the reality is that homes are going into escrow generally within the first 10 days, homebuyers will not have the accurate information they need to make informed decisions.

It impacts listing agents as well as many potential sellers want to know how quickly we, as the listing agent, sell homes and what the days on market is. They do not want to see that we sold something after 51 days on market and this lack of correct information may eventually cost us a listing in the end.

Days on market is a critical tool in terms of market and agent perception and, in my opinion, only represent the days that a home is in “active” status.